Promised Land that Never Was

If a picture says a thousand words, this is one which tell a story of the dream of generations of Singaporeans of my time. Slouching in a chair on a lazy breezy Spring afternoon with a fine dog to the far left of your automatic garage, your child on your far right playing with pebbles, a decent car ready to go places and a vegetable patch for home grown produce behind a modern bricked house with adequate space and bed rooms, not to mention the space for nice tools. Considering the fact bicycles back home have to be hung on walls like a giant spiders for most, an actual horizontal parking lot for your bicycle can be rather pleasing. What more can a man ask for?

No, these are not mine, other than my daughter, who is more precious than anything you can see here combined. Whatever you see in this picture are props who belonged to a family friend. I didn't put this picture up to pose or create envy but to discuss how I was told to believe that every of us would be able to achieve a life like that as long as we honestly worked hard for it. 

It might be hard to believe that the government created such vibes to the young of my days but it was true. A culture of materialism and paper chase do not happen by chance. It takes decades of constant conditioning to be cultivated, or rather breed for want of a better word. These days, we are conditioned to accept almost the far opposite such as to be cheaper, better and faster, to accept smaller leasehold houses at a higher price and to accept Singapore living as Sampan 2.0 ™

So old promises gave way to new ones, as PM Lee Hsien Loong evidently highlighted to Singaporeans during his visit to France. Singaporeans have to accept that the reliance on cheap foreign talent is the long term strategy for the economic development of Singapore and he reiterated the need for the society to integrate such that foreigners adapt to Singapore norms, and Singaporeans are open to them "in order to help ourselves prosper". [link] Different content, same context, a new prosperity promise to the new generation is crafted. Do you buy it? For many old farts like myself, it's a case of once bitten, twice shy, unfortunately.


  1. For those in Australia

    Don't lose hope. Australia is a country where people who work hard and save money WILL get their own landed property in a realistic area (just not always within 10 km of the CBD of captial cities) unless you add lump sum from your CPF (then maybe some chance there...)

    Those Aussie who cry they don't get paid enough to own a house are either unemployed, spend too much on non-necessities (beer, smoke, takeaways, electronics) or just unrealistic about where they want to buy.

  2. Australia is getting very difficult to get in these days especially for people above 40 yo.

  3. 20 years ago ,we have Johnny Cash ,Bob Hope and Steve Jobs.

    Now we have no Cash, No Hope and No Job in Singapore.

  4. Hi, My wife, 2 kids and I are planning to move to Perth early next year. We only discovered your blog last week, but it was filled with lots and lots of useful advice and information. I must say your writing style is natural and thoughtful. I wouldn't be surprised if you published a best seller in the future. All the best.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. Though I have serious doubt on your claim, I had a few minutes day dreaming about it