If Australia Isn't Possible, Does That Mean S.M.R.T ?

Hello there,

I chanced upon your blog and it's pretty informative & interesting. I have to say 'Thank You' for the all your posts which are really cool....

I had never thought of moving out of SG, much like what you have mentioned in your posts. Until I lost my job back in Jul 2013. I am not as young as you are, I am 49 and given so much emphasis the govt has put on helping the 'PMET' group....in reality? we are no where compared against the FT's. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the FT's, I am just reflecting on with a Poly Diploma and work experience, I still can't get a job until today. Every now and then I get the HR who seems to speak English with a 'non-Singaporean' accent who tells me, "Oh you are over qualified" or "We can't employ you because we are sure you will not stay with us"....plus plenty more.....

Anyway, I read how you got a job, a blue-collared one, but a job none the less and one that brings you a happy life style. Do you think at my age I can still get a job Downunder? Would you be able to tell me if I can apply for jobs there, while still being here?

Do accept my sincere apologies as this email was not intended to intrude.

Oh and by the way, I am a Malay Muslim who looks like a Chinese as my grandfather was a Chinese.....just fyi lah.....

I am taking my time to read all your posts as they are indeed informative.

Have a great day, great life in AU! I wish I could find a way for me and my family too!




Hi bro,

Sorry that I took months to reply this. 

I'm sorry to tell you based on my opinion, it is very difficult for you to through a skilled migration application based on your age and qualifications (both are key components of the point system). That, to me, is the hard hill to climb than actually finding a job in Australia at your age because most, if not all employers will not even consider applicants unless they have a valid work visa in Australia. Since your chances of skilled migration is very low, applying for Work Visa Subclass 457 is the more realistic route you have to take. You will require a company that is willing to sponsor and apply that for you so your skills is very critical here. If you have rare skills high in demand here, there is always a chance to get an employer to sponsor your work visa. With a few years of working experience in Australia, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa thereafter. It's a pity I do not have the capability to run a ... say Prata Shop or something. Else I'll be employing you to flip pratas for me. That is easy to justify because Aussie men do not flip pratas as well as Singaporeans. Even our ex-President do not look out of place flipping a prata in a sarong.

So how about you guys pooling in money for me to set up my Prata Business in Perth?

Sorry to hear that you lost your job bro. On my first return to Singapore more than a year ago, I went back to the hairdresser in Teck Whye to have a chat with her. She was the one who helped me make my hair look less of a nightmare while my wedding day. She was not open when I got there but I had a chat with a Malay man tending a shop next door. He told me he was a factory manager in a big MNC company for many years and his last drawn salary was about $6,000 but he had to leave his job after the company laid him off due to illness. He eventually recovered physically but not in his career and he had to take up odd jobs or decide if he wanted to join the Big Four industries (SMRT) for Singaporeans men. If you read the blog enough, you'll know what does SMRT stands for.

I have always ponder what I'll do in situations like yours. In fact, you are a classic example of what I expect many Singaporean men will experience in their later career lives and I fully expected myself to go down this route. It is extremely frightening on my part to think if I were to realise I had to get out of Singapore today instead of a few years back in 2008, I would probably not qualify for an Australian PR if I were to apply for it today. Many Singaporeans probably thought they still do and time is on their side. Though I'm already here in Perth, I do think of possible scenarios if I failed to leave back then. One of my serious considerations is to move myself to JB to cut down living expenses (and rent flats if you have any) No doubt it will be tough and commuting will reduce our standard of living, it isn't permanent because I would have saved fervently to get myself out of the damn situation eventually. With some savings on hand, I did not rule out the possibility of moving to countries such as Indonesia or Thailand and invest on small business or usable land for a small income. My life would change drastically but my income would be adequate for both my wife and I (we didn't know a child was coming back then).

I am not advocating to you to try out drastic measures but to keep your mind open and alive and continue to search for a better mean of survival. Don't give in to societal pressure by joining the SMRT industries without exploring the possibilities of some measured hypothesis first, at least.

My apologies for not being able to help but I hope a few nuggets of these will be of any use to you. 




  1. Hi
    Is it really feasible to open a prata shop? I'm thinking of migrating to Australia but am worried I may not find a job there. How much do you think is needed to open such a shop?

    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hmmm..... Perhaps I should seriously do some feasibility studies on this idea...

    2. Hey Laurence.
      There are already some prata shops, and they sell each prata about 3 bucks a pop. So 2 prata kosong and curry meal might set you back nearly AU$10. It's very profitable.
      But, you may not get the volume of business you would expect in SG, and the overheads here are also expensive (you can't hire a Bangladeshi or China worker at $20 a day here; the labor cost is more nearly AU$20 an hour).
      Having said that, I think setting up an Asian cafe in the right location can be a damn good business if you are willing to work hard. I am open to business partners who are interested.

    3. Hi Sgtshirts,

      Let's talk. How do I contact you?

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  3. At 49 years old, I am assuming abang A is married. Otherwise he could try the marriage route. People laugh at this, but it all boils down to how much you want it. If the PRCs can do it for a better life, why not Singaporeans?

    The other way would be via asylum. Specifically, political asylum.

    How much is a new life worth to you, Singaporeans? Are you prepared to give up everything to move?

    1. On the female friend thingie... left you a message on your hotmail account. :d

    2. Hey Mrs Doll,

      Nope didn't get any emails from you at all?!

      And hello asingaporeanson. You are already married. Probably to the best wifey around. So go touch her and leave me and my lobang alone!

    3. Hi CK, I got your email, now pending my friend. Will keep you updated. Mrs D :)
      Hi ASingaporeanSon, I agree with CK. You got a good wifey already and one who also has the foresight/wisdom to pick a good hubby. Mah dee siao lah! (Don't disturb please.)

  4. IF you have school going kids, I think visa 457 means full international school fees for the kids. Another way is to arrange your kids there first and then apply parents visa for you.

  5. If you guys want to open a prata shop or Asian cafe, I will be the first to apply.

    overseas sinkie

  6. Understand from my agent two years ago that the waiting period for parents visa was 15 years, now I heard is almost 20 years.

  7. My thoughts are to consider other migration destination. Consider other options.

    E.g. Canada's Skilled Trades Visa: It may take some time to pick up a trade from ITE (no, it is not "the end"; "it's the exit" route out of that little red dot), put in a few years of work experience, get listed into the relevant trades association, then apply.

    Seriously, I'm not kidding you that I even explored switching from PMET to a tradesperson back in 2006 when I was planning my exit. I considered being a plumber or electrician as part of my numerous back-up plans. Thankfully my Plan A worked out.

    When your current situation is not suited for emigration, but you want it badly enough (for yourself or for your family's future), consider risking a long-term plan. CK took 10 years to exit. I took 4 years. Both of us switched from PMET jobs to nursing, back when nursing was still in high-demand (not necessarily true now). [Note: Albeit my PR visa was not based on my nursing qualifications, but my previous PMET experience as per my Plan A.]

    Don't rely on hearsay. Check out the target countries' government online information on immigration options. Too many Singaporeans are brainwashed by the MSM that "only those with degree can emigrate". Good luck!

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