"Do You Regret Leaving Singapore?"

Regret, but no regrets

Questions by Nugi Nugi via email:

Do u mind to share if u regret left spore for oz (perth) ? what do u miss from spore while u live in oz (perth) ?


I regretted habitually throughout my life, I still do but I've convinced myself not to feel that bad anymore. It's just for the sake of it now. There are the gungho types who will tell you they think regretting is waste of time and claim that they don't engage in such acts. In truth, I don't think anyone could control the grip of regret like the way you could suppress a fart. It just happens. Likewise I don't get it when someone declares, "I decided to be happy!" You are either happy or not, you don't decide it. Neither do you decide to when to cry and drop tears. Unless of course, you play act. On the same scale to me, deciding not to regret is just a play act.

In reality, what we can do will be how we want to react towards our emotions. You can't decide to be angry or remorseful, emotions which are deemed negative in general. What we have in control is however, how long we want to be immersed in a particular state of mind that may eventually cause harm to ourselves. 

If I chose not to leave Singapore for Perth, what would my life been for the past 8 months? No one would ever be able to tell me. If there were something terrible that would happen such as losing Albany in a miscarriage, what would I be telling myself? That - all these wouldn't have happened if we left for Perth instead of staying in Singapore? Regretting is a bitch. You'll never win. 

I regretted coming to Perth when health mishaps happened to my parents. Fortunately both of them are still okay by now but I wished I could be by their side to fulfill my duties as a son. I failed my dog as a good master for not being by his side when he died, something I swore I would do even in earlier days when we shared incredible moments together. I couldn't even perform a basic role of a friend and missed a good buddy's wedding as well as a few good neighbours' which I would love to attend. I would not be able to buy these moments even if I am given a trillion bucks right now.

Regret is not a bad thing if you choose to regard it tactfully. You learn what you really yearn for and what you don't. Just another channel for you to learn from your own mistakes. At this age, I've learn to move on quickly after indulging in a bit of regret. It gets better with experience. These little things answers your question directly.

Simply put, the key things I miss about Singapore are my family and friends. Nothing more, nothing less.


  1. To Nugi Nugi,

    I regret that I did not stay in Perth after my graduation many eons ago and now I have to try applying for PR in Australia the hard way. But one can't always live with regrets, I came back after graduation because there were a lot more job opportunities in Singapore and indeed I had grown through the rank and file to enjoy a certain lifestyle in Singapore. If I had stay in Perth, I may not be earning the salary I am getting now but am I happy? Not really.

    I am single, I can't buy a brand new HDB (HDB rather leave them empty than to sell them to us). As a single, I have to fight in the open market for a resale flat and my main competitors are those who are downgrading from private or PRs who also had to buy from open market. Most PRs I know are dual income, they have more income combined then I do.

    If I buy a resale, I have to pay $400-$500k for a 4 room flat (of cos can be more depending on where the flat is located), add another $50k for COV (i.e average) and add another $50K for renovations since it probably need work. Add up conservatively it is $500-$600K. It is a big risk for me since I am the sole provider, if I lose my job I lose my flat. Unlike dual income family where one can still rely on the other spouse to hold the fort. On the other hand, my risk is lower if I can get a brand new flat for around $270-$350K. But the door is shut to me.

    The government is punishing people like me who are single, I don't choose to be single. It all depends on fate. Much as the government wanted, I will not marry any Tom, Dick and Harry just to get the chance to apply for a brand new HDB flat, it is not worth the price of my lifelong happiness.

    As a single, I am also paying full tax, with nothing much for tax reliefs and yet I am being discriminated. Why?

    If I own an overseas property, I am also not allow to own public housing. Excuse me, I believe the government gave the exception to Malaysians. I have nothing against Malaysians but as far as they are concerned, their homeland is Malaysia and there are many who own properties there and will eventually go home after retirement. They are yet allow to own HBD if they are PRs. Isn't that contradictory? Cos in such context, the HBD flats can be view as their investment property since their home is in Malaysia. But if I am a Singaporean living in Singapore with an overseas property (which to me is an investmetn property), the Singapore government does not allow me to buy a HBD because they view me as using this HDB as an investment even though I am purchasing it to live in. I don't get it...seriously.

    So my choices are get married, live with my parents forever or buy a private property which is easily about $1m.

    Even my parents strongly encourages me to migrate, at an age where they usually will want all their kids by their side. They even said they don't mind joining me in Perth if I can get my PR and in all honestly, air tickets from Singapore to Perth and vice versa is easily available. You can hop on a plane and go home to visit your friends and family when you miss them or they can visit you and treat it as a holiday.

    There are so much more I could have add but I already took up too much space here.

    1. With the blessing from your parents, you should apply for your Aust PR now before it's too late.
      I am not as lucky as you, I didn't have any blessing from my parents and I came back to S'pore after completed my degree course in Syd many years ago, though I tried to look for jobs but to no avail as I was not an Aust PR then.
      But I still go ahead to apply for my Aust PR after GE2011 without informing my parents. Thanks to PAP, I got my Aust PR eventually but I am sad that I cannot share this joy with my parents and until now they still do not know that I am already an Aust PR...

    2. I share the same experience with you. I am an Aust PR now, and I can't share this joy with my parents as they are against my plan to migrate. However, I have made up my mind, regardless they agree or not, I will migrate by end of this year and soon I will join all of you in the new land of opportunity..

  2. Singapore is like an airplane. As long as the engines of productivity are running, we can soar very high. But what's beneath our wings is thin air - like the virtual ownership of our virtually priced properties and vehicles.

  3. I agree with the writer that "Regret can't be control. It's just farting. You just fart if you need to!" Lol! I can understand how you feel about your frens and family back home. That is becuz u were born here. It's the same as those PRs or new citizens still got roots in their hometown. You are the first generation. After you, subsequent generations will not feel it anymore. Your grandchildren will thank you for moving to Oz when they see a Sg sinking under the weight of mass immigrants taken over foreigners and succumbed to its own greed and avarice! They will be thankful for your sacrifices made today. Only time will tell.

  4. quote:things I miss about Singapore are my family and friends. Nothing more, nothing less"..as u go grow older in life..these are all that matters..i have witnessed family and friends leaving the world before me..and I am just 34.at the end of the day, that HDB/DBSS/EC/Condo or COE/car or that career dont matter anymore..
    with that i am too,in pursuit of true happiness

  5. I regret not coming to Oz earlier... much, much earlier...
    Opportunities came and went years back; then foolish pride, MIW brainwashing, and lack of foresight kept me back in SG.

    Well, better late than never... here I am, and no regrets being here ... looking forward, 'cos the best is yet to come!

  6. You can decide to be happy if you decide you are not going to wallow in your sorrows and regrets, feeling sorry for yourself. When you wake up every morning, make a decision to be happy. That means even though shit will always happen, you can look at the positive side instead of the negative side.

    Yes, you got involved in an accident, but you are not hurt and is still alive for your family. So, you can decide whether you are fortunate or unfortunate. Half-full or half empty. Only you can decide for yourself.

  7. Why even have any feelings of regrets? The past is the past. We don't have a time machine so there's no point thinking about it. The only thing to learn is from the mistakes of the past to make the future better.

    "if only I have know..." "if only I did"... well, these are just a figure of speech. Nothing you say or any justification will make it any different.

    No point feeling sorry or bearing grudges (which I think the Asian culture is particularly good at) and feeling negative all around! As humans, we are supposed to evolve and progress and not regress!

  8. Classic... thank you.

  9. it's more like "Do you regret Singapore make you leave?" or "Do you regret Singapore leaving you?"

  10. thanks everyone who have shared and response my question. i am looking forward to move to melbourne soon :D i hope can catch up with u guys....

  11. Hi, I am the ex-accountant with myopic and narrow view. You have posted a blog in relation to my comment. By then, I have decided to leave. 

    Anyway, I have passed my IELTS but only managed 7. Hopefully good enough for current point system.
    My skill assessment is successful and currently my agent is drafting the DIAC form.

    I am the kind who regret and ask "why!l and "what if". A sore loser indeed. I was sore when I left accounting profession with half a pay. It was my choice as the accounting and auditing jobs I landed all deprived me with time with family! When I read the papers about current graduates' pay, I became sore and regretted my decision. I know i should be thankful of the choice I have because of my academic qualifications. Alas, the better performers are always given more unless u are the real
    Elite and the best. I realized I am just average, I am
    Not talented neither I speak and "interact" well. I used to regret studying accountancy course but I never know it's the route to a better (I believe it's better place in comparison) destination.

    Nevertheless I could see things are progressing after i have made the decision in April. Hopefully, i can lodge application by next week.
    I tell myself  not to be such a weakling and embrace change! I am thankful to be socially mobile but not for long. I set my mind to make a difference in my life and my loved ones'.

    Yest, i was at a park that changed name recently. 80% PRC enjoying our parks. Singaporeans either busy making money or spending money. I no longer feel rooted here. Ya yaya, "you are descendants of immigrants, why u complain?" However, they are given preferential treatment over us, they brought in social ills. No longer the virtues of hard work. They are looking for short cut ways to earn our money. They probably found it; that's why they can relax.

    I am the not vocal and not so opinionated one. Simply. Bo chap and get-on-with-own life person. Yet, I can feel it. The space invasion, the culture crash, the tension and strain, the burden on my children. I feel they are taking and not wanting to assimilate in our culture yet we are quietly accepting them even though they spit in public, talk so loudly.  the rest.... U guys should witness and "feel". 

    I would be an immigrant too. I might be "rejected" by people there and feel tons of regret. I would do my best to assimilate into their society. I would contribute to their society and not to be a nuisance in any sense. 

  12. When you DO THE RIGHT THING, there is no regret whatsoever; only when you do something wrong or wrongdoing then you have regret or remorse.
    When feelings joy, anger, sorrow, are not aroused, we are in perfect equilibrium; when feelings are aroused and expressed RIGHTLY, we are in perfect harmony. Chung yung中庸

  13. Never look back as you have more to look forward to. Even if you want to look back, indulge in a moment or two, not more. That's why, the neck hurts when you turn to look back for long period of time. Also, you can't go forward fast enough if you have your head turned to look back constantly.

  14. After thinking a little bit, I only miss my family and friends too.

    On the other hand, I've also made many new and great friends in Perth.

    I have not regretted the move and, in fact, I'm enjoying the more balanced lifestyle, the greater variety of things one can do and the freedom.

  15. I have moved between Perth and Singapore a couple of times since the early 90s. I can say that in my most recent move back to Perth, I haven't missed my life in Singapore. I think this is because Singapore is no longer the country it used to be. In addition, in each time that I have moved to Singapore previously to live for a few years, I missed my easygoing and laid back lifestyle in Perth. Having a young family has also made a big difference. Australia is definitely the ideal place to raise a family versus Singapore.

  16. Many have praised the freedom and work-life balance. Is it over-stated?
    Can someone elaborate on the following:
    1) working hours? Eg: accountant, IT, office admin.
    2) flexible hours in what kind of company? Is it v common?
    3) what are the jobs Singaporeans normally do there?
    4) can the wife afford to stay home?...

    These are the q currently residing in my mind but forums and blogs did not elaborate much.

  17. 1. Working hours is usually around 37 hours a week.
    2. Most companies, you start late, you finish late. You start early, you finish early. If you start at 7:00, you finish at 3. You start at 9:30, you finish 6. That is how most couple juggle childcare arrangements.
    3. Really depends on you were working before, I guess. IT, accounting, sales, accounting, blue collar.
    4. Alot of aussies survive on 1 income. But most have a primary income, the other works part time. I have know of quite a number of singaporean families do that. You must also remember the lifestyle is not going to be same as singapore. We seldom go shopping or eat out in Au.

  18. We are all humans, and when our dreams did not turn out the way we expected we have full of regrets. At times including the spouse we married or the children we had.We all tend to only look at the good happy times. Eg. if I did this and that, had I invested in this share or sell all of it just before the market crash. If we all can predict the future then we must be GOD.

    A word. "Suddenly the LORD rained burning sulphur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them and the whole valley, along with all the people there and everything that grew on the land. But Lot's wife LOOKED BACK and was turned into a pillar of salt" Genesis 19:24

  19. 21 years ago on the 3rd day of National Service migration born in my mind!

    and after 16 years later i got the chance to migrate!!!

    never regret even on the last day in singapore airport the custom ask me why only 1 trip i told her migration....

    the feeling is like a bird free from the cage! :)

    1. I was wondering. You seemed extremely happy there.
      What kind of job are you having? With what qualification?
      I'm really looking forward to migrate. But with only a diploma.
      Should I be having at least a degree before migrating?

    2. yes I am very happy here everyday is a blessing :)
      our beautiful baby gal born in Australia and we be going for the citizenship less then a month time!

      u don't have to have a degree to migrate but if u do its a bonus lah.
      as long u you got the cert to do the job they really in demand and pass the migration test u are 1 foot in already :)

      my humble advice check with the migration agent and do their free assessment on line if u pass that mean u are eligible to get PR and call them to make appointment :)
      and they will explain to u in detail

      wish u luck!


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