When Realism Becomes Ballism

The population of Singapore was 5.1 million when I left. During these 2 years, 300,000 more people arrived at our sunny island to work, live (work) and play (work).

Sometimes people ask me why do I still bother to read Singapore news or updates. Actually I seldom do that anymore. There are times I wish I have more than 24 hours a day, that is how 'boring' Perth is. Lame stereotyping.

When I read Space's blog [link] I realised how often new migrants have their classic 'what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here?!' moments. Many Singaporeans ended up heading back to Singapore because they could not come to terms with differences in the new country. The saying, "There is no place like home", has dual meanings, one of which is rarely used. It is easy to agree on what is different. Defining what is better or worse, however, is subjective to personal bias but rightly so because we do not live our lives through the eyes of others.

Subjectivity aside, we will be doing ourselves a favour by setting a realistic goal for ourselves. I couldn't stand one of my co-worker's laments about his salary and his difficulties of buying a 4 x 2 house having arrived in Australia only 2 years ago, half of the time in the detention centre. Then he drove off his A$9,000 Mazda 3 while I looked on in my 1998 Daihatsu Pyzar. Come on, if there is a place to move to that offers us a managerial post every time, higher salary than what we drew in Singapore, shorter working hours on a computer with Facebook, cheap cars, a four bedroom house on a 500sqm land attainable after a year of work and girls with big boobs walking around in wet t-shirts, let me know where to apply. NOW!

The only way that we will be freed from the employment shackles known to man is to be the man who put on the shackles. The one running his own business will always have higher time flexible and greater wealth creation/destruction potential. The rule does not change anywhere in this world so long it runs on some kind of modern economic model.

Back to our glorious population count, our growing population was one of the push factor for my move. I can only imagine how it feels like having 300,000 more people on the island when 5.1 million already got on my nerves big time. 

Another 300,000 for 5.7 million
Then another 300,000 for 6 million
Then another 300,000 for 6.3 million
Then another 300,000 for 6.6 million
Then another 300,000 for 6.9 million. It turns my stomach a little.

Like I said earlier, one man's meat is another's poison. When the Singaporean boss came over a few weeks ago, his wife told me, "新加坡现在很繁荣hor?" How am I supposed to respond to that? No doubt, Singapore is at its economic golden age but it doesn't come without a price. Prosperity comes at the expense of the ordinary working people like you and me. How much do we have to bend over for a little piece of prosperity and a fancy job title? Are our self worth as much as only our job?

After coming to Perth (and probably getting cancer), I realised there is so much more to life than meaningless pursuits of 'respectable jobs', a good car or branded goods or food. Do people actually realise that, or am I the only miserable fool of them all? After these precious 2 years in Perth, I have no qualms moving back to SEA in future if there is a strong resolution to do so. This time, the approach will be so different. Until then, I'm in that perfect place to hatch the plans.


  1. When I left, the Singapore population was 5.08million (3.77 million residents, of which 3.23 million were Singapore citizens and 0.54 million PRs as at end June-2010) according to the article below.

    I have not been back since. Sometimes I wonder if I can even adapt back to Singapore life after leaving it for almost 3 years now.

    1. WD you sure can but you wouldn't want to. Moving elsewhere in the world makes us stronger, not weaker. We'll adapt if we return, very quickly in fact and we will be better employees compared to before we left. Happier or not though, you should know.

  2. go back to a gilded cage, a golden hamster wheel, and ever decreasing amounts of feed? with even more hamsters per square meter?

  3. "much more to life than meaningless pursuits of 'respectable jobs', a good car or branded goods or food"

    Such people abound in SG. At times i feel like i'm living in a different world from these materialist chasers - a dog chasing its tail.

    Actually retail is suffering due to high rents. Just take bicycle stores. Accessories price have to be competitive with what's offered online. Now the bike store is aggressively selling bicycles(don't think much earnings) hoping to earn on the backend - repairs & servicing (not available online).

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