Micky and Jac's Story

In regards to being regarded as a 'brave Singaporean' by some, ironically, deep down I did feel like a deserter for leaving my motherland when the tough gets going. I felt guilty for not staying to help Singapore and Singaporeans to fight against the challenges that we were facing. I looked at my friends and other Singaporeans who grit their teeth and grind on with life bravely without whining or thinking of leaving.

Who are the brave ones here? Yourselves, Singaporean friends.

In any case, if you think my case is extreme, I'll share with you a little story about Micky and Jacqueline. Micky contacted me via facebook after reading the blog sometime back. It was only less than a month ago that we finally met in Micky's place in Southern River, just 5 minutes away from us. He lives there with his wife Jacqueline and 2 little daughters, aged 6 and 1.

Like Jen and I, they came over with no jobs. To make that even more challenging, they brought along 2 very young daughters. Obviously with 'double trouble', they had to rent a house of their own rather than making do with renting a room like us. Thus their expenses will be significantly higher than ours. Both Micky and Jac were professionals in Singapore. Like us, they gave up what they had to move south. Micky is now on casual work like me and Jac is staying at home to take care of their lovely daughters like Jen does.

If you ask me, I will think many, many times about moving to Perth if I already have 2 daughters prior to leaving. If that is not enough, when we went over for a chat in Southern River, they were the ones encouraging us, assuring us it was a right move and the future will be better after the initial struggle.

That is about how little I know about them but it's enough to tell everyone what Jen and I are experiencing are nothing compared to what other Singaporeans may have gone through. Look at them and look at what MJ (gila Singaporean) is trying to do.

The little lesson here is that once you decided to leave your comfort zone, you'll realise how big the world is and how much you can do. It does not necessarily have to be going overseas for work. It may be changing a job, taking on new roles, a new hobby, a new responsibility or chasing a small dream. Sometimes you'll surprise yourself by knowing what you can really do when you set your mind on doing something worthwhile. It'll be something to relish for a change over the shallow chase of material and status.

With that, I end Micky's story. Oh, before we left, they made us leave with 2 boxful of baby clothes. This couple left us humbled with their humility and spirit. We'll pass on the flame.

Thanks Micky n Jac


  1. Yes, so hows life notti? Everything ok?

    ah pooh

    1. so far so good, waiting to see both of u only :P

  2. should consider yourself lucky, as you're surrounded by caring friends and family...cheers and take care!

  3. I chanced upon your blog on in recent months and I am impressed with your candid sharing of thoughts and experiences. Good to know that things are picking up for you and loved ones. Stay happy and take care. Best wishes!

  4. Great post, I've been chancing upon a whole lot of articles that just tell me to heck things and take that plunge. I believe many of us (including myself) have been in a comfort zone for far too long.

    Now that I have some kind of goal, I shall work towards it. Thank you for the motivation =)

    ~ Joelyn Alexandra

  5. Great post, I love your message. All the best. Loads of love from an ex-Singaporean in London, UK :)

  6. Hello again -asingaporeanson-,

    I won't feel like a deserter, should my family finally move out of red-dot one day.
    I've always felt like an ugly duckling here, and fortunately, so does my family now too.

    I understand better now why our late father, a Malaysian Penangite and Malaccan for life whom our late mother eventually divorced out of exasperation, never wanted to take up and residence and citizenship here.
    Yes, he'd endure coach trips up and down from the Peninsula, but he never liked the high cost of living, even back in the 1970s, and noise and crowds and stress.

    Now I realise that we have inherited his love for the small town.
    We're grateful for the big city convenience and forefront of latest trends, but not the ugly beast it has become.

    Micky and Jac, I, and I believe our family, salute you.
    Unfortunately for ourselves, Australia is cut off from us since last July, because of the new points system which heavily emphasises much recent work experience.

    I have spent the last 9 years struggling to build sustainable income, from an enterprise I can engage in lifelong (no success yet), and only recently, from work I can love doing without destroying my remaining years (limited).
    And since this century and decade started, my wife has similarly struggled in this period, to help look after our late mother in her sudden illness and death from brain cancer, and to conceive and raise the lovely child and toddler boys we have now.

    So I feel both of you, Micky and Jac, are also fortunate to have made it there, despite the many days that you might feel otherwise.

    Though my younger brother lives in Oz now, and we are adult orphans, 'remaining offshore relative' applies only to me and not to my wife, as we have in-law next-of-kin still.

    NZ feels far away, compared to Perth.
    It seems to me like exiling my family, from the equatorial centre of things (all squeezed on a fat red dot), to the remote island-pair away from the rest of the world.

    But perhaps this is where an ugly duckling has to go, in order to find some more fellow cygnets?
    Kiwi-land seems less eager to stop us from coming in flooding, it is such a great unknown!

    I'm also concerned with crowding, as many of us find Perth too convenient as a first landing.
    I'm even worried that ugly Singaporean traits get imported wholesale, those of selfish materialism and narrow-minded kiasuism, until we finally have an ugly Singapore-town (cf. Chinatown) over there.

    And with our ugly cousins around, it's even more true that too many people spoil whatever popular good thing there is (like food quality dropping, and prices soaring, at a stall over-queued).

    But perhaps the larger, diversity-embracing Australian culture continues to effectively quarantine undesirable foreign invaders, and the Singaporean essence will contribute and synergise Down Under?