Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't say Goodbye....

I have had friends leaving Singapore over the years but last week was the first time I had to say farewell to 2 friends who are going off in the same week. They are leaving for good, one for New Zealand, the other for Australia. I tried to persuade them to stay for another month so that they can watch the National Day parade of wonderful things in Singapore that might change their minds but they were all ready to go. When I asked they why they are leaving, among other things, they said they don't want their children to go through what have have gone through in life - high stress in our society, NS, lack of a social safety net, etc. These 2 friends in their forties who fairly successful at what they do, have chosen to leave because they were worried the doors will close for them as they get older - many countries have an age limit of 45 yrs old for immigrants.

About 10 years ago SM Goh coined the term "quitters" to describe those emigrating and when I first heard it, I thought it was strange to use the term "quit" as if people have resigned from a job. People "quit" when they hate their jobs. The question to ask now is whether the people who listened to SM Goh and became stayers are better off than the quitters who rejected his wisdom. Those who left 10 years ago emigrating to countries without the benefit of PAP leadership must be living in utter misery - after 10 years of poor leadership, their lives must be a total disaster. Now you can see the importance of having a 1st world govt that deserves its top salary.
If you look at the pattern of emigration, you can tell that these Singaporeans are not so smart. Their first mistake is to leave Singapore and their 2nd mistakes is to go to countries with societies that our leaders have been warning us about. It was reported by the Canadian govt that about 26,000 Singaporeans have applied for economic visa for PRs (+ family visa the number should be about 40,000) including applications to Australia, NZ, Britain, USA etc we are talking about more than a hundred thousand who have applied to leave, and every other person is thinking of leaving the country. ...and they like to go to countries where there is welfare, democracy, freedom, human rights and all the things that is not good for Singapore. Not only that, they are willing to pay the 20-30% income tax in those countries to support the system. It is obvious the people emigrating from Singapore are really not the smartest citizens, they seem unable to appreciate what our outstanding govt has done for them so they are heading for trouble.

Looks like the PAP isn't going to do much about people leaving. I guess they have done their utmost to explain why people should stay put and have more children- but if people still want to leave, there is little the govt can do. What the PAP has done to solve the problem of Singaporeans not willing to have children and leaving Singapore is to import people from Vietnam, China and India to make up for the loss. It is not too hard to convince someone from Vietnam where the people earn less than half the wages in China that coming here will improve their economy well being tremendously. Ready made citizens from Vietnam will save the govt a lot in terms of incentives they have to give to highly stressed Singaporeans to have more children.


Anonymous said...

Several hundred thousands leaving Singapore! Where did u get that figure?

LuckySingaporean said...

I mean to say applied for PR or citizenship in other countries.

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck in Singapore because of my parents. Once they are gone, it it will be my turn to say bye bye Singapore.

There is no ways one can vote the present gahment out legally unless the following measures are implementated before the next GE
1) restrict GRC to 3-4 MPs.
2) lower the election deposit.
3) stop gerrymander.
4) equal press coverage for all political parties.
5) increase the no. of single ward MP.
6) restrict the use of defamation lsw against opposition parties.

Onlooker said...

I'm still waiting for my friends to come back.But the some of the positions are filled up by "degree holders around 5000 to 15000 rupee a degree".It is a headache to support them and there should be a minimum standard.
And for them paying back CPF and NS penalty is not helping.
These two policy mean that they (esp NS for guys) can't have a change of heart and come back.
That's also why those who came back are usually female(cpf only).
That also why I can't understand (not really) why the British pianist Melvyn Tan the musician is kena fined for attending his parent wake.(Perhaps he is the goose who is killed as a warning to the other goose)
Some stay to avoid that heartache (are 2->infinity generation Singaporeans so hated by our "non Complacent" gov).
But given that the media is so pro estblmnt and imports. I think exports will increase.
EG: One do not expect to see so many PR C actors and presenters in local programs at least not everyday during prime time(movies excluded).

Anonymous said...

The rule for couples with a male offspring is to leave before the boy registers for an identity card (11+), or as what the PAP gahmen has deemed, to have reap the benefits(?) of citizenship :D

So anyway, if your wife or husband is a loafer with your new found freedom in pasture greener, it may be easy to pay a visit during term break, they can also submit their child to the excellent education of Singapore by offer of MOE's scheme for 'Returning Singaporean', see that your child will complain to you that 'Recess' isn't 'playtime' but 'Lunchtime'

Then again, would allowing all those alien western ideology preset be able to lift one's happiness in a dreary stifling crowded urban environment? Sometimes that is not the only reason.

But I would rank NS pretty high up there as a good reason to avoid taking up citizenship. Bloody waste of time it is.

And unfortunate are those who are unable to even try leaving for better or worst.

I quit said...

NS, first and foremost, is a PRINCIPLE.

It is a sacrifice made by citizens to uphold a principle - this is our country, we are willing to put in 10+ years of our lives to help defend our way of life and our values, against enemies who are out to usurp our way of life and our values.

This principle is no longer valid - our way of life and our values have already been eradicated by a traitor who sold the country to foreigners.

Therefore, no NS need be served.

One of the easiest way for your children to quit SG is simply to give birth to them in USA or Canada. 20 years later, just around the time when you want to get your CPF money, you can quit Singapore by getting your children to sponsor you to become America or Canadian
PR (and from there, it's a few more years to become citizens).

If you are past child-bearing age or don't want to have a child etc, go study overseas for a Masters using all your savings. Then get to work in that country using your new qualification, and get PR via employment (which will give you more points, or is the only way in "point-less" country, such as USA).

For a video version of the above ideas, see

Shitty Times is full of s**t said...

This morning (Monday, Jul 21) an article in Shitty Times by one Jonathan Eyal about how successful Singapore is and how the West picks on S'pore because of this "success".

Me wondering, if S'pore is really that successful as a country and society, as always claimed and praised to heaven by ST being the ruling party's propaganda machine; then WHY o WHY more and more local, true blue, born and bred Singaporeans are saying farewell to this "successful" country???

Must warn all my foreign friends to NEVER take up S'pore citizenship, as they will have to give it up again later in their life. If this is the way S'pore govt treats their born and bred people, who says they will treat foreigner-convert-to-citizen any better??

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I am one of those so-called "stayers" who opted to come back from Australia after my studies.

However, when I compare myself to those who are damned as "quitters" by opting not to come back, I found that virtually all of them are MUCH better off than me, even though they graduate with the same degree, grades and holding same jobs as me.

Can the gahmen or our beloved (and highly-paid) ministers explain that one to me? I would LOVE to hear their explanations.

In any case, I have applied (also most of everyone I know) for an overseas PR, hope to get out of this "FT friendly" place.

First thing I would do is to buy a SGD100K semi-detached with a seafront and a SGD40K Nissan Skyline. Can I get those here in Singapore for that price?

Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I believe most people leave for the sake of their children. This place is not conducive for raising children, unless you are rich enough to leave them something to fall back on. No problem for the elites.

Then there are the pressures of school registration, the pressure to excel otherwise you are condemmed, the cost of bringing up the child. And the biggest worry is whether your child will be able to afford to have a reasonable existence knowing that things like housing, education, transport etc are getting increasingly unaffordable.

Singaporeans may have suceeded economically, but they have lost out on the human side of life. Sucess in everything is measured in dollars and cents, not any other yardstick.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

its called freedom to choose. those that leave are exercising their vote (with their feet). You are welcomed to stay if u feel that this place is for you. Different strokes for different folks. Don't be mono-dimensional in how u evaluate a place. Low taxes shouldnt be a main consideration for staying here. Do not be so shallow as to measure everything by economic or monetary yardsticks.
lastly, I don't see why the term 'quitter' should have been used in the first place as his own daughter is married and living in the UK

The SS

Anonymous said...

Prof Ying may be leaving soon too even though she has been brought back by million dollars salary. The fact is that the culture here is also bullying her in certain way. Read the following link:
From Prof Ying's interview, it is not difficult to understand how this place works. Even the elites are having problems and leaving.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I missed a golden opportunity to work and lived in US. Now, in my fifties, I have regretted for coming back after being displaced by the "FT bring jobs" policy and ageism. Now all the doors have been closed for me and I still craved to leave this place.

NS for singaporean, jobs for FT. GST to help the poor. Workfare to encourage people to work. Increase workers salary can contribute to inflation ..... How much nonsense can you accept?

To all the youngers, singapore is a very small place, how far can you go in this island? The world is such a big place, do you want to live in this little well all your life? What about your children?

As one extraordinary million-dollar person have say, singapore must be make up of at least 30% of foreigners for it to survive. If this is not an early warning sign, then what is?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 10.36am,

You say that your quitter friends are much better off than you.

How so? whats your measurement of success? Do your friends themselves agree that they are better off than you?

i'm just trying to find out more what you mean when you compare yourself with your friends.


Anonymous said...

I am willing to pay high taxes for a more compassionate government.

I left Singapore for Australia thinking that I will enjoy a lower standard of living initially.

No hawker food, no late-night shopping and worse, no world-class entertainment!

And guess what? I have a really pleasant surprise ... I am able to live very comfortably with 1/4 of my previous income and I pay lesser taxes here, after all the government rebates and assistance.

And to top it off, my son actually enjoys his schooling and we have time to do so much more things over the weekends. It's like we have finally become humans again.

How I wished I had made the move much earlier .... still, I am grateful for everything Australia gives me. A new life again, one that looks at broader perspectives than just $$$

For all the singapore quitters, " way to go, mate!"

Lucky Tan, u shud make the move too.

Anonymous said...

took one year's no pay leave to "recce" NZ in 2002. Was prepared to go back to SG if kids or I were unhappy. So far so good - kids don't have to "slog" to keep up; daughter works part time with minimum wages and is in uni now. Very independent and confident. Son is enjoying school and CCA here - no stress ! And I'm working part time and getting 10% of what I earned in SG !! No maid, no hawker centres ...but u know what? I have time to smell the roses , make home made pasta ; do part time studies while working, help out in church, take walks on beaches other words ; having a much better quality of life ! So don't be sad for your friends...they'll be fine!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

count yourself LUCKY to be born and bred in this wonderful sunny little island where the government's ultimate goal was to help the poor...raise GST, give workfare, inisist no pay increase lest the poor will suffer inflation, build more ERPs to help business....UNIQUELY SINAGPORE....

Anonymous said...

So Lucky, what's your view on NS anyway?

Surely this esteemed nation build single-handedly by Lee Kuan Yew needs all the manpower it can get to protect and defend its sovereignty with the riches that came about from the divinely astute governance of the PAP.

Anonymous said...

NS is important for defending the COUNTRY. However, to fight and die for the COMPANY is another matter.

Alan Wong said...

The greatest joke, apart from the one relating to S$600,000 per peanut, must be why is our Gahmen welcoming "quitters" from other countries.

Isn't it ironical that not only we have to trade off for such quitters, we are also in fact trading for such people wich less quality so long as they can make up for the numbers ?

What's really become of our PAP leadership? Insn't it really amazing that they claimed themselves to have one of the best minds in the world to come up with such a quick solution without considering the consequences ?

Anonymous said...

I feel as if you're referring to one of my teachers that has left Singapore for NZ. I heard that life has been good for her there and that NZ needs a lot of teachers.

As a student myself, I feel that Singapore's education system is a little too much but the real slogging only starts when you take your A Levels. Other than that, it doesn't really matter at all. That's for now only though

The thing about Singapore is that we are the natural resource. Talk about increasing efficiency and productivity. All this through education. There is a limit to what a human can support and I am so sure that when the emerging superpowers "emerge", when more funding gets channeled to their education systems, we are sure to lose.

Singapore had a head start because these developing countries have other things to worry about now. But what will the situation be in about 2 decades? Will we be working 18/6 weeks? Who will be there to sweep our streets because all Singaporeans, educated and enjoying the hard work of our forefathers refuse to do so?

And what about global warming? 4 degrees Celsius and Singapore is gone. There is just THAT much to ponder.

Anonymous said...

I am pursuing a postgrad degree in NZ, one of the favourite emigration destinations for singaporeans.

I want to bring across the "heart" factor. Has anybody think about what it means to be a singaporean and to tell people, when asked, that we are from singapore. In my opinion, no matter how well integrated or well liked in another country, you will never considered be an Aussie, Kiwi or Brit etc. maybe in a few generations.

I am not a fan of PAP and have issues with alot of their policies but the PAP is NOT SINGAPORE!! Singapore is alot more...

Material and quality of life is important, very important in fact... but think about this seriously... Are we doing THAT BADLY in singapore? Are we STARVING or have ABSOLUTELY no time to take a walk on the beach?? Are the HDB flats that we live in REALLY THAT BAD???? In other words, is the push factors really that strong??

unlucky Tan said...

First of all, to the people who thought Lucky Tan is pro-PAP I think you misread his sarcasm...

Stay or leave is entirely up to individuals. No need to seek confirmation or conformation.

Only those who have had the luxury of hindsight, i.e has emigrated or moved but came back regretting it, will know the true pros and cons. Singaporeans who have not done it themselves, just sitting here in this little red dot thinking its all nice and dandy here, is but unqualified comments.

Elisha said...

I am just wondering if you have latest update regarding Singapore citizenship...

My cousin is 20 years old and is offered a work once he graduate from the Uni by one of the national company in Singapore. The condition is, he needs to become the citizen and he is granted the citizenship.

The question is should he accept that? Will he go for national service?


Rendall said...

I find that your article seem quite bias. I guess there are many reason on people lea-ving.

Environment is a big pull factor. I

-Job Prospect

-Education Sytem (Other uni are taking in student readily but to NUS or NTU, jc seem to be core cause Alevel is purely nth w/o a degree)

People leave and go. Cause they are doing better in another country. Is this call a quitter. No. Some dont do well so they came back, are they quitter too. NO, cause they tried.

NS, protecting nation, we all be through there, lets admit, how many of us are really that willing to do that. In this world nowadays, its all about climbing to the top. I'm gonna complete NS at age 22 when I looked at my peers, there are a degree holder at age 19. Think about that.

I'm one who may be leaving too. So I guess only those who been there, tried life in other country, can really give their comment.

End of the day, everyone chooses their own life my friend. :)

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