Singapore – Why I Will Probably Never Leave
I would like to add my views on Singapore – I have been a regular traveler to Singapore for 20 years now, first visiting when I was 17. I have now lived here for 4 years. I have also lived in Bangkok for 2 years.
To summarize Singapore would be to say:
* Singapore is a western standard city – it is clean, safe, efficient, with western standard accommodation & venues.
* The lifestyle living in a condo with all the facilities is superior to a house-and-garden and all the work involved in a western country any day! 'They' talk about the great Australian lifestyle – the irony is that the great lifestyle is HERE.
For the professional you will be pleased to know that:
* Tax rates are very low. The top marginal tax rate is 17%, and that is only for those earnings in excess of SGD$160K.
* You have the ability to earn way more than in western countries (and that is in gross salary terms!). Low tax is the cream on the cake.
* And the last bit of 'cream' is the bonus system that will see you getting another 3 or 4 months salary.
* In the working environment you will be pleasantly surprised to find:
* The people are wonderful and the working environment is cohesive, supportive, and friendly.
* The sense of teamwork and the dedication of staff is refreshing after struggling with managing difficult people in the West.
Other life-style related points include:
* A perrrrrfect climate <This I would disagree with. It's too humid and you have even less feeling of the different seasons than you do in Thailand – Stick>
* The best food in Asia (in my opinion the Singapore hawker food has a variety not available anywhere else in Asia)
* Living here can be cheap mostly. There are some exceptions such as fine dining and drinking out.
* Oh, and not lets forget some other key aspects:
* Wonderful woman all round (and the occasional fat ugly farang pooying on holiday, just to remind you how DAMN BLOODY GOOD the local women are).
* You do not have the PC bullshit here as noted by KK's submission on 26/2/08.
Foreigner Rights. As a Singapore PR:
* You can buy property.
* You have all the same rights as a Singapore citizen (although recently the government has moved to slightly differentiate between visitors, PRs and citizens when it comes to medical care).
* You have the political stability that countries like Thailand do not have.
* You have a country that is very investor-friendly and with the upcoming projects in Singapore (Integrated Resort, Formula 1, 2010 Olympics awarded to Singapore), the growth for Singapore looks better than probably anywhere else in the world right now. As a PR, like the citizens, you can invest and benefit from the tremendous growth here.
For me, financially, what the above has meant in my 4-years here is that:
* I have made a lot of money. My wealth has increased more in 4 years in Singapore than during 20 years in the West.
* I bought my Singapore condo in 2006. It has increased in value by 50%.
For me, personally, what the above means is that Singapore is home. I am treated as an equal. This is not true of Thailand nor is it true of the West, where it is a virtual crime to be a white male in the PC bullshit environment that exists nowadays.
But in Singapore I am an equal. I have a sense of belonging here that I have found nowhere else. I have also taken Village Kwai's advice – good advice – and I understand some Mandarin. This has only served to enhance my sense of belonging. It is a bit ironic to have such a sense of belonging in what is meant to be a foreign country – but it is the reality.
I do also love Thailand, make no mistake. My wife is Thai. I am sure in retirement Thailand will feature significantly. But in Thailand I cannot own my own property. In spite of having a Thai wife, I would not be able to get PR (note Singapore gave my Thai wife PR, no problems). I do not have the same rights as a Thai. While I continue to work in a professional career, there is no point in being in Thailand. I would never earn anywhere close to what I earn in Singapore.
I really do not understand where people such as Village Kwai in his submission of 28/2/08 get their negativity about Singapore from. He seems to take issue with things such as the Ferris Wheel and the Grand Prix as if though they are somehow problems! It is things like this that keeps Singapore thriving and growing.
These things said, Singapore is not perfect and many view the government as too dictatorial in style. I agree there is some truth to these points – but you have to look at the other side of the coin and see what a tremendous place Singapore has become and the wealth, along with the lifestyle, that its people now enjoy (especially compared to 40 years ago). The downsides to Singapore really are quite insignificant when you consider, for example, the practicalities of staying in Thailand long term – and of course the other alternative – moving back to the West – never ever ever ever in this lifetime! I will go and jump off a Pattaya balcony before returning to the West to live!
For me, moving to Singapore is the best decision I have made in my life. Without a doubt – that is not an exaggeration!
When I first came here I saw Singapore as a bit of an adventure – an opportunity to be in Asia for a while – and of course the other big advantage not mentioned above is that it is only 2 hours from the fun capital of Asia. But at this juncture, I really do not see me ever leaving. Instead of selling my condo in Singapore and keeping a property in the West when I retire, I have already decided to sell in the West and keep my base here.
I am in great debt to two key people that provided me the opportunity to move here, and to the wonderful people of Singapore for their support, friendliness, openness, and sincerity that has allowed me to consider this wonderful country HOME.
It's fantastic to hear that someone is so happy in life. Singapore is like Thailand in many ways in that a lot of people love it…and a lot of people hate it.