9 Reasons Why You Should Work in Singapore

A point of view from the other side

The inquirer;

Hey there, Just wanted o grasp your opinion on an ex-Singaporean returning to work in Singapore - possible? (I've been in Australia for 21 years since I was 5, naturalized Australian citizen, renounced my Singaporean citizenship when I turned 21, subsequently never liable to do NS). I've returned to singapore several times since renunciation, and have always been treated like an Australian. My new job offer is with a medical company in Singapore, who are sponsoring me, and have filled out an employment pass on my behalf. Any thoughts on this would be great. 

Warm regards Daniel

Leave Australia for this? Why not?
Hi Daniel,

Congratulations on your job offer.

I am not sure what you hope to hear from me. Since you did not reveal some details about your work, I'll have to assume your accommodation in Singapore is either provided for, like what many expats in Singapore enjoy, or included in a fatter remuneration package. In that case, there is your reason #1 to work in Singapore.

Reason #1 - Fatten your pocket

If you are not receiving more money than your current job in Australia, save yourself the trouble. Else, buy a bigger wallet and bring it along with you. Just take note that if you are being taxed by the Singapore government, you can apply for a foreign income tax offset. Make sure you keep all the relevant documents (your SG tax statements) to show it to the ATO to claim their relief.

Reason #2 - Have a taste of the Singapore pace

Since you are born Singaporean, you should be born with the genes to grasp the concepts of being "Cheaper, better and faster." Whether you like it or not is another thing altogether. If it isn't your cup of tea, there is always home to return to. If you enjoy the dynamism of Singapore, consider giving up your Australian citizenship for a Singapore one. After all, we clear our rubbish everyday, not once a week. Isn't that great?

Reason #3 - You reap without sowing

Unlike Singaporean sons like me, you get to enjoy and benefit from our vibrant economy without the need to do National Service. How you should feel about that? Great. So go with a smile.

Reason #4 - You will be treated as a "Firster Class" citizen

Many Singaporeans do not like the idea of moving to Australia because we feel that we will be treated like "2nd class" citizens. However, it is a fact that we treat our expats firster than our first class citizens. Hard truth for us, happy days for you.

Reason #5 - Singapore is damn safe

Our country is so safe that unlike the undesirable suburbs in Australia, you will feel at ease to walk through our streets naked without getting your manhood snipped off or robbed more naked than you already are. Just for your information, the lady in the picture is a Singaporean. She was heavily ostracized by our media and people for days but little was mentioned about her nice foreign friend who apparently, was also reported to be "morally supported" by the Swedish embassy in Singapore. [link]

Never forget these two rules:

1) Do whatever you want but don't get caught (we learnt it in NS and you didn't so there, your crash course)

2) You can get away with insulting anyone in social media as long as the General Election is not looming. (It is at the moment, so please take it easy mate)

Reason #6 - Shop till you drop

This may or may not be relevant to your lifestyle, depending which Australian state you come from. However, you can always change your living habits because we have late night shopping. According to the locals, this is God's gift to Singapore and one of the prime reasons why Singapore kicks everyone's ass. Despite Singapore being ranked the World Most Expensive City 2 years running, everything is supposed to be cheaper, including hookers. You'll find out.

Reason #7 - Eat till you are round

My elders are of Chinese ethnics. They used to tell me, “一个人一生吃多少是注定的” (the amount of food you can eat for a lifetime is a preset), it is a phrase commonly used to describe the limitations of a man's effort to surpass his fate. Many people swear that cooked food in Singapore is much cheaper than in Australia. I firmly reject this notion and I will prove it one day, when I have nothing better to do.  It is much more convenient to get cooked food within anywhere you live. That, I agree, no doubt about it. You also get access to restaurant set up by Michelin stared chefs. Anyway, you are in full control to pig yourself out everyday if you work in Singapore. Your destiny is in your own hands this time.

Reason #8 - No natural disaster

You may have never experienced a cyclone in your lifetime in Australia, or faced a bush fire that directly threatened your life, but never forget you grow up in the most dangerous country in the world, where everything is created to kill you - to outsiders at least. Singapore, on the other side of this aspect, is paradise. Just don't assume you can take a dip in any water you see , unless you relish a visit to the dermatologist. Take note that it is not recommended to take deep breaths during the months when our friendly southern neighbour hold their large scale BBQ festivals. Also, get yourself some ear plugs and a eye mask if you are a light sleeper because noise is harmlessly loud and our rooms are illuminated by street lights throughout the nights. Sure you can draw the blinds, then you have to be contented sleeping under an air conditioned environment every night. It's alright if you don't sleep or breathe well because there is no natural disasters in Singapore to harm you, unlike fucking Australia.

Reason #9 - Singapore is an equal society

Singapore is a fair and equal society that respects each and every individual, be it the gifted or the handicapped. That is despite the fact that our late founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew never believed in equality. 
“The human being is an unequal creature. That is a fact. And we start off with the proposition. All the great religions, all the great movements, all the great political ideology, say let us make the human being as equal as possible. In fact, he is not equal, never will be.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, from a speech during the 1960s, Success Stories

Yet we are equal.
“I am an educated, independent woman of a minority race, in a country that embraces and respects each of its citizens equally. Such is the country that Mr Lee built. How could I ever leave this place?”
- A reader named Priya Christie wrote in The Straits Times on March 30th

This is just one of the miracles left behind by our Father as his legacy. As a foreigner, you can be assured that you will receive lots of equality.


  1. Sorry mate you won't be treated better than the first class citizen. We are all equal.

    1. "equal".. we are all equal... yeah, right... :-)

    2. Who says that all are equal there? There is a social status system that relates with the amount of personal wealth you have accrued over the years. After all, most of the Singapore's population were to indented labourer forebears. Only the wickedly intelligent ones exploited the British system to their advantage to the detriment of the common man, just as dis colonial master did. This one still persists in Singaporean minds no matter how they want to say Singapore is a fair place. Just witness how cheap labourers are treated in their workplaces. The SMRT bus strike, wage arrears workers locked up in cages, what's more.

  2. If you intend to live in Singapore for more than 2 years together with your family, you may not be taxed by ATO.

  3. I like your blog but I have to disagree with several points here. I've lived 30 years in Australia and 15 years in Singapore so I think I've got a good basis for making comparisons.

    I do want to point out that despite my criticisms, I think migration to any country is a personal decision and it's not right for everyone. I also think there are positive and negative points for every country so theres no absolute Singapore is better than Australia or vice versa.

    I'll start with some of the bigger points. Although you left out a major one, education for children. That's a major reason families leave Singapore. Singapore scores high in academic performance, but your children pay for this is long study hours, high stress levels, education that encourages rote learning, streaming from a very young age, over emphasis on primary school scores (PSLE) etc etc. You might think high academic scores are good, but this doesn't appear to translate to high performing individuals.

    Reason #9 - Singapore is an equal society

    Far from it. Singapore is a very racist and unequal society. Many of my chinese friends don't trust Indians. I know Chinese managers that won't hire malays (think they're stupid and slow).

    The big difference is in Australia you will see the racist idiot who makes loud racist comments. These aren't common and most Australians seem to be very accepting and friendly. In Singapore you don't see loud racist comments, but there's a widespread underlying acceptance of racism in various forms it's just quite subtle. Look at employment ads that specify "chinese speaking only" when it's for a role that doesn't require chinese language. Look at how malays in the armed forces are generally relegated to driver roles. Look at Lee Kuan Yew himself who said that different races have different intelligence levels. Just because these segregations arent violent attacks based upon race doesn't make it any less racist.

    Reason #1 - Fatten your pocket

    Yeah tax is lower but generally salaries are lower. Why do you pay less for take away food ? Because the person working there is paid a pittance. Rent is going to cost you a lot more and rent is often the most significant expense each month.

    Reason #2 - Have a taste of the Singapore pace

    Which is why many people want to leave Singapore :)

    Reason #4 - You will be treated as a "Firster Class" citizen

    Maybe in the past. There's a lot of built up resentment and hatred towards foreigners now. Look at the professional filipinos working in IT, Engineering etc. They're receiving hate messages from some Singaporeans.

    Reason #5 - Singapore is damn safe

    This is one of the biggest myths of living in Singapore. I've lived in Australia and Singapore. I've never been physically assaulted in Australia but I have in Singapore. When I tried to lodge a police report the policeman tried to dissuade me saying there was no point in making a report. I had to insist (this was after I left the hospital for treatment).

    I've lived in HDB in Singapore. My bike (chained up) was stolen. Even my pot plants would disappear outside my apartment. I've lived in a private apartment and had been burgled once. I wonder why HDB apartments usually have metal grill doors with heavy padlocks. If it's so safe why bother with this expense ?
    If you got to a food market and look at some locals you are liable to get a knife in the stomach. There have been plenty of attacks over 'staring'. And yes people do get attacked, raped, murdered at night in areas around Singapore so forget this idea that Singapore is safe everywhere at night.

    Reason #6 - Shop till you drop

    Again low salaries means shops can open longer hours. Remember that there's virtually no consumer protection and little regard for consumer laws (CASE is powerless and depends upon mutual agreement to resolve issues).

  4. For number 8, the only natural disaster is lightning. It's not the worse natural disaster, but it's the fastest to strike. It's not that bad when you are indoors all the time. If you're outdoors, seek shelter.

  5. ear plugs are needed more i think. so i recommend Earplugs for Sleeping