Readers' Submissions

The Singapore Option – Opposed

  • Written by Anonymous
  • April 2nd, 2007
  • 4 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

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Hello Stickman and fellow readers, these are my feelings towards Anonymous's submission of The Singapore Option.

As a Singaporean Chinese and in my 20's, I can vouch for most of the things that he said were in fact true and accurate, although some of things he briefly mentioned (totalitarian government et cetera were downplayed).

Having lived here for most my life, I'd strongly recommend that Singapore is a good place for you to raise kids, list as a reference on your resume and retire.

However, Singapore is not the place for you to have fun. In fact, far from it.

High-strung bourgeoisie classes of Chinese native immigrants and Western expatriates drive up the cost of living; heavily taxed alcohol and cigarette imports seriously has an impact on one's entertainment budget.

Singapore, contrary to popular deception, does not have a world-renowned nightlife scene. Sure, it has the infrastructure but it does not have the atmosphere most European Union countries have. For the exorbitant (and ever rising) costs involved, you'd be better off in your own home country and if you feel the need for Oriental chicks, there's always Chinatown.

Forget about hooking up with Oriental chicks here unless you have lots of cash and can tolerate their artificiality.

Singapore is overrated. If you want good nightlife and great women, there is one place in the world where no country can beat and for the price you were considering parting in Singapore; it's about the same or cheaper: Amsterdam.

I'd think of Amsterdam as a European Bangkok… although the only difference between the two is that everything is more expensive but at least it's legalized. No need for 'tea money'.

Politically stability in Singapore is a euphemism for the totalitarian state that Singapore is where no opposition parties are tolerated or taken seriously by anyone.

In fact, whatever you do, don't mess with the Government. If you were to refer to Amnesty International's annual rankings and support, you'd find that Singapore is behind several third-world countries like Pakistan and Iran for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech.

Using the anonymity and vastness of the Internet as a cover, I'd feel secure in revealing to readers a couple of ugly truths and facts behind the stale, clinical cleanliness of Singapore.

The 'safety' and 'security' one feels the moment you walk along the streets at night are paid with the freedoms of 3.5 million Singaporeans.

Political opposition group leaders in the past have all been bankrupted and jailed. A branch of the police force, known as the Internal Security Department (Singapore's Secret Police) are empowered to imprison at their whim and fancy whoever they deem fit without trial.

A certain political party has dominated Parliament House for the past 40 years. The current Prime Minister is actually the son of the Senior Minister (a.k.a. The Tsar).

What Anonymous said about the Chinese not giving a damn would apply mostly only to the older generation of Chinese businessman. The political apathy seen by most youths have been instilled by a nationalized education system where even World History textbooks make reference to Singapore and compare its alleged superiority to Western Nations.

A growing number of politically-dissented youths and professionals are keeping quiet for obvious concerns over their careers, lives and family should their political stance be known to others. These are the few (albeit growing) number of Singaporeans who will do their time, working like a dog and then immigrate to some place else.

To base my claims, Singapore has a Net Migration Rate of 10.3% of the total population. That's a staggering statistic and has been consistent throughout the years. Comparing with the United States with a rate of 2.18%, you can't say it's the high prices driving these natives out. Http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=sn&v=27

What's so wrong with Singapore, ultimately? Everything's on a surface level. The cleanliness, the security, the economy.

It's merely a Cardboard America where the general populace would dutifully munch on their popcorn whilst watching Hollywood Blockbusters, teenagers don their Nikes and toddlers go off to Macdonald's with their parents for breakfast.

Where's the political dissent? Where's the freedom of speech? Where are those basic human rights?

Gone. Paid for in exchange for the influx of foreign investments, totalitarian government's promise to 'take care' of its citizens and its global image.

Think about all those things. Singapore might either be paradise or Eisenhower's Boot Camp for you.

Having lived here almost all my life, personally I'd tell you I can't wait for my overseas job assignment next year in Zurich. I just can't wait to get my working visa finalized and then work my way up to becoming a naturalized citizen there.

I won't miss SinghaBore a bit. It's a great place to visit and travel, I'm sure… but that's not the same as living in it for some time. After a while, the sterility of how everything is planned and controlled will get on your nerves and then back to reality when you realize; everything's only clean on a the surface.

Stickman's thoughts:

That's a really interesting perspective. An Englishman I know who worked there for many years said he liked it initially, but slowly his viewpoint became similar to yours.