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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Caning and Other unethical Punishments many years ago when you were a kid

Caning and Other unethical Punishments many years ago when you were a kid
I was lucky that my parents did not beat me in the way that crazy korean lady did to her own child. However, my brother and I were caned quite badly when we were very young as we misbehaved. We had scars and marks, and they bled sometimes. When my mum caned us, she had this rage on her face and when she whipped the rotan continuously on our hands and legs, we thought she had gone crazy!
For those born before or in the early 1990s, have you ever been caned by your parents or by teachers when you were just a kid or teenager?
Back in your school days, have you witnessed punishments meted out to students that were deemed unethical or illegal?

http://wp.me/p17iub-6E

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The government isn’t populist, what is a populist???

What the PAP really advocates:

During the 2011 general elections, most of the new PAP contestants made speeches about not being populist.

A populist is defined as:

A supporter of populism, a political philosophy urging social and political system change that favors “the people” over “the elites”, or favors the common people over the rich and wealthy business owners.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populist

So they favour the “elites” huh… not long ago, they said a degree is useless, you can’t eat it and Singaporeans are not ready for the internet and social media. Soon, they will tell you:

SINGAPORE ISN’T YOUR COUNTRY ANYMORE! PLS FARK OFF!

In the 1960s, if you are a communist, Cold storage is a good place to live. In the 1980s, if you are a Marxist, a spectrum of light is waiting at your doorstep waiting to perform an operation on you.

If you cowpeh cowbu about PAP’s CPF and soil their pants, O$P$… PAP will sue you till you drop your derisory pants. Roy Ngerng kena already. Who’s next?

(Btw, long long time ago, it was JB Jeyaratnam vs LauLee… they met in the Cul de Sac. LauLee brought a hatchet while Jeyaratnam used just only his bare hands. We all knew who won.)

If you are not rich and wealthy, the PAP supporters and trolls encourage you to migrate. If you are old and retired, please retire at JB or Batam, its cheaper. Don’t burden the PAP.

If you are poor, better work harder, be constantly paranoid about your lunch. Else, foreign talents will replace you.

If you are sick, don’t get sick, its better to die than get sick or you will burden your family with costly medical bills.

If you are vulnerable, physically or mentally challenged, PAP defined Singapore as a fair, not welfare society, its also a meritocratic society. So, go to work, get exploited, take the pity little money and be contented with it. Even if you are not born fair, that’s your problem.

If you are a low wage worker, aim to be cheaper, better and faster. What minimum salary? PAP actively promotes a wage ladder… you will see your salary increase soon enough, in 2 years.

If you are young, a student, unless you are rich or you belong to the top 20% of the entire cohort, better stop aiming for a degree. We can’t pay you and there is not enough jobs for you… unless you are a foreign talent.

If you are dead, Lim Chu Kang is full.
If you have relatives or ancestors buried in Bukit Brown or Lim Chu Kang, be prepared to be exhumed and moved elsewhere because the PAP is going to build houses for 6.9 million people. Where should we bury our dead then? That’s your problem.

Becareful what you wish for…

On hindsight, do you think we will ever get a prime minister who truly represents the people’s interest just like Jose Mujica, who donates 90% of his salary and declined to live in the opulent presidential palace or use its staff?

President Of Uruguay, Donates 90% Of Salary To Charity

FAT HOPE HUH??? However, we do have a prime minister who has the highest salary in the world and actively promotes capitalism and makes you think he really cares for you. Do you think GIC is acting in the people’s interests? Think about it, if another political party takes over the government, will they be able to control GIC, Temasek, law enforcements or even the statutory boards fill with PAP drones? The chances are slim. When a push becomes a shove, a coup d’état may actually happen. That’s the time when democracy goes down the drain. A strong opposition must have the power to control the military and police when they take power. Currently, I don’t see any of that happening.

Do you think the PAP government believes in democracy?

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 1): The good old Singapore

free-singapore-photos-wallpaper

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…

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/