Not Quite the Same Boat

Anonymous said:

As a Singaporean living in Melbourne, I'm quite suprised reading that you are against foreigners in your homeland since we're exactly in the same boat as them?


Dear Singaporean living in Melbourne,

I had worked with almost all nationalities of foreigners during my work in Singapore and I treated them with equal respect. Lest you have misunderstood that I have a problem with foreigners in Singapore, I'll let you know I am against our government's pro-foreigners policies. What is the key difference here? The presence of foreigners in Singapore which causes a string of problems related to over-population is the by product of the short sighted policies thus there is nothing to blame the foreigners about. We allowed that to happen and we shouldn't continue to support this idea.

Though I may be a foreigner in Australia currently, I don't see the link between these two issues. I'm sure you are aware that Australia has been tightening their immigrant policies year after year. Whether or not Australia needs migrants as much as Singapore claims, I'm too new here to have a single clue. I'm fulfilling my duties being an Australian Permanent Resident by abiding the law, societal rules, contributing to the workforce and economy, pay my tax and do my part in taking care of the environment.

My passport is red and Singapore remains my homeland. Till the very day I cease to be a citizen of Singapore, I have my rights as a stakeholder of my country to voice out about how I envision my home to be. Anyone can disagree with me in the blog, they have their full rights to voice their opinions and I have never deleted a single comment here other than pointless nonsensical marketing spam. Nobody is always right here but we try to make sense as much as we can.

I'm not sure about you being on the same boat, wearing the same hat or same shoes with the foreigners of Singapore. I share no similarities with my ex-foreigners colleagues at all. You might feel that we share at least one common goal - to seek a better life abroad. Even that would be wrong. The majority of my foreigners colleagues, from the exploited Bangadeshi general worker who earns $24 a day to the PRC welder to the Burmese drafter in the office and that Pinoy supervisor on the site, have better lives in their own countries. Every single Bangadeshi worker under my supervision above 30 years old own some kind of freehold property in the form of a farm, house, commercial shops and even factories. I'll be exaggerating if I say they could live like a king if they return to their own country but I'm confident to say most, if not all, would be able to live a comfortable life even without working.

A worker once told me, "Sir, in Bangadesh no work, won't die. In Singapore no work, sure die!" Many of them nodded their heads in agreement. That reflected a key point. The fact is, these workers would have a decent life even if they didn't move abroad to work as a foreign worker in Singapore. It is a taboo to allow their wives to work. Women nurse their children and take care of their husbands and most of them held no job. Their income may be meagre but they are able to start families and lead a simple life. Ambitious young men who venture overseas to seek wealth is only a small percentage of their population.

Compare that to sweating 6-7 full days work week under the sun, being paid a pittance of $24 a day while each can of coke or a packet of chicken rice during their breaks cost them 5% and 14% of their salary respectively, living in cramped quarters by cemeteries or live firing areas. Meanwhile, Singaporeans think it is fair to treat them this way because 'they can live like kings when they go home'. My foreigner friends returned to their country once in 2 years at best. Some took as long as 6-7 years to make their visit. The PRCs are not having it easy either, being notorious for HDB home squeeze for example. Try squeezing in a room with 5 other room mates in a daily basis. The PMET foreigners have it better but still endured the grueling long working hours and suffer the anguish being away from their families and friends in the same manner. 

So why did they still go to Singapore for work despite having to endure such conditions? Surely none of us Singaporeans are so dense that we have completely convinced ourselves these foreigners are having a ball of a life in Singapore than their home country? Let's not kid ourselves and pretend Singapore is a paradise. They are here for only one thing and they want nothing else to do with the place called Singapore when they have enough of it.

What's my point here? My question for you will answer that. Did you move to Melbourne to have a better life? Or are you having a really hard life in Melbourne but earning much more money so that you could return to Singapore to live a glorious life in your later years? 

I'll be most interested to know what lifestyle you lead in Melbourne if you are 'exactly in the same boat as them'.


  1. In SG, locals are discrimintated against. In other countries, immigrants are discriminated against.

    Of course it's a different boat *face palm*

  2. It is never the same boat. It is forcefully trying to compare apples and oranges!

    The reason why most of us come to Australia is for a better life. To start off, Australia have labour laws that protects the workers and have minimum wage as well. We also get a better work-life balance and to enjoy doing the things we love after work and during the weekends.

    I don't think you have many of the above in Sillypore! It is a rat race that continues on and on and on... no work-life balance and OT almost everyday!

  3. for academic purpose or hypothetically, when the sun rises tomorrow and...
    SGD1 = CNY1
    SGD1 = MYR1
    SGD1 = BDT1
    SGD1 = MMK1
    SGD1 = PHP1
    what do you think is the next lie the pap would come up with

  4. This paragraph nails it:
    " Did you move to Melbourne to have a better life? Or are you having a really hard life in Melbourne but earning much more money so that you could return to Singapore to live a glorious life in your later years? "

  5. Well said. Those foreigner talent whom Singapore Govt exalt has one simple goal.
    1)Earn enough and go home
    2)Earn,Save enough and migrate to developed countries like Aust, Canada, USA and etc with the RED PASSPORT

    Even as a Singapore staying in Melbourne, I am sad to see Singapore being salvage by Foreigner. I worries for my family how life will be in 10 years down the road.

    Look at the nonsensical policy proposed by the Elite party. Such as foreigner scholarship, PR, citizenship invitation. How big is singapore? 272 sq mile! Can it contain 6 million people. I wonder.

    In fact, one of friend in his 50s has foresee that in the future Singapore will be a paradise for the rich due to the security its offer. If you are in the bottom, u will need to toil your way throughout your life. If you are in the middle, expect no sympathy from the govt. As they will not give a damm about u, if u happen to lose out to a foreigner due to salary. Then just get a pay cut, that is reality.

    To the Singapore living in Melbourne who wrote that remark. Perhaps is time for u to pack your bag and return to Singapore. The current party needs people like u. To discourage the young Singaporean from moving out of there.

    Majulah Singapura! Tht's the song I sung during my school days. If not for the Elite policy, I think I still live happily in Singapore. However, the whole thing has kinda spin out of proportion. Mind you true blue Singaporean will bear the mistake, not FT.

  6. Hi,
    I've been reading your blog and I've been planning to apply for Aussie PR. I like this entry the most.
    Along the same line, my husband and I have this joke - migrate to Aust, give up spore citizenship when possible, ask the kids go back as FT when they are working (if they wanna go back). Definitely more valuable than locals

  7. We migrated to aussie and we tried our best to blend into the society and culture but look at the FT in singapore. They can be any tommie dickie or berrie.
    I personally had work 12 years in construction with the blangas, indians, burmese and thais and I salute them for coming here to earn a living and then fuck off back to their country.
    Do u really think they can live a decent life in their hometown not working? Or buy and build their own houses without getting out of that shit hole to work in another country!!?? You must be kidding me if you tell me you are. That blanga worker you talking to must had taken the piss out of you. Yes I believe not working but can survive but not like what you said "a decent life".
    Come on bro will you think of calling up an aussie family and said "your daughter is in hospital and need $300 for admission"?
    Some chinese scumbags in singapore will. This is easy money for them and they are used to it back from where they came from.
    Of course singapore is not a paradise but the problem is our garment is trying to make sound like one... at least to the prospective FTs.

    1. i think i was being pretty clear about the foreigners who made their money in singaore being able to afford not working after they return home. Which part of my entry confused you?

    2. Dear asingaporenson,
      I confused myself after reading this post. Interpreted in the wrong direction. I take back what I had said. I'm very sorry about it.

  8. A good one to read.. thumbs up for you, Singaporean Son..
    i will be joining you all too as I have got my Aust PR..

    1. Congrats, where will you be heading to in Aust?
      I also got my Aust PR not long ago.