The Best Migration Plan for Young Singaporeans

If you are planning to migrate to Australia, here’s some good advice before you strike it out:

Define

Ask yourselves these few fundamental questions and judge if you genuinely want to make such a commitment:

Why do you want to migrate?

  • Difference in values, religion or culture?
  • Work-life balance?
  • Education?
  • Family issues?
  • Securing you and your family’s future?

What do you want to do after migration?

Why migrate now and why not in x years? You can refer to my reasons for migrating here: https://cowpehcowbu.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/i-am-not-a-fucking-quitter/

By the way, I am sponsoring my parents as PRs here because the social safety net is much better. Here’s a sneak peak:

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Plan

How can I be eligible for migration? Download the instructions manual here: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1119.pdf

Mandatory tasks: To be eligible for skilled migration, you have to secure enough points under the Skillselect points system. Some skills get you some priority i.e. Accountants, nurses and plumbers etc (Refer to the SOL: http://www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/skilled-occupations-lists/sol.aspx) Fresh graduates may apply.

Second in priority, refer to the CSOL: http://www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/skilled-occupations-lists/csol.aspx (I got through under the CSOL)

Visas recommended:  subclass 189 or 190. There are lots of other permanent visas available depending on your circumstances. You can find it here: www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/Find-a-visa.aspx (Hint, select purpose: Work in Australia)

find a visa

Alternatively you can contact a local migration agent to recommend and plan with you. (Fees: $4000 – 8000) I was too busy with my work so I paid $4000 to Andrew Graham to do everything for me. http://www.graham-nguyen.com/

By the way, some migration agents in Singapore totally suck and/or expensive while some are unregistered. Check the register for prior complaints and price before engaging anyone of them: https://www.mara.gov.au/search-the-register-of-migration-agents/

Resources required: At the minimum, you need $10,000 – $11,000 to pay for application fees including the $4000 agent fee. Of course, you can do without the agent if you have the time and you do the correct things with the applications and assessment.

How much do I need to live in Australia? Well, it varies in different states and also depends on your housing and consumption requirements. I have written a few articles about it here,  here and here.

Family and spousal support: Well, what can I say, perhaps you may want to seek their blessings and support. I told my parents that I will ensure they don’t retire in JB’s or Batam’s old folks home. They will have two homes in Singapore and Australia. There’s alot of space and resources for them to retire happily. For my wife, I told her that she will have better pay jobs here and our baby will grow up happily in Australia, receive free education up till university.

Environmental adaptation analysis: I feel its important to survey the ground before you actually decide to settle at your desired location. I did mine. You may want to travel a few states before you decide on one. Check prices on food and lodging. Check if the environment is secure and check if there are jobs for you. Finally, evaluate your plan.

I didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when I migrated. However, I did expect to experience some adaptation issues and emotional hardship whilst settling down in Brisbane. I think my wife suffered the most after falling pregnant and had to quit her job here in Brisbane. Other than that, it was all smooth sailing and we had lots of surprises! Some people will warn you about being second class citizens here blah blah. Well, aren’t we already second class back in Singapore? By the way, we Singaporeans can assimilate better than other nationalities because of our language proficiency and some cultural similarities. Unconvinced, read this.

Implementation

Before you go, be sure to keep a checklist of things to pack and to do before you fly off. For example, how to quit your job? How to minimize your telco termination fees? Which bank accounts and credit cards to maintain? Get a power of attorney to handle financial, HDB and other matters while you are in Australia. Most importantly, get ready to live the Aussie lifestyle. I.e. They have longer and more holidays, and they like Alcohol. Its cheap here. Be prepared to buy in bulk for the week, learn to cook because Asian food here isn’t as good as what you find in Singapore.

As for me, my wife just given birth a couple of months ago. It cost nothing to give birth here, and we have other benefits like family tax benefit and monetary supplement (varies on circumstances), free dental and healthcare (for all of us) and free ante and post-natal classes, free house visits by midwives and free swimming lessons for baby. They even offered to sponsor my masters degree… but I told them I was graduating. Some say benefits in Singapore are still better… well then you should stay then.

As for my parents, they said they won’t be suitable living in Australia for the long term because all their friends and relatives live in Singapore and Malaysia. It would be very boring here. But they want to come and live for a couple of months, travel around Australia every year when they retire. They want to bring friends and relatives here to enjoy too!

Cowpeh

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Am I doing a good things? Am I a good person?

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.

Dear Jieqin,

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,

Cowpeh

> 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

Holidaying in Singapore (Part 2): The ugly side of economic prostitution

pc-1958-024

Social degradation

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.’

Hypocrisy

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.

Writing a letter to someone of wisdom for career and life advice: Chris K

http://2econdsight.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/the-govts-doubletalk-on-cpf-rates-of-return/

money and life

Dear Chris,

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?

filialpiety

Please review my education profile:

Bachelors Degree in Finance and Management (RMIT university)

Advanced Masters in Professional Accounting and Information Systems

Skills:

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.

Best Regards,

Cowpeh

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/

Comparing Singapore to Australia and Vietnam – Life and Career Prospects

Recently, we’ve welcomed a new member of our family at our new-found home in Australia. I began to wonder or think harder rather about our future: Are we REALLY STAYING here for good?

I am almost 30yrs old and almost completed my masters programme. I have had offers in Singapore, Vietnam and here in Australia. Of course, these offers didn’t come easy and there are some trade offs too. The bottom line is, I have been luckier than many who are still trapped in the ‘cocoon-like’ environment in Singapore. ‘Cocoon’ may be exaggerated but the recent causeway toll/fee hike and PM  Lee’s rally speech telling people having no degree can be a good/preferred life choice in Singapore, demonstrated the desire to head that path. Tell that to the PRCs’ parents who send their children overseas to study and they will tell you 95% of the Masters’ students in my course are PRCs, and good luck being the one without a degree compared to the sea of PRCs each with a masters degree. If you need more persuasion on whether to send your kids to university, please read what Prof Andersson (NTU president) has to say.

Anyway, I’m not in direct competition with those PRCs because I have some work experience and considered a PR here. The Aussie govt has a strict criteria on employing FTs. Most PRCs balik kampong within 6 months upon graduation. In Singapore, HR just have to wayang in jobsbank for 2 weeks to hire an FT. I am sure most Singaporeans are not daft to spot the ‘wayang’ and companies are not stupid enough to hire a citizen so that they don’t have to pay comparably more salary into the CPF and risk losing them to reservist. Till today, zero resolution from the gahmen.

Okay, let’s compare apple to apple:

Career prospects Singapore (as a citizen) Australia (as a PR) Vietnam (as an expat)
Sales

(Consumer level)

Or

Sales Management

Expect 6.9 million consumers and cheap credit. If you are good in sales, you will rise fast. On the whole, better than Australia and Vietnam.

However, competition is so high that if you don’t hit target in 3-6 months, goodbye.

Then again, I was a salesperson in SG and I know you don’t need a masters degree to do the job. Just be a people person. There’s a saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

Rating: 7 / 10

Unless you deal with property investment for PRCs, you don’t stand a chance against the locals (‘Angmohs’) here even though they are comparably less hard working. Angmoh customers discretely prefer Angmoh sales person. Then again, if you persevere long enough (in years) to master the trade and culture.

Labour relations are pro workers, so you don’t get fired easily.

Rating: 5 / 10

High / senior level only

Nobody will employ you as an expat to do a sale unless you are specialised in a trade. You become a consultant or senior manager instead for a B2B level jobscope. I am targeting for that kind of job. I’ve heard the starting payscale is 3-5k. The cost of living is low compared to Sg and Au and life as an expat there can be fantastic.

Rating: 6 / 10

Accounting and Finance

(Banks)

In Banking, you start as a sales person even as a degree holder, refer to sales above.

If you choose a non-sales job, it will be pretty much down to the need for such a skill you possess. From what I know, a lot of work has become automated. There is a need for customer service officers in the branches to cope with long queues of frustrated customers. Non-degree holders can apply.

On a higher level, a multi-skill specialist especially in IT, accounting and finance, I heard its good. How good? I don’t know for sure. Previously, I have witnessed a 7K starting pay for a PRC masters degree holder working for a foreign bank.

 

Aside from banks, other companies are hiring accountants aggressively. But to be CPA qualified, 5 years relevant experience is needed compared to 3 for the rest of the world.

Rating: 6.5 / 10

Credit is not cheap here. Don’t expect any career progression in Banking unless you obtain a CFA (very hard) or you work for the superannuation fund houses (Equivalent to our CPF but its transparent and privately owned).

 

If you are a trader, trade in Sg is way better than Au because you have capital gains tax and income taxes applied.

 

But if you get a job here, you have the much desired work-life balance, better pay compared to Sg and Vietnam and job security. I have a kid now so this may be a choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Many banks in Vietnam are not doing well; some are on the verge of collapse.

 

However, accounting firms and big companies require a lot of accountants and high-level specialists for the booming economy. This is one area I’m targeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rating: 6.5 / 10

Starting your own business Fuck no, unless you start a small time online retail business. But how far can you go?

 

Office rent: Sky high

Manpower: depend on FT lah.

What I mean here is that only if you have a lot of money to invest in an established franchise, you stand to gain.

 

As a low budget entrepreneur, flying kites may be a better life choice.

Rating: 3 / 10

Tax rate is comparatively higher.

 

If you are a one-man show and your trade is much desired, i.e. Plumber, Carpenter, Mechanic and repairer etc. Welcome to Australia, the land of opportunities.

 

If you are looking to invest in a franchise business here, you don’t get much sales compared to Sg.

 

Rating: 6.5 / 10

Vietnam is a booming economy. Labour is very cheap. Very good place to start and it can be better than China too. However, you must know you way around there.

 

I’m looking to start a business there in the next few years since I am well connected there.

 

 

 

 

Rating: 8 / 10

Other Aspects: Cost-of-Living etc.
Eating out A bowl of noodles: $3-7

 

Kopi: $0.90 – 1.5 depending on location.

 

Starbucks Grande ice-blended coffee:

$6.50

 

Food Variety: A lot… food heaven, anytime!

 

Food worth dying for:

Chilli crab – nobody does it better than sg.

Bak ku teh – uniquely sg

Frog porridge – love it!

And more…

 

Rating: 7 / 10

A bowl of noodles: $9-12 (you get larger serving) Sometimes they provide free tea and tissue.

 

Kopi: not available

 

Boutique style coffee:

$3.60-5 (Latte, flat white, etc)

 

Ice-blended: $6.50

 

Food Variety: no late night supper exists and not much variety compared to the other 2 countries.

 

Food worth dying for:

None… only Dominos pizza and Mc Donalds still open after 10pm.

Rating: 6 / 10

A bowl of noodles: $2 (city area)

 

Vietnamese coffee:

$0.50 (quality better than kopi)

 

Highland coffee: price comparable to Sg starbucks.

 

Food Variety: Freshness guaranteed, lots of Vietnamese variety and eat anywhere and any time!

 

Food worth dying for:

Vietnamese Escargots or snails

Pho

Vietnamese bread

And many more…

Rating: 9 / 10

Groceries

(Cooking at Home)

Source:

(On the Cheap)

NTUC, Sheng Siong, Shop N Save, wet markets etc. (mostly imported from China and Malaysia)

 

Budget for a family of 4: $200-300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rating: 6 / 10

Source:

(On the Cheap)

Asian food markets (comparatively cheaper than sg cheapest and better quality because its locally produced)

 

Their super markets such as coles and woolworths consist of a range of prices. In-house brands are dirt cheap, and way cheaper than sg but the others are priced higher and similar to sg’s Cold Storage.

 

Some stuff are cheaper here while some are more expensive compared to sg.

 

Budget for a family of 4: $200-300

Rating: 6 / 10

Source:

Wet Markets, Coop supermarket.

 

Budget for a family of 4:

$5-10 per day. $35 – 70 per week

 

Free grocery delivery services for purchases $20 and above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rating: 8 / 10

Public Healthcare Pay as you use, subsidies are gimmicks. Lack of hospital beds and facilities. Genuinely bad service unless you choose private care. There’s a saying, “In Singapore, its better to die than getting sick.”

 

90% of the FTs I know take Singapore as a stepping stone to other developed nations. The other 10% who are filthy rich want to stay here to take advantage of the economic conditions and tax benefits. However, many tell me that Singapore is not their home, simply because they have houses in many other countries or they are well established back home.

Rating: 4 / 10

Public healthcare is Free of charge and plenty of facilities available except for Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane is good, service is good. My wife just had a baby here, with epidurals, free midwives house visits for 12 months, free doctor consultation for children till 16 years old. Surprisingly, some medicines are cheaper compared to sg!!! This is one of the chief reasons why many foreigners are queuing up to migrate here and stay permanently.

 

 

 

Rating: 8 / 10

Filthy, corrupt and inadequate.

 

Rating: 1 / 10

Transport Public transport: Cheaper than Au but its crowded and you have nowhere to sit. Operates till midnight.

 

Taxis: Cheaper than Au, hard to find during peak hours.

Rating: 5 / 10

Public transport:

Some buses and trains operate till 5 or 6 pm while the high usage ones run till 11pm.

 

Taxis: Always available in city area or near city suburbs.

Rating: 5 / 10

Public transport:

Non-existent. Most people rely on own motor-cycles or taxis.

 

Taxis: Very Cheap and freely available. Main mode of transport for those w/o own vehicle.

Rating: 7 / 10 (because its cheap)

Motor vehicles 10 year ownership entitlement. Plenty of ERPs and parking charges everywhere. I don’t need to say more… world’s most expensive.

 

Rating: 1 / 10

In Sg 1 Toyota Camry = 4-5 Au Toyota Camry

 

My friend bought a 2003 Mitsubishi Magna (brother of Lancer) for equivalent SGD 3500 with 1 year road tax paid for.

 

The secondhand market is vibrant and very active. The quality of life shoots up with an ownership of a car.

Parking is expensive in the city but completely free elsewhere.

 

Rating: 7 / 10

Mopad or scooter is better than a car because there are too many of them around. Driving a car is not convenient in city areas.

 

Price range: $500-3000

The Vespa costs about $4000

 

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Houses in the Suburbs HDB: $300000 – $500000

(65sqm – 120sqm)*

 

Condominium: $500000-1.5 million (60sqm – 130sqm)

 

Landed: $1 million and above **

*Foreigners not eligible except for PRs subject to a 3 year waiting period.

** Foreigners were allowed to buy townhouses or landed in a condo area, but not anymore since the cooling measures.

 

Rating: 5 / 10

Depending on state and location:

(Semi-detached) Townhouses: $215000 – $400000 (300-400 sqm)

 

Landed and detached:

$215000 – $600000

(500 – 800 sqm)

 

Landed nearer to city:

$600000 – 2 million

(450 – 700 sqm)

Foreigners are only eligible for newly developed apartments and condominiums and can only sell back to locals.

Rating: 7 / 10

I have no idea. Foreign ownership is not permissible except for condominiums.

 

Note: My spouse is a Vietnamese so she can buy. In time to come we will buy 1 there and live there during the holidays or do some rent seeking activity.

 

Rating: 6 / 10

 

 

Shopping A heaven, but becoming more expensive compared to Hong Kong.

 

Rating: 6 / 10

Not many varieties and expensive.

 

Rating: 3 / 10

Cheap knock-offs available. Luxury shops are non-existent there.

I prefer to shop on the cheap while my wife likes the LVs and Pradas.

 

Rating: 6 / 10

Entertainment Night life: Very happening!

 

Alcohol: 2-3x Au price.

 

Rating: 8 / 10

 

Day activities:

RWS

Gardens by the bay

Frankly not much considering sg’s relatively small size. That’s why many travel overseas during holidays.

 

Rating: 5 / 10

 

Night life: So-so. I seldom chiong since I moved here but my friend Phil who clubs a lot loves it. He prefers Angmoh clubs because there are way more girls than guys and some girls like to dominate/manage smaller build Asian men. That’s a perception anyway.

The last time I’ve been there was quite funny. My wife and her colleagues were dancing wildly and surrounding them were very timid Angmoh dudes. I have to give them tips on how to pick up women. Lol. Its true.

And I was approached many times by gays. I always introduce them my wife standing beside me.

 

Alcohol price: S$5.5 for a Vodka orange.

 

Rating: 7 / 10

 

Day activities:

Lots of adventure trails, nature and outdoor fun!

Great Barrier reef, Flowers etc!

 

Rating: 8 / 10

Night life: never been to one. Heard its quite happening too…

 

Alcohol: super cheap.

 

Beer: $1

 

Rating: 8 / 10

 

Day activities:

A lot too! But Au is better.

 

Rating: 7 / 10

 

Government and stability Autocratic and Pro rich

Rating: 7 / 10

Democratic, inclusive and consultative

Rating: 8 / 10

Corrupted

Rating: 4 / 10

  Overall Rating 70.5 / 130 (C-) 84 /130 (B) 76 / 130 (C)

Assumptions:

  1. 30 year old Male
  2. Masters degree
  3. Specialised in Accounting, Finance and IT
  4. 3-5 years work experience
  5. Willing to work hard and take on most challenges thrust upon him.

 

 

 

 

The Racist and Ugly “富二代”(rich 2nd generation) PRCs

1

As a mature masters student one of the top aussie university, I was appalled by the behaviour of some PRC course mates. Not all of course but the few who have really embarrassed their fellow countrymen and as well the school for accepting them. For the record, my best friends here are PRCs. Even they told me these so called “富二代” (rich 2nd generation) are a big disgrace. In my course, 90% are PRCs and all of them are 24 years old and below. It is understandable that some may not be mature enough, mindset wise. I was no different when I was 24 but not to this extent:

We had this group project to design an Information system. We had 3 PRCs, 1 Vietnamese and me, the Singaporean in the same group. I joined the group late so took the backseat letting the Vietnamese dictate leadership and tasks. My role during discussion was to translate the English spoken to mandarin and replies back to english. I believe their English was below the standard of a primary 6 student. Soon, discussion descended into disagreements, then arguments and finally hatred. I had to take over, mediate and reallocate tasks. I had prior management experience so they elected I take over. I told everyone I was going to be unbiased and aiming to finish the work as priority instead. All agreed and were very happy that I could make huge progress in the work done. However, there was this PRC “富二代” who contributed very little, lay blame on the Vietnamese for being unreasonable (eb=ven after he was no longer in charge and they never talked)  and gave all sorts of reasons for missing discussion or being late and leaving within 30 minutes. The reasons:

1. For avoiding tasks: I gotta propose to my wife again. Even though I got married in China, we’re not married here yet. I got the whole cinema booked for this event.

2. For being late (for 5 hours): Project work started at 3pm, he arrived at 8pm claiming bad traffic and had to observe a restaurant business because his family is interested in buying it. Left as soon as I entrusted him with a small task.

3. For being absent: He claimed his father-in-law came and he had to bring him around for leisure activities like fishing trips and buying cars.

4. For his substandard work: he claimed he followed exact instructions and just did what was told. I.e. I told him which page to look out for the template for help. So he simply copied the template wholesale w/o any relation to the work and submitted in 5 minutes. Then I knew he was useless, but not before entrusting him to a few more tasks which similar things happened.

Initially I wanted to report him to the lecturer for contributing nothing but he pleaded me and tried his best to carry my balls like calling me (in mandarin):

“big brother”

“you should help me as a big brother”

“little brother don’t know much, only know how to cling on to your leg, you must not neglect me”

And then this, “WE ARE ALL HAN CHINESE, WE SHOULD HELP OUR OWN RACE INSTEAD OF SIDING THE VIETNAMESE”

That is categorically racist. I didn’t expect him to say that knowing full well that my wife is a Vietnamese. I was really offended. Nobody should make that kind of statement especially in Australia, which could be criminal.

He made no apologies for his comments and claimed his personal stuff was important and that we must accommodate him. There was more…

I realized the situation was out of my hands when the other 2 PRCs surprisingly decided to defend him after I decided to report him to the lecturer. They said I should keep quiet, not make things ugly and sour our friendship. Normally, I would have closed both eyes but the Vietnamese was not agreeable and that “富二代” PRC began insulting me, my intelligence, and claimed we were no longer friends because he said I wasted everybody’s study time. Luckily I had experience in conflict management and avoided any retaliation or getting angry. He even suggested we should see the lecturer instead and resolve the problem (because he thought the lecturer would understand and side him). I agreed.

The Grand Finale:

During the meet up with the Lecturer, I showed everyone a printout of what he had done. Even he agreed the few pieces of “rubbish work” was exactly what he had done. Based on contribution itself, the lecturer said he deserve nothing but he claimed that the Vietnamese fucked him up by assigning him no tasks, never keep him in the loop and could not communicate with him. When I said I took over later to assign tasks and accommodated him, he said I gave him the most difficult tasks of all. For that task which we submitted as his work, we got zero, even after his PRC mates edited and made it relevant to our project. The lecturer realized that he copied wholesale from the lecture and workshop slides with no changes. Shockingly, he was unapologetic and said “I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE COURSE. THIS IS A SMALL MATTER AND YET THEY WANT TO BRING IT UP. I HAVE NO TIME FOR THE PROJECT AND YOU MUST UNDERSTAND I HAVE SO MANY OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO. I HAVE TO GET MARRIED, TAKE MY FATHER-IN-LAW FOR CRUISE, BUY MANY THINGS. WE BOUGHT AN AUDI AND A RESTAURANT NEARBY.”

He took out his car keys and showed he had 2 different car keys, seemingly to prove he really did buy the car. Then he started making accusations again:

“I TRIED TO DO THE PROJECT BUT THIS VIETNAMESE KEEP SAYING I DO THE WRONG THINGS. HE IS A BAD LEADER. AND THIS GUY (me)VERY SELFISH AND DID NOT HELP ME. I KEEP ASKING WHAT I HAVE TO DO AND THEY NEVER GIVE ME ANYTHING TO DO. I KNOW I DIDN’T DO MUCH BUT IF YOU WANT TO CUT MY MARKS I CAN ONLY GIVE UP 2% AND MY FRIENDS SHOULD GET IT.”

I could see the lecturer in a state of shock, speechless and clearly offended.  Later the PRC claimed he will never accept more than 2% cut or he will complaint (to the dean). Whoa!!! He really got the balls, really!

In the end, he got his wish… 2% cut on his project mark because of the communication problems from me and the Vietnamese. It was an eye opener for me and I couldn’t believe that the lecturer gave in. I was disappointed but later on a separate occasion, lecturer told me he was clearly offended by the PRC’s remarks and that his behaviour will mostly likely go against him in future. He said judging by his knowledge of the course, it may be difficult for him for the final exam. A valuable lesson for us anyway…

So was there justice after all? Oh yes definitely…

The Singaporean Pride: Cowpeh Cowbu!

Having spent 8 months in Brisbane, I must admit I miss Singapore food, the variety and the familiarity.
Other than that, I still prefer Brisbane.

Come Lunar New Year, I will be back in Singapore for 10 days… to visit my parents and shop!

The shitty feeling of claustrophobia, MRT squeezing and the fast-paced lifestyle healed during my 8 months overseas. Now I am coming back to re-embrace it again… just for a while. I really don’t know how am I going to react or feel about it.

But there is something I want to address, that is “The Singaporean Pride”

Steph Micayle in her youtube video wasn’t proud at all.

She is a brave one but I believe she was reckless too. However, when I was a 21 year old, was I any better?

If the video was released back in the early 1990’s or 2000. Lee Kuan Yew would have unleash the hatchet on her.

Am I proud to be a Singaporean?

Yes of course! I think some of those who aren’t could have self-esteem or personal issues. But the question is…

Am I proud of Singapore?

Frankly, not really. That’s normal actually… ask any foreigner whether they are proud of their own country? Many would would claim a NO and complain on some issues!

My best friend here, Phil, is from China. “Phil, are you proud of China?”

Phil: “I am proud of China, the emerging super power… but the government… not really, the corruption and all… can’t help it. There’s 1.4 billion Chinese and so many things to govern, time will tell.”

I asked the same question with Abu, a Bangladeshi PHD student, he said “Bangladesh has its own issues and in some ways we aren’t that advanced compared to Australia…”

Raj, the Indian who migrated to Australia said, “There is no progress or development in India, the people talk too much… some really bullshit. In every development plan, there is opposition. One would quote a law made in the 1940s to prevent any action taken, look at the rape issue, its getting worse isn’t it? Democracy isn’t working here, we should be controlled more!”

He said that in response to my comment on how Singapore is tightly controlled especially the media.

The Australians too babbled about medicare, pension, the government, just like us, err… just that we have zero benefits. As the saying goes “Don’t have, complain, have also complain, essence of Cowpeh Cowbu!”

So aren’t we better off huh???????? Again not really! So what’s our problem???

We all know we have an immigration influx problem, rich-poor gap, government-people disconnect, legal corruption and media bias. But, I am still a proud Singaporean. Look, many Singaporeans are well sought after in the job market overseas compared to other nationalities like India and China.

In general, we are better English speakers, with better etiquette, character and way more hardworking than many other nationalities. Wherever I go, in Australia, I impress the locals alot. Most locals have good impression of Singaporeans. Those who are unaware not because we are incapable, its because there are very few who dare venture out overseas for greener pastures.

Talking about creativity, resourcefulness, organization skills or ability, we DO NOT lose out to anybody intrinsically. The people are generally well-educated and well-skilled, just that opportunities in Singapore are too scarce and the government isn’t helping. In my university in Brisbane, ask any academic staff or student, most will say the Singapore students society is the biggest and the most organized society.

Its a fucking shame that we have to resort to foreign talents to buy an Olympic medal, I feel zero pride in that. Is that Li Jiawei still living in Singapore or already balik kampong back to Beijing? Our official media is keeping mum on that one. On the other hand, we have our very own local SEA games winner having zero financial support for their development… 

Then there is worse… aren’t we proud of our own local academic talents? Judging that we have the best education system as claimed by the government? Then why do they have to spend $400 million of our taxpayers’ monies on children of foreigners who have never contributed to our community? Besides, how many of these talents fuck off after bond completion? How many of them call Singapore home now? I can imagine how much the $400 million can do for OUR students, OUR citizens!

I know for sure one thing that will occur is that some elites who will be losing the electorate come 2016, will migrate overseas along with their money. Deep in their hearts, I know for sure, their shame cannot be contained by their inflated egos. “Okay, I’ve lost. Since you think you are better, you can have the shitty job of governing, the private sector overseas is far better for me anyway.” Poof, off they go. A fine example is the PAP Aljunied team who have lost to WP in 2011.

Those taking over will definitely be smitten by the rich for business concessions. Then, perhaps some problems won’t be resolved. I suspect more problems may occur, like opening a can of worms. Many of the ministries are housed by loyal PAP cahoots, so when a takeover happens, you bet shit happens.

Anyway what makes me so sure the opposition will win? You know there isn’t any cohesion among opposition themselves. Perhaps, the WP will join with the PAP to form the next government…. Then WP will really die at the PAP’s hands.

“Cowpeh Cowbu Cowpeh Cowbu… KNN talk so much, then you come back, join a political party and make the change lah” some of you readers may say that to me. “You think so easy meh, all you know is Cowpeh Cowbu only, go fly kite lah”

Well perhaps I should go back to Brisbane and fly my kite there… I merely pointed out the obvious. Cowpeh Cowbu is just Cowpeh Cowbu, love doing it!