Sunday, August 29, 2010

Facebook exchange: What it means to leave Singapore

I had an exchange with JN over Facebook. It clearly shows the ravine between our political views. Extracted here for the record, should he decide to remove it.


[Facebook exchange on JN's childhood photo with him sitting in front of the National Theatre]

WD: National Theatre... build with donations from people from all walks of life. Such a pity that it is torn down instead of re-furbished.

JN: Part of the bigger plans lah....

WD: When there is the will, there's a way. E.g. Take apart and relocate. It's a lack of will that causes our history to disappear.

JN: Anyway, we have got the aircon Durian with MRT connections. Much much better.

WD: Not so. The significance of the National Theatre (and also the Nanyang University) was that people from all walks of life contributed to it. When was the last time Singaporeans from all walks of life come together for a common goal?

WD: The spirit of Singapore is dying, fast.

SY (JN's friend): Totally agree that demolition of National Theatre is a big loss to S'pore history. The PM emphasized on S'pore identity during Rally today. What's left of S'pore if the govt continue to tear down buildings of historic significance like this in the name of development?

JN: old guards also leaving one by one, so will most old buildings. Afterall, we have limited land lor.

WD: Take a leaf from the refurbishment of old Cathay. You can keep the facade while changing the interiors dramatically to meet modern needs. We just need a good architect and the political will... hmm, the late ex-President Ong Teng Cheong Chong comes to mind ;)

WD: See wikipedia link on "Structure Relocation" below. When there's the will, there's a way.

JN: Just like you, the will to leave Singapore but yet has so much things to say.

WD: Just an intellectual discourse from a between-jobs person, ha ha. After all, my family is still in Singapore, so I hope that life will improve in Singapore for their sake.

JN: with you departing, now there will be an excuse to hire 3 more FT to replace you . Wonderful lah.

WD: 3? I am not that efficient at nursing lah. Unless you mean 3 to replace me in my previous IT functions, ha ha.

JN: Nursing lah. for that price they pay you, i think they can hire 3. Hehehe

WD: Oh, then you don't know how sad my current pay is. Cannot even apply for credit card leh.

JN: neither do they leh. just go to money changer to remit $$ back home only mah.

WD: Your comments very PAP-style, leh. Are you saying that we should empty out the Singapore economy of skilled workers and replace them with younger, cheaper but unskilled workers? What good is that for the long-term progress of Singapore's economic structure?
*Sakes head, wondering why I even bother to ask this question*

JN: No need to look at the big picture but just "you are going away for good" is enough. The thing is that you are quiting Singapore. A skilled and qualified person leh. So who is gonna replace you in this short instant ? there are those in the hospital that needs to be cared for leh. Afterall, to train you to be a SRN takes 3 years or something. So poach from other countries lor. Given your "low pay scale" is already many time more than what they will be likely to earn, so come lor. But maybe, we will need 2-3 to replace you. Afterall, they can be cheap to hire (assuming that training are the same competency level and all speaks english). chey, so simple logic also cannot understand meh. What PAP like ? Chey.

WD: Oh, to replace a SRN with foreign nurse, cannot pay so low lah. Don't forget, I'm only given fresh diploma holder pay, so it's not enough to pay for 2 foreigners willing to downgrade to EN (forget about 3).

JN: still, it is more than 1. They win. ^-^

WD: I would gladly let them win, given the work culture such a system creates :) You want talent, you have to pay for it.

JN: make sure that I don't see you crawing back to SGP looking for a job here ah....

WD: Don't curse me like that lah. You also relocated out of Singapore yourself, mah.
Btw, you're wrong about my replacement. They employed another Singaporean, almost fresh diploma holder, to replace me. After all, you're taking about service industry here, very hard for newly-arrived foreigners to hit the ground running.

JN: Yup. I relocated. Can't complain about FT but being one myself lor. Expat package. Plus me in SGP is easily replaced, no special skills or training or licence needed, so unlike you. They won't missed me here or anywhere in the world lah.

WD: They will need you back... to produce the next generation of loyal Singapore citizens, ha ha.

JN: Past sell-by age liao.
Anyway, since you hate the SGP & PAP government so much that you are leaving. Than go, set up the better life elsewhere, FB us to make us envy you.
Don't turn back. Don't comment on the past here, as it is no longer yours to comment nor can you contribute anything useful lor. 好马不吃回头草

WD: I disagree with you that "it is no longer yours to comment nor can you contribute anything useful"
Why does the govt pay big $ to foreign consultants for advice, if they are not local? Because their thoughts, criticisms and comments have value. [Exclude of course the silly $ PAP govt spent to rename "Marina Bay" to "Marina Bay". Ha ha]
I may be gone from Singapore soon, but my family is still here. And for various reasons, some are unlikely to leave. It is only right for me to wish for a better life for my family members who remain. I left Singapore because I do not like the government's policies, it does not mean that I dislike ALL Singaporeans, things Singaporean. Least of all, it should not mean that I have to disown my family which is Singaporean. Got it?
Like I said, you are very PAP-style in your comments without even realising it. IMHO, it has to do with the pathetic nature of debate and critical thinking education in the typical local schools. :P
Try reading some of the well-written local blogs. E.g. Yawning Bread.

JN: you sounded like a pinoy hor. BTW, I don't read the rubbish blogs of noise makers. just too many out there to waste my precious them and intrude into my personal space.

JN: It is as if you are better schooled than us. The way you are not able to accept my reasoning and calling me PAP-thinking shows that you are even of a more narrow vision. Bo chap than dun kau pei here lah. It is a photo of my childhood and you are talking rubbish. Just like how you are on my late-father's photo*.
[*Note: It was a photo of his late-father's watch where he commented that the watch had stopped at the exact moment when his father passed away. I commented on the parallels with the story from a children's song "My Grandfather's Clock". JN took it as an insult. IMHO, he has limited literary sense, lah.]
U also product of local system mah. Chey. If you dun like the policies and then just exit, isn't this like that big bird with small head that sticks into the ground. "See no evil and hear no evil." And leave your poor family behind to continuously "suffer" the disliked policies ? Stay back, make a stand and do something lor. 好马不吃回头草 orh. On what you say here earlier, I will hold you to it orh. Dun pray-pray orh. Hheeheh.

WD: From my personal observations, the average Filipino is more loyal to his/her home country than the average Singaporean... despite all the troubles and the corruption in their homeland. Once you get to know them well enough, they can and will openly criticise their govt and its policies and their home situations. Yet, they are proud to be Filipinos, even after years away from their homeland.
How did the PAP govt failed to instil love for Singapore despite its self-proclaimed success and unique abilities? Why must PAP govt and its supporters chastise all who leave the country for a better life?
Reading more to trigger deeper thinking does not mean you have to agree with what you read. It's a way to push oneself to develop further in one's thinking skills. Learning and thinking are supposedly lifelong activities.
Of course, being stuck at your current thinking is ok too, given that it fulfils what PAP proscribed for the plebeians... only the basic physiological and security levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

WD: Yes, IMHO, I was luckier than you. I had better teachers. A stroke of luck.
I did not say that I'm better. You are sensitive yourself, so you said so. You're the one who started this whole political debate on your photo, not me. I have my right to give my 2 cents retort. If you don't like, you can always delete my comments.
Just don't be a sore loser.

JN: so well inked ah. Maslow somemore.... I think you should start one of those noise making blog lor. Afterall, they cannot pull you in for questioning after you have left the country ^-^

WD: Next step, use of fear to intimidate. Very clever and PAP-style hor.
I won't waste my time with a sore loser. If you dare, leave the comments here for others to judge.

JN: Aiyo. Name calling now ah.
I seriously think that you are a vegetable head quitter. Before you go, then decided to fleece their fellow countryman by taken an expensive & taxpayer-subsidized course with no intention returning good service to the Singapore society by at least serving your time in the hospital.1
Your decision lor. Ok lor, i am sure you did your maths well and let others be the judge of this too.
好马不吃回头草, will be the one phase that i just tag you, a quitter.


I do not look down on others in general. In fact, I respect those who are willing to argue their stand logically or base their arguments on the impact on people, even if our stands may be diametric. But to hit below the belt at my family and to use the threat of being arrested? Well, suffice to say that JN has just lost my respect.

The other thing I dislike is the stand taken by some Singaporeans against those who leave to build a better life. It is such hostile attitude that makes one not want to come back to contribute to Singapore even if one happens to be successful in future.

p.s. For those who don't know, I (a Singapore citizen) repay repaid my bond according to its exit clause. Any PR (i.e. foreigner) on the same bond would have to do the same*. Thus, JN's accusation that I "fleece their fellow countryman by taken an expensive & taxpayer-subsidized course with no intention returning good service to the Singapore society" holds no water.2

*Note: According to internet anecdotes, some foreigners on other even more expensive "Singapore taxpayer-subsidized" scholarships have absconded. Information on such cases are the government's "official secrets", never to be published in the media.1

[Addendum on 3rd June 2011]

My 2 cents:

1. I am amazed at the PAP-government instigated public hatred (through ministerial comments published in the mainstream media) against Singapore citizen bond-breakers. It stands in stark contrast against their silence on foreign bond-breakers. Is this an example of why it is better to be a foreigner than a citizen in Singapore?

2. If you read my blog on my nursing experience in Singapore, you would have an inkling why I decided to pay up my bond instead of completing it. It was a difficult decision. Nevertheless, once a decision is made, one just moves on and hopes for the best.


  1. Winking doll,

    rest assured that you will be glad that there's such stupid people around..

    They call called us whatever they want when home is swarmed by china, indian, what us local people leave anyway...because of pricks like your friend. Narrow minded short term thinking donkey whom so unhappy people are having a better start..

    Do singaporean leaving overseas quitters?? well, tell that to the many singaporean people living or studying in Australia...quitters?? Your friend have not even started yet.. let him serve all the time he wants for the us whatever he wants...we are having the time of our life!!

  2. Hi Bone Collector,

    Yes, the illogic stumped me. Our (JN and mine) previous repartees have never gone so low. I was about to introduce a female friend to him, given his single & available status. But now I have to think twice.

    As you've pointed out, the best way to handle such pricks is to ignore. After all, talking further will only be 對牛彈琴 [i.e. playing the harp to the ox]. Ha ha.

  3. Eh, never see you introduce a female friend to me? I also single and available and living well in NZ! :P

    I just want to say I don't like Sinkees, end of story.

  4. Hi CK,

    You're single and available? Why didn't you say so earlier? I would have intro myself to you *just kidding* ha ha! Oops, I'm also "Sinkee", so how leh? If you're still interested, I will look-out-for and introduce someone(s) interested to migrate to NZ. Just email me... my ID at Remember to crucial include info such as "I am M/F, interested in M/F/both".

    I like Singaporeans, they are generally an honest and hardworking lot, but somewhat gullible politically ;-) IMHO, it's the system here that sucks and brings out the worse in people.

    Btw, I saw on the news that NZ had a bad 7.4 Ritcher-scale earthquake. Hope all's well with you.

  5. You can still intro yourself to me what, Sinkee for a few more days only ma. I'm not sure any Sinkee chick would want to come to NZ, the shopping is not that great here! ;)

    Yes, we had a bad earthquake yesterday, huge damage done but no fatalities!!! A city of 350,000 hit by a 7.1 quake and nobody died! How blessed are we?!

  6. Hi CK,

    I'll take you up on the intro. I think I may have single and available friends with an interest to migrate to Australia or NZ. You'll like them, they are not the typical Sinkees... why else would they want to go to the land of the sheep, ha ha? Pls email me at my id (i.e. first word on the blog's url) at gmail dot com.

    Great that there is zero fatalities! Impressive... Yes, NZ is blessed, not just "lucky and god-blessed", but also good planning to practicalities such as building structures, building quality control, and earthquake preparedness to minimise the fatalities. PAP govt don't realise how lucky they are to not have to handle such natural disasters.

    Another feather under the cap, to sell NZ to the potential migrants. Btw, I read somewhere from an environmental impact report that NZ will actually benefit from global warming... higher agricultural yields :-)

  7. Ha, PAP handle man made disasters aka flooding already ga-lang-ga-bok, I shudder to think what will happen when a real, real disaster strikes.

  8. Jaysus, sorry to be crude but JN is totally behaving like a fuckwit with the logical/empathy range of a spoon.

  9. Since you lament the tearing down of buildings of historic significance, be sure to watch the Monster Moves videos i recommend. Something to do at home during winter.

    Some are historic buildings being moved. Is stuff we won't see in sg.

    Monster Moves Never Seen In S'pore

    1. Hi Xianlong,

      Thanks for visiting and your comments.

      Yes, moving historic buildings happen here in B.C. too. :)

      IMHO, I think there is more than meets the eye (politically) when it comes to the demolition of the "people's theatre" (National Theatre) and the National Library (with its huge archive of other political publications pre-PAP press censorship days).

      Cheers, WD.