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Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Mon, 30 Jul 2018 5:50 pm
by B_B
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum, and would like to ask you all for your opinion on living in Singapore long term.

I am Dutch, currently living in Japan, and there is quite a high chance that sometime next year I will be moving to SG, possibly forever. I have been to Singapore several times on holiday, but that's obviously not the same as living there, so I would like to ask all of you living there:

- what are the best things about living in Singapore?
- and what do you consider the worst?

I know these are all personal opinions, and aren't the same for everyone, but I would like to get a better idea of what to expect :)

I apologize if this question has been asked before (couldn't find it). If that's the case, please redirect me to the correct topic.

Thanks in advance!

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Wed, 01 Aug 2018 1:27 am
by earthfriendly
Coming from the Netherlands and Japan, your greatest culture shock will probably be the corner-cutting culture. Think of it as a mini version of China. It is not as extreme but will affect all facets of your daily life there.

People don't apply themselves and try to put their best foot forward in their endeavors. You can see this in shoddy workmanship e.g. building construction, customer service and the way businesses are run. Stories of bad contractors, car dealers, landlords and how businesses are run abound on this board.

You can find some exceptions and usually it comes from the public (govt) sector. They tend to provide prompt and efficient service. But can quickly become clueless and robotic if you need help outside of the usual and mundane stuff.

And there is the money-worshipping. Going to great length just to save $.50 (another form of corner-cutting?) . Which is not inherently wrong by itself until it inconveniences others.

On the plus side, plenty of affordable, cook-to-order food that is readily available i.e. hawker centers. If you choose carefully, you will usually find some healthy options.

A well-run airport which makes it a breeze to fly in and out of i.e. if you are doing a lot of traveling.

And all the perks that come with living in a small and compact city e.g. well-connected transportation network and abundance of amenities like parks, stores, town center, swimming pools and sports facilities. ... r-save-us3

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Wed, 01 Aug 2018 8:54 am
by earthfriendly
There is a similar law in Singapore. The regressiveness of these 2 countries make it difficult for the progressive-minded to live there :) . ... e-law.html

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Wed, 01 Aug 2018 8:56 am
by earthfriendly
Oops, wrong thread but nevertheless, relevant. Which brings up another point. Unlike Japan and the Netherlands, Singapore is not an intrinsincally-driven culture. They put up all kinds of silly laws, fines and fear tactics to elicit good behaviors from its citizens. Which, of course, is a bad way to raise children. And it impacts their mental health. If you choose to live there, you will experience this psychosis first hand, when dealing with Singaporeans.

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Wed, 01 Aug 2018 1:56 pm
by B_B
Many thanks for your elaborate replies!

I've spoken to several Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans, and it's really interesting to read/hear about the similar and different experiences people have.

For instance, the Singaporeans I know mostly seem to be hard-working (and critical of the laziness of others), but I have also heard from some other non-Singaporeans about laziness and corner-cutting, so it's definitely there.

What is it like to work *with* Singaporeans?

The importance of money, for better or worse, everyone seems to agree upon :) I just hope there will be some room to enjoy life (else, what's the point of living in the first place :))

The laws and rules will definitely be something I'd need to get used to.

As for the positive points, food, shopping and the convenience of the airport is something almost every single person I've spoken to mentions. I find it funny how apparently one of the best things about Singapore is how easy it is to get out of the country.

Again, much appreciated! I would love to hear more pros and cons if possible.

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 11:33 am
by Joel_Le

I just moved to Singapore 3 years ago, living and growing up in Sweden before that.
This is how i compare it from where i come from.

That i like about Singapore is:
1: A lot of FOOD and convenience
2: Nice airport easy to get out and in the country, very easy to get to malaysia or other SouthEast Asia country from Singapore.
3: Cinema is CHEAP a lot of movies!
4: A lot to see and event and stuff keep on coming all the time.
5: Very family/handicap friendly, there is lift and slope everywhere if u need to push a stroller or anything.
6: They put up danger banner and close part of the road if there is a hole or anything very nice and for safety, I like this one :-D
7: Shows are free, like MBS fountain show and Garden by the bay light.
8: TAX IS SO LOW, compare to sweden 33% + for average people... high income maybe 50% tax in sweden...

What I notice that i don't like about Singapore after 3 year:
1: People cut queue in lift and MRT(subway), not giving the change for people that is older or pregnant have the seat until they self ask for it... Also the MRT Lift, very tired..
2: its not strict as it say it is, wish it was. Around HDB area a lot of trash people throwing around.
3: Never trust contractor or renovation companies or AC services, U always have to keep an eye on them and double check if stuff is proper done.
4: Doesn't matter where u stay in Singapore, it often take 45 min to get to city center, so no need to live in central part.. walking also take 30 min to get around haha!
5: In finance section I find my friends work a lot and don't get OT, but in IT people are quite lazy and work exactly the hours that is for a day, also they coming late and leave early sometimes.
6: 7 month of lunar calendar... It look super messy and people are burning stuff everywhere.
7: Asian country, so if someone treat u something and u cannot take it or don't want they will think u not showing respect to them. Something i don't like, for example if u don´t eat sugar then someones birthday and they give u a piece of cake... if u not eating means u don't respect the birthday guy... Feel they are quite self center in some point.
8: Landlord is always a bitch, haven´t found a good one yet!

This is the point i can think of now :-) but yeah its more positive than negative actually, its just negative memories stay longer than positive memories.. ugly true haha.

Hope you will find Singapore AMAZING! at least i find its amazing compare to what i had before. :-)

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 9:22 am
by B_B
Thanks a lot for your reply!

I'm happy to hear that you (mostly) enjoy living in SG :)

It's likely I'd be working in finance, so I'll prepare myself for long, hard work days :)

Is it easy to make friends in SG (compared to your home countries)?

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 9:38 am
by Joel_Le
Yeah Singapore is quite easy to make friends actually, people are not so distance as swedish people haha

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 4:38 pm
by sundaymorningstaple
But if you are in a group of three and two of them are local Chinese, they will just speak in Sindarin or singlish and completely leave you out of the conversation. They really don't do it deliberately, but from a social aspect, it is still somewhat of a backwater here. Only the infrastructure is in the 21st century.

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 4:43 pm
by Joel_Le
Hmm Yeah theydo talk Mandarin or Hokkien time to time, but if u curious enough then u ask they also happy to explain or tell u what they say haha :D

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 4:52 pm
by sundaymorningstaple
See. All courtesy must start with the visitor. Exactly what I mean about being socially backward. They should automatically realize that a foreigner in their midst who is part of the party, would know know Sinderan or singlish and would speak in a language that the foreigner would understand. Now if the foreigner wasn't part of their party it would be a different story, but they will do it to colleagues during lunch times as well, even when they are traveling as a group."

Prime example of socially backward. ^^^^

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 4:58 pm
by Joel_Le
Hehe think positive, they maybe do it unconscious and feel its so comfortable u are there :-) or they feel more comfortable to that language

Re: Good/bad things about Singapore

Posted: Sat, 08 Sep 2018 2:56 am
by earthfriendly
Joel_Le wrote:Yeah Singapore is quite easy to make friends actually, people are not so distance as swedish people haha
It kindof depends on what kind of "friends" you want to make, right?

Despite being of Asian extract myself, I find it easier to get along with the Swedes. Their culture has that nice balance of boundary, candidness, cogeniality and good ol' fashion common sense. The warmth and friendliness of Singaporeans come with its own baggage. Two sides of the same coin? I find those in-your-face prying from Singaporeans to be quite inappropriate and self-centered. Such as the incessant questions regarding the cost of items, salary you are making and the list goes on......

Instead of focusing on satisfying their own curiosity and what they are trying to extract from the other person, perhaps they can look upon human interactions and conversation as a 2-way street? And see it from the other person's POV and ask themselves am I asking too many (personal) questions that will make the other person uncomfortable? Mutual respect lah!