It depends on how you define slaves. Economic slaves? Slaves of the rat-race.
Anyway India is the worst:
It depends on how you define slaves. Economic slaves? Slaves of the rat-race.
Anyway India is the worst:
I was profoundly sadden as a fellow Chinese when Hong Kong Chief executive Leong Chun Ying made the following statement about the current political system:
“you look at the meaning of the words ‘broadly representative,’ it’s not numeric representation.”
“You have to take care of all the sectors in Hong Kong as much as you can,”
“and if it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month.”
“Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies,”
When he classified the people who baked his bread, grew his rice and built his house, as arseholes who earn less than $1800 a month, he became a disgrace to humanity. When he implied that the policies and polities which the poor advocated are bad, I am sure god won’t forgive him. I’m not a Hong Kong citizen but I feel for the aspiring young individuals who participated in the Occupy Central protests.
As I reflected on his speech and the current situation we have in Singapore, I feel we are worse off. At least they have media freedom, and even though we have independence, Singaporeans are slaves of the unyielding rat race. We have become daft and easily manipulated. Then, I reflected on myself as a Chinese: What’s the difference between PRCs, Taiwanese, Hong Kongers and Singaporean Chinese? Why aren’t we helping each other? Independence is not a problem, is it? The people in Scotland were capable of deciding their own fate and leaders were ok to grant them independence referendums. Why can’t the Chinese leaders be mature about it and let their people decide? Why are they so fucking greedy?
Then I searched the web, how many independent countries are there where the Chinese controls the government. There are 3. Actually only 2 if you consider Taiwan not a truly independent country. We are only left with Singapore and China. Thanks to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore was a miracle. Or is it???
My wise uncle once told me:
“We Chinese were made for slaves, our ideals and culture made us like that. Since time in memorial, we have always been ruled by emperors. Democracy is alien, Confucius is ancient, Marxism is dead and Communism is just a dream. Now, your government preaches Capitalism: Greed is the new capital. Kid, what can you see at the end of Capitalism? A perfect society? Kid, the Chinese race is addicted to Capitalism, we will probably go extinct in a few more generations.”
“Believe me, the signs are there… your government cares not one bit for you and immigration delivers cheap labour for the rich. They are rich, filthy and hoping you emigrate or die soon.”
I didn’t believe that we were born for slavery. I told him that the internet and education have made the new generations more socially conscious and politically aware. We have people who are rising up with plenty of support online and offline, soon.
“Haven’t you seen the number of people who attended the Workers’ Party rallies?” I asked.
“Kid, one day you will realize, its the rich who conjure power. Money talks now, haven’t you understood what I’ve just said? Your ’老李‘ (Old Lee) once advocated all the good stuff for the people. Then, only some got rich and he poured scorn on the ‘useless’ rest-of-the-population. I’m sure you read his books. Have you seen his statement advocating ‘good educated’ genes? (Heh, I remembered Hitler once said that!) Money genes have gone to his head. Diversity, justice and social equality? Did the national pledge you recite everyday bring real justice and equality? Or did it make you remember it by hard and say it just for the sake of it? and the meaning forgotten?
I am sure my uncle had lost all his hopes on the opposition. By the way, he used to be a PAP supporter and always said “Lee Kuan Yew is ruthless, he is right to jail dissenters because without him, Singapore is nothing! We Chinese are proud of him. Talk about welfare, you weaklings only talk about welfare.”
It was not until a few years back when he began to read more international news and got more western influences from the internet when his stance started to change. The last straw was when I showed him raw facts written by our minister stating that foreigners are preferred in our public universities and there were only 20-30% Singaporeans enrolled there in 2010. His Children couldn’t get into a local public university and he had to fork out money to send them to Australia. When he first visited his daughter for her graduation there, he admitted that life was much better there. He said “WE SHOULD EMIGRATE FOR A BETTER LIFE”.
He only realized he was daft and silly when he retired. He had to come out of retirement to fund his children’s university education. He has 4 children, 2 already graduated, 2 more to go.
Are your parents, uncles, aunts and friends daft and stubborn? Do they know what is government transparency and accountability? How much tax reserves have been collected and how much have been lost? How much have they spent on future generations and welfare? Do they even know what is welfare, the true notion of tax? Singaporeans, I urge you to help yourselves by educating them.
I shall leave you with 2 quotes from Tyson Neil deGrasse:
“No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.”
“To be scientifically literate is to empower yourself to know when someone else is full of shit.”
Recently, a few young aspiring individuals wrote to me, seeking advice. I am sad for the because some are genuinely struggling from the rat race. Then I have this Jieqin, who is pondering alot in NS. He wrote to me seeking answers (below). I hope he find success soon.
I have been pondering how I should advice you. If I answer you directly or in my usual way, I don’t know if you would understand why I advised that way. I was at your age before, dreaded NS and believed that you have been exploited. As was I. But I realized the best answers have to come from within, within your lively soul.
Are you a book reader? During my lonely NS times, I read a hell lot of self-improvement books. Time pass much faster and you grow up better.
1. All you had was an education in Singapore. Majority of your friends are Singaporeans am I right to say?
How big is Singapore compared to the size of Earth, Australia, USA or Malaysia?
What kind of things you want to do before you are 30? For me, I wanted to live overseas and get a masters degree. My dreams were conceived when I was 19, in the army. Even though I had a successful career later, with some good savings, I spent all of them for the education I wanted, never looked back and loved every minute of it.
2. Yes. Check skillselect, the points you get for having an aussie degree(+5 points).
You need mentors.
Look at the skill occupant list… Some offer permanent residence after degree completion. Work visa is nothing compared to permanent residence. Job wise, a PR is considered before anyone with a work visa.
Your answer to qn 2: yes.
3. They want proven skills. Do you or will you have it? How can you get one? You may have to start from the bottom, anywhere. Never give up.
4. Refer to 2.
5. Work life balance generally better. But it depends on who is your employer. I can’t advice if Melbourne or Brisbane is better. Go where your job takes you.
6. Of course. Apply exit permit, state overseas employment, most likely they won’t call you up. But it depends how intensive your NS vocation is.
Lastly, always ask yourself these questions whenever you are sad or worried:
1. Am I a good man?
2. Can I do something good for others? Or have I done something good for them?
3. How do people rate me as a person? Am I honest?
4. Am I rude? Selfish? Bad?
5. Do I like what I am doing? Will I regret it?
Build confidence. All the best.
Thank you and best regards,
> On 21 Oct, 2014, at 4:38 pm, Jieqin <> wrote:
> Hi there,
> I randomly found your blog via Google Search when I was researching about life in Australia. Seems like you’ve moved to Australia only just last year.
> You see, I’m currently serving the NS and is intending to migrate over to Australia, but I had a few questions that I wish you would know the answers to.
> 1) Would taking up a degree in Australia give me a better chance of getting a visa and landing a job in Australia compared to getting a degree from Singapore (Digipen, SIT)?
> 2) You mentioned in one of your posts that you had to have a visa in order to even apply for a job in Australia. I take it that you’re referring to a work visa.
> My circumstance is very different. If I were to finish my degree in Singapore, would I be able to apply for a Working Visa before having any prior working experience in the field I am pursuing?
> 3) The job I’m trying to land myself in is Software Engineer. It’s listed as one of the Australia’s required skills. I’ve been searching through the job indexes from websites like SEEK. But all the listed jobs requires candidates to have at least years of knowledge.
> My question is, how can anybody find a job without first landing in one?
> 4) I’ve seen the “Australia’s visa qualification test. One of the points requires candidates to have multiple years of experiences in the particular field”. Does it mean I have to work in Singapore for a good few years before moving over?
> 5) Is Melbourne or Brisbane more suitable for an IT Field. And in either city. Is the work life balance better than in Singapore?
> 6) Since after studying, I’ll be reaching my 30s. That means I’ll still have an odd 10 years before ROD-ing. If in any case, when MINDEF activates me and require me to get my ass back to Singapore for my reservist, will the Australian employer be pissed at it or even fire me over it?
> Thanks for looking through my questions and hopefully clarify some of my worries.
> Sent from my iPhone
I was back in singapore from Australia for 3 days during the Hari Raya festive period. For the record, I missed singapore, the food, friends and family. I always ask myself, am I a patriot? Will I return if Singapore needs me? How much have this little island changed?
Throughout my stay here, I am always reflecting and comparing the life here and on the other side. Not that I want to, but it came naturally.
As I arrived, I was immediately immersed in the brighter lights, increased number of shops in the terminal and sighting of large crowds. My wife was looking forward to a great shopping experience while I mentally ran through a list of local dishes I will be savoring: Chili crab, hokkien mee, frog porridge and bak kut teh etc. We were all smiles!
However, the worsening haze, warm and humid climate hit us on our Achilles heel: our 2 month old baby in tow. She was sweating and coughing a lot… We had to evacuate her indoors back with my parents who live here. My plan here is to get the mother and baby to stay in Singapore while I return to Australia 3 days later to continue my studies. My parents were desperate to see the baby. Luckily, the baby was better after some extended sleep and acclimatizing.
My mum encouraged us to hang out and leave the baby to her. We would be celebrating our 4th anniversary shopping and eating out at a buffet restaurant. For the record, none of the buffet restaurants in Brisbane offered half as much variety and tasted half as good as singapore’s buffet. It was cheaper too! I can’t say for other parts of Australia though.
Other than food, many fashion products for women here are relatively cheaper: I.e. Shoes, bags clothes etc. My wife loves Charles and Keith… A low cost differentiation strategy employed for fashion success. I won’t say that all things are comparably cheaper but the variety here was making her spoilt for choice…
And so it seems that I may have regretted migrating… Then lighting struck: Almost everyone looks frustrated, nobody is smiling, and many were plain rude to each other. Whenever I approached a counter staff for payment, I would usually greet them and smile at them just like what I did back in Australia. “Hello, how are you today?” And ending with “have a good day.”
Not that I have forgotten what’s ‘business as usual’ for most customer service experience here, I just want to maintain what I have learnt down under. Before I left Singapore, my attitude towards customer experience was ‘I am the customer, I am the king and I don’t have to be polite to any staff serving me. I expect service.’ It could just be me or typical of residents here.
Many were taken aback by my politeness and friendliness. Sometimes, I would engage in a friendly conversation with them. Some didn’t respond, avoided making eye contact or don’t give a fuck. For the record, I treat all nationalities I encountered the same: Filipinos, Chinese nationals, Singaporeans and Malaysians. Those who appreciated, were happy to serve me and gave very good customer service. For those who were receptive, it’s business as usual… Numb and immune to any stimuli. It is especially true for those who are lowly paid, over worked, serving long queues and constantly multi-tasking. Besides, there were plenty of customers who ‘expect service and acting like a big fuck.’
So who is guilty as charged? Singaporeans? Yes and no. Some of them deliberately display a fuck face when a ‘PRC, Pinoy or Vietnamese’ serve them. Similarly, my wife is a Vietnamese, and whenever she is being served by a Singaporean, Malaysian or sometimes a PRC, some would display a fuck face at her.
However, Singaporeans are not the worst of the lot. Most Singaporean young adults are reserved and unbiased. Throughout my stay here, almost all of the ugly scenes witnessed are tourists from China and a few Malaysian Chinese. I don’t want to go into details here but generally they are more demanding, less polite and likely to make negative comments on locals.
The problem is that the singapore society has been eroded beyond recognition. Do you remember in the 1990s and early 2000, Singaporeans are more relaxed, less frustrated, courteous, friendly and more conscious of our social and moral upbringing. I still remember the show Gotcha where earlier episodes were funny candid camera pranks while later ones focused on courteous and helpful social behaviour. The courteous Singa was prominently displayed everywhere promoting good social behaviour. Where’s all that now?
Nowadays, road rage is pretty common, nobody wants to give way and everyone is in a rush. I have experienced both and even been guilty of some antisocial behaviour before I so call ‘migrated’.
After 3 exhausting days in singapore, my positivity have somewhat drained. I have to reach inward, into my values, loyalty and beliefs to source for motivation.
Where are my roots now?
Now as I write this post, surrounded by caucasian strangers in the flight back to brisbane, I wonder when will our society crawl out of this propaganda sinkhole. Afterall, deep in my heart, I do yearn for a return. I am not a cacausian and haven’t live a cacausian lifestyle since young. May be my daughter will but I have my skepticism and reservations letting it happen. I realize I am spoilt for choice. Some yearn to leave but had no chance. For me, I am still torn between ‘leaving’ and ‘left’. But, who cares anyway???
For the record, not all Caucasians (living in Brisbane) are morally perfect or culturally advanced, some are worse, refusing to work and acting blatantly superior than ‘all other races.’ Generally, they are politically advanced compared to Singapore, a more socially cohesive and conscious community. That’s what I have learnt living here. Ironically, none of the educated ones acted like a bigot infront of me except for the few incapable and immoral PRCs who prefer to help ‘their kind’ and accusing me of being ‘UN-CHINESE-LIKE‘ for reporting their misdeeds to the academic faculty. They have no interests in learning but paying their way for a pass and hoping to get a PR in Australia. In the end, one of them dropped out of school because the ‘rich-man visa’ is available again from the Abbott government.
The great ‘economic’ leap forward… to ruins
What I wish our government should do to avoid slipping down the sinkhole is to get the people’s trust again through more transparency, less autocracy, cronyism and more welfare… My brother, a conservative and part of the 60.1% who voted for the PAP told me he would probably not vote for any party unless a credible opposition challenges his constituency. He said too much focus on the economy at the expense of our deep rooted social fabric will still eventually implode the whole economy. The recent Hong Kong occupy central movement can be a starting example.
Lastly, who can be a catalyst of change? Our current Prime minister? Absolutely no chance. I feel he still think Singaporeans are all daft and easily manipulated. Low Thia Kiang? I don’t know. Who else? When will our Ghandi or Obama appear? I am not against the government but indifferent to its self serving policies. We need a change, desperately.
Thank you for the great insights on inflation and our CPF rates. I spent all my savings from a fantastic banking sales career and some of my parent’s retirement savings on a masters degree in the University of Queensland. I have ‘migrated’ to Australia but my parents, younger brothers and friends are still ‘trapped’ in Singapore. My mum didn’t want to leave Singapore after spending a month here in Brisbane. (Too boring and no friends) I can’t help it but it seems that I will eventually have to go back to Singapore when I graduate for apparently ‘better opportunities.’
I hope to seek one career or life advice from you. My parents are old fashioned, they have been living in Singapore for most of their life and I have always rebelled. Eventually they listened and paid for my masters degree after witnessing my passion for work and being a good natured person. My plan was to move everyone to Australia and now the door is open but they were all reluctant. I was able to get permanent residence for my family and even citizenship for my child. But, I am facing the prospect of returning. Its not that bad returning but I owe my parents their retirement (money and comfortable retirement) in Singapore. I have a responsibility for my daughter, wife, parents and my younger brothers. Not only I am expected to be a good example to all, I have to be successful.
My mind never gives up but my body did complain a few times. I have to train more and be more healthy. Do I have a prospect in Singapore, Australia or anywhere?
Please review my education profile:
Bachelors Degree in Finance and Management (RMIT university)
Advanced Masters in Professional Accounting and Information Systems
Data and text Mining (SAS Enterprise Miner and Guide; Rapidminer etc)
Information Systems (IS) Analysis and Design (Object Oriented Approach with Enterprise Architect)
IS Audit and Control (using conventional tools as well as data mining tools)
Business Analysis and design tools and methods (Solver, What-if, scenario analysis, regression model)
Data Definition and Manipulation Language SQL (mySQL)
Credit Analysis (Banking with 4 year work experience)
Sales (With the skin and wit to do it)
I hope I look as impressive as possible, just not enough confidence amid the uncertainties. Who should I not work for?
Thank you for taking time reading my message.
P.s. I blog at https://cowpehcowbu.wordpress.com
and here’s my take on GIC, SGSS and CPF: https://cowpehcowbu.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/segregation-of-duties-required-our-cpf-temasek-gic-and-democracy/