Why Did You Leave Singapore?

Odd that I was asked the same question by two people on the same night. The question was, "Why did you leave Singapore?" The first was posed by Cutearmpit when we were chatting in GW2, after Tucky claimed that I was 'anti-PAP' and warned me not to get sued. It was an amusing moment for me because I couldn't imagine anyone leaving their country because he hates his government. Perhaps over the years, the people have been reading too much into condescending statements such as, "Not happy with Singapore, migrate lah!" With the countless times I came across a person who genuinely feared the idea of migrating, I couldn't fathom how another could decide to leave his country in a willful fit.

Alright. Perhaps I was wrong. My maternal grandfather was one who allegedly did just that. According to mum, my grandfather was born to a rich family. Needless to say, being an ah sia kia, my grandpa had it easy in life. The fateful day came when my great-grandfather apparently had enough and crushed grandpa's best fighting cricket to death. In a fit of anger, grandpa migrated to Malaysia, dragging his young wife along with him. After that, he was caught in the WWII years and never returned to China since. He passed away in Malaysia.

Again, according to mum, grandpa was a man with a wide variety of talents that sound like stuff of the legends to me. He was proficient in herbology with ability to identity wild herbs and concoct them into medicine. He was good in agriculture, a good cook, weather reader, a fearless hunter and a dog trainer. A man who raised a family of 6 in a thick jungle in Kuantan must be well versed in survival skills as well. Indeed he could craft like an engineer, slaughter animals like a butcher and heal animals like a veterinarian. Aside from his manly hobbies, he was a people leader who rose from the rank of a plantation supervisor to a land owner and businessman.

That was where the reason why Grandpa left China didn't quite connect with who we knew he was. Would an ah sia kia be well equipped with multiple life skills of such levels? There was little to suggest the story was dubious because much of it was secretly revealed by my grandmother who was a indignant observer as a young innocent woman then. If so, did migration bring out the man in Grandpa? I guess we will never know.

The second person who asked me the same question later in the night was my poly mate Allen. My usual answer was that I found Singapore too crowded for my liking. That was the simplest answer I could offer anyone without raising further questions as I wasn't too keen in participating in another PAP debate. Not that my friends would even bother to listen or believe when I told them I was against the policies, not the people or political parties making them, anyway. So the lesser said, the better. Besides, my life isn't about the PAP. So shouldn't yours be.

The answers to the question of, "Why did you leave Singapore?" was never going to be a straightforward one. No, I didn't leave in a fit like Grandpa did either. When I was unemployed for 8 months in 2008, I had a lot of time to stroll the quiet streets of Singapore during office hours. I remembered telling myself how much I loved my serenity of Singapore but regret how it turned into a circus after office hours. If I say there is something wrong about living in Singapore, I will not be telling the truth. Singapore remains one of the best countries to live in the world. So the decision to leave ran much deeper than that. It was carefully thought over during my long period of unemployment that year, far from a willful move that some friends might assumed up till today.

Allen is temporarily unemployed currently. Perhaps it wasn't a coincidence that he contacted me again to find out more. Understandably, he was concerned about find a job. After all, he is a father like me and can care only about himself no longer. It was bedtime by then so I sent him a link and concluded, "You can drive right? So you have no excuse." After subjecting ourselves through the confounding decision making process, it is important to make a complete mind shift so that we can focus on the goal itself. In such a situation, in my personal opinion, the Occam's razor is the best approach to adopt. Just like what Grandpa did.

You fuckin' crushed me cricket, me fuckin' go.


  1. wow - didnt know you were jobless for 8 months...and strangely enough, i am jobless for almost 6 months now, and had the same 'walks' like u did and reflecting on what the hell singapore has become now........

    (btw im not allen)

  2. I moved to OZ because of my kid's education. But in the end, I have to send my kid to private school as public school is pretty bad in our area

    1. Donald,

      The drugs influences are the main reason ,that happening on these Oz youth, getting from bad to worse ,that may leads crimes in oz.

      One late afternoon, while driving through Kwinana freeway ,from Rockingham , i saw a park stationery car at the side road,with a group of 4/5 youths shouting,by throwing stones to their arranged targets of,line up empty bottles, the way of their standing movements as though like drunken monkey moves.

      Maybe lives is too stressful in Oz lately. Its not uncommon to see mentally disturbed individuals shouting and yelling in public common places

  3. There were both push and pull factors in our decision to move to Oz.
    1. To allow our children to have a proper childhood and not suffer under the pressure cooker that is the Singapore education system. I remember my daughter saying, "They want to suck the juice out of us" as she stayed up past midnight to finish her homework.
    2. The crowds and the congestion made us feel claustrophobic. We longed for wide open spaces.
    3. The claustrophobia of living in a 1500 sqft apartment with 5 growing children and a dog was driving us mad. Compare this with our current situation of living on a 14,000 sqft property with plenty to room breathe, spread out and live.
    4. A desire to live in a more compassionate society where the chasing the dollar is not everything. Where old folks gather for meals in restaurants instead of clearing tables in them.
    5. The higher tax rate in Oz was not a deterrent because we knew that it was offset my lower cost of housing and cars.
    6. My children all go to private school, made possible with 75% academic scholarships granted to each of them. Because there is no need to spend money on tuition (in Singapore my children had to have tuition for 2nd lang), we actually spend less on their education.
    7. Respect for and recognition that work-life balance for individuals is important. My children and I now see more of my husband than we did in Singapore.
    8. Our desire to live healthier lives in a less polluted environment, eating better produce and in weather that allows us to spend more time outdoors.
    9. The variability that inevitably results from living in a place that has 4 seasons. For me, living all my life in Singapore felt like Groundhog Day (not sure if you've watched the movie). Here, we grow plants taking into account seasons, we dress differently during different times of the year, we cook based on seasonal produce.

    These are just some of the reasons that made us decide to move.

  4. We are here NOT to rebuttal anyone preferences of living styles to choose anywhere ,We are here to shares the thoughts of horizon ,what others might offers with an option to make our lives more meaningful and most importantly,that closer to the hearts.

    In-facts I'm supporting to those with fullest ideas of logical sense, if you're really enjoying your life to the fullest anywhere, without having leeching on with emotional baggage, saddle all the disappointments, wrongs, and trauma of the past around in one heavy load. you have just make a Wonderful life journey without regrets.

    For my Case ,having the Privilege, prerogative of living in between SG,MY,OZ made me more or less settled ,what is my best option for my family and my future will be.

    Because of push factors and pull factors ,where should the perfect places to live .I already decided, to be EX-Singaporean ,Take all CPF at 50s, including my Medi-save, because of these push factors and pull factors being sick as Singaporean,Financially, Socially, Economically, Environmentally and all of all the FamiLEE .I don't have to LEAVE Singapore literally.

    By making off with this decision, are the best option, I'm fortunate enough ,having a family ties of my Late father as Malaysian, holding SG PR and My SG Mother, brothers and sisters that still living in Singapore that which I did truly treasure very much. Without having a breakdown families ties, as far away, when ,I'm making my decision to migrating. Its only a matter of 10-15 minutes contact traveling journey apart.

    I bought a plot of Land in Gelang -Patah ,After spending just SG 250 K for the hilly view bungalow,that sitting on 1 acre land or 46,000 Sq ft ,build with personnel touch architecture designed. (HDB 3 room are much more expensive if to compare what I've spend in JB) just a short distance, 5 minutes gateway that directly connected to SG 2 link. My Singaporean siling will spend their Weekend for family barbeque or just relaxing on small pool.

    If Not we will be spending together for weekend picnic at Changi beach or Sentosa beach or just relaxing at my mum place in between on lazy Saturday & Sunday.In other time we'll travel within Johor,for Desaru ,Tioman,or Mersing beaches or just go for Kota Tinggi waterfall.

    When School holiday begin either in June or December, I'll be spending at my 2 br apartment in Perth ,which I bought, solely as my investment purposes and for my son's future, education in Oz, only this year June ,we skipped OZ holiday, We'll be back as usual in this December.

    Doesn't Lives should be, without stress! importantly,what it does takes on much closer to your heart that COUNTS ! Doesn't matters where you choose to live the fullest.

    P.S : Remember !!! That's ONLY my own Opinion, Doesn't mean well for others