Making the Difference

Hi Nix,

thank you for sharing your experiences through your blog. It has been very informative, not to mention comforting to know there are people out there with similar thought patterns.
I suppose everyone who decides to move out of Singapore has their own reasons, most of which are rather similar, not being able to withstand the rigid structure of the system, be it educational, social or work. I simply despise not having a say, not having a choice as to how I should live my life.

I have previously studied and lived in Perth for 3 years. Made a mistake on disrupting my national service so I had to return to serve the remaining 4 months or I would have applied for PR there and then. I guess thats the way life is, coming back to Singapore lead me to my wife. All is not lost though, I just spent more time and resources to get my PR, fortunately it was granted to me late last year. In fact, I've just returned to Singapore from Melbourne, had to comply to the first entry requirement. I hadn't visited Australia since I graduated 5 years ago, and that trip felt like I was coming home. Ok maybe exaggerated, but it felt really good.

I noticed some people question why I choose to leave Singapore, and as always, I provide a near inexhaustible list of reasons. The very same people will tend comment that if there is so much I dislike, why don't I stay and try to make a difference instead of giving up or quitting. I'd pose this question back to them instead. If you work at a company, and feel you are underpaid, over worked, underappreciated, why do you resign and move on. Shouldn't you stay and try to make a difference, besides, you'll only need to convince perhaps a few hundred to a few thousand colleagues compared to trying to convince millions within a country. So far, I've not recieved an answer I deem satisfactory.

I have read a couple of your posts highlighting people an aspiring migrant to Melbourne could contact. I initially wanted to seek out the neurotic rambling couples before I made my first entry, but decided against it. I felt it may be intrusive or rude to just contact them through your blog post meant for someone else. I read their blog as well, they do not provide an email address for contact though, which brings me to this. I have a state sponsored visa from victoria and I would like to hopefully befriend some people before relocating. I thought perhaps I could get an introduction to them through you so they don't get startled when I pop them a mail out of nowhere?

I know it sounds weird since I popped you a mail out of nowhere. Can't explain this, just that I've been reading your blog for so long and seeing you provide advise/help to others, so it just felt... alright.

Anyway, thank you for taking your time to read my mail.
Best Regards,



Dear G,

Firstly, I have to take my hats off you, for I have neither the mind or gift of the gab to articulate a point across and silence all doubters at one go. I agree on your underlying point - that is takes far lesser effort to change a habitat than to move to one that suits you better. I used the word habitat to remind us that animals have been migrating since the beginning of time. It will be foolish for humans to think one can work against nature. Thus the path of least resistance in an unfavourable environment is to adapt. If that doesn't work out, moving on is far more efficient than changing the environment. I believe that is difficult to dispute with.

Though Singapore as we know it is being run as a Inc., I think a better analogy could be used. Our birth country should ideally, be home. The fact that you are arguably no longer the minority feeling that our country is being run like a business, proved there is a difference meant to be made and how it should be made should start from not treating our country like a company. By changing the perspective, we will be begin to see how a citizen can make a difference is like how a family member can make a difference for his or her family. After all, is idea of a home is closely related to the bonds of a family, in which the abundance or lack of makes the difference. That is the reason why more Singaporeans no longer feel at home in Singapore anymore. Every Singaporean will have to decide if the difference meant to be made is worthy or not. 

In my opinion, nothing is greater than the power of the people. Even the key appointment holders of the country are part of the people, can and will be influenced by mantra of the masses. At the moment, at least apparent to me, majority of the Singaporeans do not feel a difference is worth making and prefer status quo. As an avid investing reader, I learnt that how to respect the trend as a friend. Since the trend is against me, especially I am just a cheap pawn and possess no speck of nobility of someone like Mahatma Gandhi, I chose to leave not because of I don't care about my country but I care about my family more. I'll take home along with me, wherever I go.

It wasn't a mistake that you didn't end up applying for an Australian PR when you had the first opportunity to because you wouldn't know what you wanted at that point of time. You may have ended up packing your bags back to Singapore upon a little setback or indignation when the wind have not blown your way. Knowing exactly what you want is a weapon that cuts the wind and your last 5 years was spent forging this weapon.

There are lots of people in the Facebook group, Singaporeans in Melbourne. I have previously suggested knowing some folks there but have since changed my opinion. You don't need to know any Singaporean to succeed in this project. For a start, Singaporeans are not known to be helpful. Ever heard of the phrase, "Sinkie pwn sinkie?" It is a matter of time our race will be wiped off so why cling on to one another. Therefore, I challenge you to go forth to the South with nothing but an inextinguishable flame of faith. (and some money) Get to know your first friend only after you stepped on Aussie soil sand. Then share your story with me when you emerge unscathed. I have no doubt you will make the difference.



  1. Hi G, Singaporean Son has linked us up with some of his readers.

    We don't have the tolerance for spam and thus won't make our contact info public. Some people have left their contact info via comments (which we won't publish for obvious reasons)


  2. And I half agree with Nix. There may be some bad apples in any group. But you just need the few helpful ones and off you go.

    I stand ready to pass on a bit of the love to a fellow brave Sinkie.

    But don't be surprised that you may receive as much, if not more help from migrants of other nationalities or the locals.

    Come with an open mind and you will be in good hands. Otherwise surely SG is the best place in the world!


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  4. Hi G

    I believe most Singaporeans who wanted out of Singapore will attribute their decision to the repelling factors of living in Singapore. Remember your hatred for this country which have senselessly claimed your 2 years of youth amd remember the hatred of the PAP who have locked up our CPF. Remember these hatred and thrive elsewhere. Then show the PAP the middle finger when u turn in ur pink IC

  5. G is free to contact me in Mel, I don't what I can do but he can use the email. colintanlk AT

  6. Hi everyone,

    firstly, thank you Nix for reading and responding to my mail :D
    Also thank you to everyone else for their input.

    Hi blessed Singaporean,
    I'm going to be taking your input as advice and I shall be attempting to reply your questions. I usually do not condone this, as it turns me into a keyboard warrior, so this will be my one and only response to such a discussion.

    I will be blunt as well in my views, and honestly I don't care what other think of my principles, logic, mindset or what not. They are meant for me, and how I choose the paths in my life ultimately is nobody's concern as long as they are law abiding and does no harm to anyone or anything. As many have quoted, nobody owes you a living, and likewise, I don't owe anyone a living, much less an explanation.

    So lets begin:
    "Having read your story, I think you haven't fixed your bigger problem in life - your MENTAL MODEL needs to CHANGE."

    I don't think I even have a story in my letter to begin with. It is a citation of me having spend time in Perth pursuing an education and having return to serve the remaining 4 months of military service. No experience quoted. No offence but I think its pretty far fetch to tell me you can sum up a mental model based solely on that, I'm not convinced.

    "Let me copy and paste the lines that you have written:

    "If you work at a company, and feel you are underpaid, over worked, underappreciated, why do you resign and move on. Shouldn't you stay and try to make a difference, besides, you'll only need to convince perhaps a few hundred to a few thousand colleagues compared to trying to convince millions within a country. So far, I've not received an answer I deem satisfactory."

    You've completely missed the point on this one. The rational behind that statement is when people tell me I am, mmm, a "quitter"? So technically when one resigns and goes to another company for better prospects, wouldn't that make them a quitter in a sense as well?

    "Q1. What makes you think you will be better paid, when you come to Australia?"
    Typical Singaporean analogy may I add. Everything first boils down to cash, how much you earn. I guess it can be difficult to wean one off this once its been indoctrinated or ingrained into the psyche. Shouldn't you be asking what makes you think you will even be able to find a job? This is the real challenge. I have devised plans which I am uncomfortable in sharing publicly, trust me, they are legit. If that fails, any odd job will do to reduce financial burden while I continue searching.

    "Q2. In the first place, how do you define being better paid?"
    Answered above.

    "Q3. What is your purpose of migrating to Australia - to become better paid or to lead an Australian lifestyle?"
    This is a good question all potential migrants should 1st consider above all else. I want to leave because of freedom. You can call it the Aussie lifestyle. I just do not believe in slogging my life away to have my earnings locked up in CPF and when I pass, my children basically repeats what I went through only to have the conditions much worse than what I faced.

    "Q4. Are they here to become better paid than they used to earn in Singapore or are they here to pursue an Australian life?"
    They are there because they choose to. What they want and what they believe in is up to themselves. What I want could be different, it could be the same, but it is up to no one but myself to accomplish.

    "Q5. Are you mentally and physically prepared to make the real difference?"
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Get ready for anything mentally and financially now when I have the time, and if all goes to shit, I am prepared. And if it doesn't go to shit, its bonus for me.

    "Q6. Why do you even need to convince hundreds or thousands of people, including your colleagues?"
    read below

  7. "Q7. Do you really think your colleagues even give a damn about what you want to do with your life?"
    read below

    "Q8. What do you want to prove? Make them feel silly because they are stuck in Singapore, whereas you have successfully left Singapore for a greener pasture in Australia?"
    read below

    I suppose you've completely missed the point with regards to the "company" section". Its not me trying to put people down for staying in Singapore. Its me giving a layman's explanation on why I am leaving. It is fine staying in Singapore, but do not call me names for leaving. Ironically the very people calling us quitters are trying to recruit us back. Talk about hypocrisy.

    These are good questions. They do not affect me though, the decision for migration wasn't planned last night nor was my visa granted through luck. The whole process was thought out and worked upon for almost 5 years.

    I guess that wraps it up.

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