The Truth Behind Singaporeans Becoming Oz PRs

Feeding Singaporeans with half the story

Careless shit smear attempt yet again

Singaporean mum, M, sent me these extracts over whatsapp without any captions or comments. Probably wanted an opinion. Well, if you read this blog often enough, you'll know how to decipher the real message from a shit laced rag by now. I'll do the job for you again. In future though, you guys gotta learn how to do it yourself. I had to squint to read part of the article, M could have done a better job with her screenshots. Fortunately a few paragraphs were enough to reveal what shitty rag was up to.

The main gist of the article was to impress Singaporeans, especially the young budding ones, that Singapore is the best place to be and tried to justify it by attaching a graph entitled : FEWER HEADING DOWN UNDER. (above) The entire piece was focussed on economic reasons such as better job opportunities, higher wages, raising Aussie dollar and if all these puzzling enough, the last one took the cake: better outreach by the Singapore government. In short, Shitty Times is saying, "Less Singaporeans wants to get out and less Singaporeans wants to stay out."

This typical standard of lazy journalism pulls the wool over the average Singaporean's eyes but it doesn't fool me. For a start, since when did outreach by the Singapore government became a deciding factor of emigration? Tell me how does this sound, "I thought of migrating to Australia but have changed my mind because there has been better outreach by the Singapore government." Are you kidding me? At least Steven Spielberg bothered to covered the zips of his dinosaurs suit props in Jurassic Park so they looked at least half convincing. Well, we beg you to at least try, Shitty Times.

The analist (who preferred to be known as a journalist) did not even have a basic idea of the motivations behind a Singaporean's application for an Australian PR Visa. Most Singaporeans migrate to Australia due to lifestyle factors. Economic factors no doubt, hold some weight but they do not even constitute for 50% of the motivation to move. Likewise, these would not be half the reasons why Singaporeans chose not to, as the article suggested. Besides, are job opportunities and wages better in Singapore? They can say anything that they want. The truth is out there.

Think about it, if opportunities are aplenty in Singapore, with bad economic sentiments looming in Europe and the US, will overseas Singaporean students will be attracted back to Singapore not just from Australia but all over the world? You bet they will. And you can bet your last dollar Shitty Times will be putting charts on front page declaring how preferred Singapore is to the rest of the world. 

But they didn't, because they couldn't. They couldn't because it isn't the truth. The only pathetic chart they could get that seemed to fit into their propaganda is this:

All the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship indicated was the number of PR Visa granted to Singaporeans. The chart clearly show a decline since 2005, plunging sharping from 2006. No lies here. Shitty Times used this cleverly in their favour to push their propaganda across, citing less Singaporeans want to head to Australia due to the economic reasons they published.

The truth: On the Australia side,

Australia decided to cut back on immigration in 2006

From 2006, Australia implemented tightening measures of their immigration policies year on year. By 2010, international students were no longer automatically be eligible to apply for a Australia PR visa after they complete their studies. By 2012, skilled visa applicants can only submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be eligible to apply only if they are invited. [link].

The truth from the chart is, less Australia PR Visas were granted to Singaporeans not because Singaporeans deem Australia as an inferior location for work and play but that it has been getting increasingly tougher to get into Australia. It proved nothing but the effectiveness of Australia's tightening of migrant entry. 

While Shitty Times is relentlessly spouting half truths and subtle lies, our Malaysian friends chose to tell a fairer version of the story in their website:

Read Part 2:


  1. Haha! Actually that was one of my reasons for coming back to Sg after graduation to work... and no regrets there as recruitment agencies here have told me I have gained so much experience in Sg that no problem working here, esp. in the fast pace industries ;) So I understand why the UQ to guy wanted to come back.

  2. LOL .. I stumbled on this blog while searching for more news related to the news article from ST. Thanks for the information on migration, while I've been in Melbourne a few months, some of the info is definitely useful.

    Anyway, back to the article's intent which is no doubt to convince Singaporeans to stay. I think one of my friends in Sg recently received a telephone survey asking if she had any intention to migrate etc etc. . Coincidence? ;-) I'll leave the readers to make their own conclusions ..

    If you decide to make the leap, keep an open mind, be flexible and above all, enjoy the experience. I do :-)

  3. Hee hee, good reading between the lines. Why ST doesn't publish an article "MORE HEADING UP OVER" -- i.e. Canada?
    Here are the PR statistics of Singapore citizens heading to Canada from the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship statistics webpage above.

    Singapore: 842 (2001), 939 (2002), 716 (2003), 482 (2004), 629 (2005),
    433 (2006), 1,228 (2007), 1,383 (2008), 739 (2009), 1,691 (2010)

    Note 1: My guess is that the slight dip in year 2009 is due to applicants taking time to figure out the new regulations with tighter selection criteria (e.g. for Skilled Migrants).

    Note 2: See the sudden jump after year 2006. IMHO, it ties to the fact that Australia tightened its immigration policy in 2006, and thus those wanting to exit Singapore but cannot meet the cut (i.e. the new Australian requirements) changed their plans and migrated to Canada instead.

  4. This is classic example of the desperate Shitty Times to mislead by picking pieces of the whole truth to propagate their master's agenda. Half truths and lies to distort the real situation. People don't like you to come but you are thick-skinned to say that you don't want to go? What a shame on them. Good that you expose them. The naked truth will reveal itself once its exposed!


    You probably cannot read it because you are not a subscriber. One of the most interesting paragraph is:

    "Rumour has it that Xi has been having secret talks with Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore, and consulting think tanks with a view to creating a more liberal one-party state along Singaporean lines."

  6. Thx! Will publish this tomorrow on TRE :)

  7. Good one here...

    They do best in such articles with main points all swallowed up.

    Once again, they have indicated it's all due to money. Nothing about lifestyle and family time and other factors. It's money, money, money!

  8. There was a time when I subscribed daily to the nation's bulkiest newspaper, and it depressed my day after reading all the good news about ourselves, and that's how we all here should ever be.
    I suspect my blood pressure and sugar took an upturn every time around then.
    Not to mention how all that paper stacked up in weight within a mere week.

    Today, despite being overweight for life, I feel much lighter, my head feels clearer, and I actually find life more cheerful here.
    The lack of reading local print news improves quality of life that much.

  9. ABS statistics strongly suggest that you're wrong.

    Read page 9 here:

    And check out the "Estimated resident population, Country of birth, Median age—30 June 1996 to 2011" excel spreadsheet here:

  10. It doesn't. I refer to page 9, chart 6.

    Look at the permanent residents figures, exclusive of temporary visa holders, which is not part of the discussion.

    1. Pg 9 Chart 6 shows an increase in inwards migration to Australia from ALL sources. This is to be read in conjunction with the excel spreadsheet in the 2nd link, which shows the number of permanent residents from Singapore in Australia has decreased.

    2. Thanks Han for making the effort to get the figures.
      However I did not dispute the fact about the dip in this post.

    3. No, you didn't. But I quote you:

      "The truth from the chart is, less Australia PR Visas were granted to Singaporeans not because Singaporeans deem Australia as an inferior location for work and play but that it has been getting increasingly tougher to get into Australia. It proved nothing but the effectiveness of Australia's tightening of migrant entry."

      If it is as what you said, then how do you account for the increase in total number of PR visas granted between 2008-2010? Overall grants have increased, number of Singaporean PRs have decreased. I think the evidence points to your conclusion being wrong.

    4. Mr Xu,

      I've already explain this a few days ago

      Thank you

  11. Hi asingaporeanson,

    Elgin here. I wrote the piece in ST that you commented on above.

    Two points I wanted to highlight, hopefully adding to the debate here.

    1) The piece points out that quite clearly that new PRs from Singapore fell even as new PRs from Malaysia, China and India rose. So if your explanation is that Australian immigration policy has been tightened, you also have to explain why the tighter policy is showing up in the Singapore numbers, but not the Malaysia, China and India numbers.

    2) The piece also points out that it is not just actual PRs awarded that fell - applications for PRs from Singapore also fell. I can provide some extra numbers here, that were sent to me by the Australian immigration department. In the last 10 years, applications from Singapore fell by about 30%, even though in that same period, applications from China and India tripled and applications from Malaysia rose by about 50%.


  12. To add another perspective, just because there is an observed dip in the emigration numbers in Australia, doesn't imply that the domestic policies were the cause of that dip. It is erroneous to apply causality when it isn't proven to exist. If indeed we see that there is a Singapore wide dip in numbers of people migrating out of Singapore then we can surmise that something is holding them back in Singapore. However if the observation is localized to one country, there are any number of reasons for this, like racist sentiments, unfavourable taxation policy etc.

    The point is that if there's a localized observation of a dip in people migrating to Australia, then it has to do with some factors in or about Australia. You cannot jump to the conclusion or ever draw inference to the fact that Singapore's economy or vibrancy is a cause of this dip.

    @ Elgin, while your two points above stand on its own merits. It doesn't address the concern that you've drawn conclusions (or at least inferences) that the reasons for the dip are domestic. I think that that point need much more data points to back up.

  13. They have the same reasons for opposing policies.

    While they refuse entry, we invite entry, to solve the same economics problems.

  14. Hello all, I left Singapore in 2004 and adopted Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as my home. Eight years on, I will again move, this time to Melbourne, Australia in June. All I can say is that my move to KL was the best decision I had ever made in my entire life and the best gift I had ever given myself and my loved ones. My move again this time to Melbourne is another positive milestone in my life. I have gained so much experience in the real world and am proud of myself for leaving Singapore behind and ditching the kiasu, kiasi, kaypoh, kiaboh mentality altogether. I am extremely grateful to Malaysia for giving me a chance to strike out, grow and succeed and also very humbled and grateful to the state of Victoria for sponsoring me in my application for Permanent Residency in Australia. Well, I guess these two adopted countries of mine wants me better than my own birth country! People say Malaysia is third world. Ok, but so what if you are living in first world Singapore but feels like you are being marginalized all the time? You do not really see money too and are not happy at all with the incessant competition et al. And please, do not hate us all who have moved just because we did what you have always wanted to(in secret) but could not and/or did not do. With regards to the ST article, I really had a good laugh reading it! It was amusing to say the least and very, very entertaining indeed! Thanks Elgin for making my day! And do you all think for one second that Australia's immigration processes are easy versus Singapore's? Please take a simple browse on the requirements, forms and the mountain of documentations you have to fulfill from DIAC Australia, then, go look at the requirements, forms and documentations required from the ICA Singapore for permanent residency applications. Please tell me what you found. I discovered through my own application that Australia only wants the truly talented, highly skilled and extremely resourceful from all over the world and sieves out the mediocre and wannabes who have no choice but to head to other countries like Singapore (which does a terrific job at marketing and gives flowery labels to its PR's to make them feel oh, so good about themselves). So, to all the naysayers out there, just stay put in lovely Singapore and be happy for us who have moved because sour grapes is so out of season. Cheers!

  15. Just to share about the drop in migrants to Australia. Recently, I went to a migration agent in singapore. I was just lazy to do my to renew my rrv by myself. I have not satisfied 2 out of 5yrs due to compelling reasons. Application was besides the point, i asked the expensive agent about his business of bringing residents and citizens of singapore to aust. He was honest to tell me that average he has one case a day. My eyes went big, wow $$$$$. Then i further asked him so what is the ratio like for residence n local borned citizens. He said rule of thumb, 70% foreigners residence wants to further migrate to aust, the rest 30% are singaporeans. It goes to say many foreigners coming here are leaving too after a couple of years. Many are using singas a gateway elsewhere. Take a good example of my colleague from high rape crime country, she came to singapore to work for a few years. In early 2012, she was awarded sing pr, she got married to a melbornian and should be getting her aust pr shortly. She even told me many of her housemates has left singapore after a few years work permit. Singapore will eventually be a money, career, etc laundering center for foreigners. It will be a country for temp residence n a place of fusyrayed citizens. Just take a helicopter view of the island....does it not look like a titanic harbouring in jb.....well if it dont slow will sink like the real one.

  16. Oh btw i finally went on to submit my own rrv....avoid 2k pls being sucked out of me. I got my rrv renewed in 3 days altho it states wothin 10days. I guess i can be an agent too. To add on aust skill migration waiting time has been reinstate bac to 6 mths now (mabe tt explains the graph) . No longer 3plus years of waiting (this delays started to occur ard 2008~ 2012). So if u are applying, u will find that u will be in aust in no of luck!