What's culture shock to you for those who live(d) in Singapore?

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 31 May 2009 12:02 am

rattlesnake wrote:SMS- I am sorry, but this seems to say more about you and your attitudes than anything else.
It also says something about you as well. Your assumptions, like your opinions are flawed. My wife has the same attitude as I do (she's a born & bred Singaporean). As do most Singaporeans who have ventured beyond the little Red Dot's shores and subsequently returned. It also why many immigrate in larger and larger numbers each year. It's admirable that you want to stick up for your hosts, but at the same time, reality bites. Whether you want to admit it or not. I/we are not saying the other countries don't have these traits. We are here and, as I said previously, I am a member of the People's Association here. It's my way of trying to help. What are you doing? Other than verbal lip-service on an expat forum where very few locals are...... :?
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by renault » Sun, 31 May 2009 12:14 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
rattlesnake wrote:SMS- I am sorry, but this seems to say more about you and your attitudes than anything else.
It also says something about you as well. Your assumptions, like your opinions are flawed. My wife has the same attitude as I do (she's a born & bred Singaporean). As do most Singaporeans who have ventured beyond the little Red Dot's shores and subsequently returned. It also why many immigrate in larger and larger numbers each year. It's admirable that you want to stick up for your hosts, but at the same time, reality bites. Whether you want to admit it or not. I/we are not saying the other countries don't have these traits. We are here and, as I said previously, I am a member of the People's Association here. It's my way of trying to help. What are you doing? Other than verbal lip-service on an expat forum where very few locals are...... :?
Joining as a member of the people association is a way of contributing and that does not imply those not member is not doing anything. What we are doing now is already contributing to the nation...serving NS...doing community service work etc...even a donation to charity to help the less fortunate is a contribution. And not forgetting all male citizen would need to return for yearly NS training and be ready to get activated 24/7

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Post by taxico » Sun, 31 May 2009 12:24 am

renault wrote:Joining as a member of the people association is a way of contributing and that does not imply those not member is not doing anything. What we are doing now is already contributing to the nation...serving NS...doing community service work etc...even a donation to charity to help the less fortunate is a contribution. And not forgetting all male citizen would need to return for yearly NS training and be ready to get activated 24/7
having brought up "community service" and "donation to charity" and "serving NS," i'm sure you must realize there are different ways of contributing,

remember the 5 categories that makes up singapore's "total defence" program?

military, civil, economic, social and psychological.

expats or not. NS or not. PA member or not. everyone in singapore contributes to the well-being of the nation in one way or other/directly or indirectly.

(okay, maybe not terrorists and communists and the homeless, etc - all of which, i'm sure, have not signed up here.)

as a corollary, singapore would not have advanced so quickly without her foreign talent (FT) OR policies for bringing in FT. many singaporeans cannot or are unwilling to accept that fact.

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Post by rattlesnake » Sun, 31 May 2009 1:28 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
rattlesnake wrote:SMS- I am sorry, but this seems to say more about you and your attitudes than anything else.
It also says something about you as well. Your assumptions, like your opinions are flawed. My wife has the same attitude as I do (she's a born & bred Singaporean). As do most Singaporeans who have ventured beyond the little Red Dot's shores and subsequently returned. It also why many immigrate in larger and larger numbers each year. It's admirable that you want to stick up for your hosts, but at the same time, reality bites. Whether you want to admit it or not. I/we are not saying the other countries don't have these traits. We are here and, as I said previously, I am a member of the People's Association here. It's my way of trying to help. What are you doing? Other than verbal lip-service on an expat forum where very few locals are...... :?
What does it say about me??? Where are my assumptions and opinions flawed??? Sorry SMS your counter arguments are full of generalisations i.e. most Singaporeans, crap i.e my need to stick up for my hosts, and ego i.e. I am on an association, it's my way of trying to help, I have a hdb, I've been here 26 years etc.

The arguments I read on this forum about Singapore and Singaporeans are 95% a piss take about minor differences - in my opinion, (that's 'my' opinion) quite a number of times it borders on racial intolerance (ooops - I can't believe I said that). Note, I am saying 95% are a piss take not 95% racially intolerant. Lets face it, most of us (foreigners) are here because we want to use this country to better ourselves in some way and this includes the workers on building sites that probably don't post on this forum. There might be a small percentage who want to retire here, but most are users (me included). That sounds really harsh, but I would guess, mostly a fact. Personally, I don't feel the need to visit the house and crap on the doorstep. I came and I will leave - end of story. If you feel it is necessary to educate the 'locals' when you are here, go ahead - but please, don't drag the rest of us 'westerners' into it because all of our home countries are just as bad, if not worse, in a number of ways even if we don't want to admit it. I would rather an ignorant Singaporean over an Aussie bogan or a Chav any and every day.

What am I doing to help??? Help what??? As far as I see, Singapore and Singaporeans are doing fine without my (and probably your) help. Again, you will win this argument with most posters on here, because we don't help apart from pay our taxes. Does that mean I am wrong in what I say?

I do agree, my post(s) does say something about me - but what is it?. :?

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Post by renault » Sun, 31 May 2009 2:01 am

taxico wrote:
renault wrote:Joining as a member of the people association is a way of contributing and that does not imply those not member is not doing anything. What we are doing now is already contributing to the nation...serving NS...doing community service work etc...even a donation to charity to help the less fortunate is a contribution. And not forgetting all male citizen would need to return for yearly NS training and be ready to get activated 24/7
having brought up "community service" and "donation to charity" and "serving NS," i'm sure you must realize there are different ways of contributing,

remember the 5 categories that makes up singapore's "total defence" program?

military, civil, economic, social and psychological.

expats or not. NS or not. PA member or not. everyone in singapore contributes to the well-being of the nation in one way or other/directly or indirectly.

(okay, maybe not terrorists and communists and the homeless, etc - all of which, i'm sure, have not signed up here.)

as a corollary, singapore would not have advanced so quickly without her foreign talent (FT) OR policies for bringing in FT. many singaporeans cannot or are unwilling to accept that fact.
I do agree FT help to contribute the nation building. As for your perception of local not able to accept the fact does happen in any other country.

In my opinion, the FT should try to integrate into the society in the singaporean way. Similarly, you would want me to do that if i were to work in your native country. Nevertheless, we are starting to see that happening here especially during this economic downturn.

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Post by QRM » Sun, 31 May 2009 9:03 am

renault wrote: Why contradict urelf here. If u have so much complaints about singapore, y do u like this place so much and considering taking up the offer or is ur native country so bad that u wanted to leave in the first place.
Renault,

You appear to have some problem reading my post, and dont seem to answer any of the question. Like I said previously the complaints are relatively minor, you are the one making a big deal of it.

I left my "native" country, which at that time was Hong Kong because my wife was offered a job here. When you say native country I have lived in so many places around the world, "native country" is pretty much the place I live in at the time. I have no particular affinity to any one place. My birth place, My family home, my passport, my place of education, my place of work, etc are all different countries around the world. In fact my daughter can technically claim 4 different countries as her "native country".

How do you define native country? place of birth? passport? family line? Citizenship?

You still have not said anything about your own complaints about Singapore? Is it that perfect?

You have not even mentioned if its a good thing to finally get a speakers corner, would Singaporeans even know about the speaker corner concept if it was not thanks to overseas influences?

renault wrote:U are crap to say that all expat has made singapore what it is today. I think it the other way round else why would you even want to consider becoming a PR.
Again read previous post slowly, I said unless you are the original "real" Singaporean as in the Orang Laut , everyone here in one way or another has been or come from an expat and that includes you, unless your fore fathers was a Malay pirate?, I am sure your ancestors came over as an expat. Its the efforts from EVERYONE as in all the expats and the original Malays that has made Singapore what it is today.

If you want to talk of history I never seen Albert Winsemius mentioned in the papers, do you even know who he is? and why Singapore has a lot to thank him for? note he is an FT.

Why take up PR?, everyone has their own reason, for some it means you can purchase larger properties, other it gives them a stable base in Asia, how about try and think out of the box, if you where offered PR in say UK or the US or Australia would you take it? and more importantly why?
renault wrote:National Anthem is for citizen, i welcome u to sing along if u decide to take up citizenship in the near future.
If I do take up citizenship then would you treat me as a real Singaporean?
Last edited by QRM on Sun, 31 May 2009 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 31 May 2009 10:35 am

QRM wrote: How do you define native country? place of birth? passport? family line? Citizenship?
There is the biggest conundrum. I would surely like to hear the answer to that one. Have you ever listened to the majority here who claim "good" English and so forth. If, as a foreigner, ask the majority "what are you?" as in "I'm an American, what are you?" A surprising large number will normally answer you "I'm a singaporean Chinese. Or, "I'm and singaporean Indian." ect.

Rarely, in this country, will you get the answer "chinese Singaporean" or "malay Singaporean" with the emphasis on their country and not their race. This is the worry that the Government has always had to deal with and it's also one of the reasons that there are, till today as far as I'm aware of, no Flag Rank Officers of Malay descent in the Military here. It's also why immigration policies will always keep the racial percentages the same here regardless of what you can bring to the table. This country is not yet a country but a collection of different races working in a business. Check out the void decks of any HDB block at 5 am in the mornings. See how much they care for their country just by the trash from their mailboxes strewn all over the floor (left there to keep the foreign labour busy).

I'm being taken to task because I'm trying to help? Funny, the PA / Grassroots organizations are formed to try to help. They are funded by the government. If there wasn't help needed, they why does the government deem it necessary?

rattlesnake, I have nothing against you or your opinions. They are just that. But at the end of the day, even the government recognizes their problems that you refuse to see (or admit). Actually you see them, but you want to just say we're no different then other Countries (as you have pointed out several times). At least here, when enough people complain, the government starts to listen. Albeit, slowly, but listen they do. I've had quite a few discussions with both the Minister of Home Affairs & Minister of PMO. One of the reasons I am in the PA / Grassroots organization was that I was invited directly by visit from the chairman BECAUSE I am vocal and will see it through to get something done. Something the majority won't do, so nobody sticks up their hands or voices something because they think it might be unpleasant to deal with.
"Lets face it, most of us (foreigners) are here because we want to use this country to better ourselves in some way and this includes the workers on building sites that probably don't post on this forum. There might be a small percentage who want to retire here, but most are users (me included)."
As you are one who likes to do nothing more than split hairs ever since you've been on this board, your statement above is entirely correct. Unfortunately, unless you are of Malay descent, Every body on this island regardless of the colour of their NRIC or level of their EP is originally a foreigner or descendant of one. So each and every one of us is responsible for this country and making it as good as we can. In order to do that, one must be proactive and not just reactionary. Any place I've ever been to, I try to leave it better than when I came. Continue to split hairs for the sake of splitting hairs...... It's seems, so far, to be the thing you are best at - are you a lawyer perchance? :P

NB: using "most" or "majority" is not a sweeping generalization. "all" or "every" is. I know, I've been called for that before as I'm not an English major but just a ole farmboy without a degree to my name. Thanks for telling me I've go an ego. Here all along, I though I was doing this for the welfare of my community, now I've got to figure out why I spend so many hours doing volunteer work in my estate when I could be out on the piss or at the beach. I also need to go back now and rethink why I spent over three years in a refugee camp working for UNHCR as well. My whole life is now a shambles. Oh woe is me...... :roll:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by rattlesnake » Sun, 31 May 2009 11:17 am

SMS - I have no doubt, most of what you say is correct. Most of the anti-Singapore attacks I have read on the board however are not based on macro issues. As I said, most of what I read is more about minor quirks (I guess most of us find it easier to discuss shuffling, poor english and snotting over government policies). It was that point I was addressing which I am pretty sure we agree on. I guess I can be called for 'splitting hairs'. We all have differing levels of objectivity and ego - calling someone for splitting hairs is just a term that allows us to exit the discussion with our ego intact. Probably a nice way to end this little tete-a-tete. :wink:

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Post by irvine » Sun, 31 May 2009 12:20 pm

I am amused. :roll:

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 31 May 2009 3:03 pm

Agreed. :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by renault » Sun, 31 May 2009 3:26 pm

QRM wrote:
renault wrote: Why contradict urelf here. If u have so much complaints about singapore, y do u like this place so much and considering taking up the offer or is ur native country so bad that u wanted to leave in the first place.
Renault,

You appear to have some problem reading my post, and dont seem to answer any of the question. Like I said previously the complaints are relatively minor, you are the one making a big deal of it.

I left my "native" country, which at that time was Hong Kong because my wife was offered a job here. When you say native country I have lived in so many places around the world, "native country" is pretty much the place I live in at the time. I have no particular affinity to any one place. My birth place, My family home, my passport, my place of education, my place of work, etc are all different countries around the world. In fact my daughter can technically claim 4 different countries as her "native country".

How do you define native country? place of birth? passport? family line? Citizenship?

You still have not said anything about your own complaints about Singapore? Is it that perfect?

You have not even mentioned if its a good thing to finally get a speakers corner, would Singaporeans even know about the speaker corner concept if it was not thanks to overseas influences?

renault wrote:U are crap to say that all expat has made singapore what it is today. I think it the other way round else why would you even want to consider becoming a PR.
Again read previous post slowly, I said unless you are the original "real" Singaporean as in the Orang Laut , everyone here in one way or another has been or come from an expat and that includes you, unless your fore fathers was a Malay pirate?, I am sure your ancestors came over as an expat. Its the efforts from EVERYONE as in all the expats and the original Malays that has made Singapore what it is today.

If you want to talk of history I never seen Albert Winsemius mentioned in the papers, do you even know who he is? and why Singapore has a lot to thank him for? note he is an FT.

Why take up PR?, everyone has their own reason, for some it means you can purchase larger properties, other it gives them a stable base in Asia, how about try and think out of the box, if you where offered PR in say UK or the US or Australia would you take it? and more importantly why?
renault wrote:National Anthem is for citizen, i welcome u to sing along if u decide to take up citizenship in the near future.
If I do take up citizenship then would you treat me as a real Singaporean?
Hey QRM,
Let me straigthen u up abit. No 1, its not minor if u as foreigner trying to make a mockery of ur host country population.
No 2, u doesnt seem to understand that singapore is make up of multi-racial population and u dont seem to know what is call living in harmony
No 3, stop trying to blast ur so-called know how about singapore history cos u know nut about it.
No 4, as i have mentioned, i have no issue with my country and never did i complaint about singapore.
No 5, i have no planned to take up PR offer in any country. Reason is simple: I M HAPPY HERE
No 6, would i treat u as citizen? why not!!! so long u take up the citizen ship

You mentioned
"I have no particular affinity to any one place. My birth place, My family home, my passport, my place of education, my place of work, etc are all different countries around the world"

Well, that might explain why you dont feel a sense of belongings in any where.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 31 May 2009 6:51 pm

renault, you make some strong statements. Unfortunately, your statements seem at odds with your actual knowledge. My comments in blue.
renault wrote: Hey QRM,
Let me straigthen u up abit. No 1, its not minor if u as foreigner trying to make a mockery of ur host country population.
First of all, you seem to be making a mockery of your own country as well as you obviously have some gaps about your own country's history. But don't feel too bad about that as most citizens of most countries don't know their own history too well either. It's the immigrants who tend to know more about a prospective country's history as they study it before making a life changing decision to immigrate to that country before actually doing so.
renault wrote:No 2, u doesnt seem to understand that singapore is make up of multi-racial population and u dont seem to know what is call living in harmony

The only reason you all live in harmony here is primarily due to the ISA. Dissenters are locked up permanently, without recourse to a court, a lawyer, or a fair hearing, by the government which is primarily made up of the dominant race here. GRC's were formed to make it harder for the minorities to gain a foothold in any constituency but would allow the government to give the minorities a theoretical voice in Government (but no GRC has a majority of minorities in the group). It's called lip service only. Therefore all live in harmony (at least visibly on the outside as long as this country is at peace). The true feelings of the minorities will show up once the country is destabilized or in strife with it's neighbours. Don't you believe for one moment that you actually are living in harmony. Have you ever heard a minority say that they are living in harmony? Didn't think so.

renault wrote:No 3, stop trying to blast ur so-called know how about singapore history cos u know nut about it.
It's pretty obvious you don't know too much yourself either, I'm afraid. Did you know it was Foreign Talent that trained your military? Israelis no less. Most of your Manufacturing industries were MNC's who brought over their foreign talent to train and oversee those factories, Same for the refineries and Major building works. Same goes with the MRT & DTSS. Get real. Without FT you would still be the backwater I saw in 1967 the first time I came here.
renault wrote:No 4, as i have mentioned, i have no issue with my country and never did i complaint about singapore.
I would be willing to bet you are Chinese then. While you don't have any complaints, lots of your countrymen do, and they are voicing it by immigrating in larger and larger number each year. I wonder why?
renault wrote:No 5, i have no planned to take up PR offer in any country. Reason is simple: I M HAPPY HERE

Good for you. But don't forget, no country is perfect. And to make a country better, one has to admit their faults. Even LKY has admitted his Stop of One policy of the late '70's was a mistake and now the country is paying for it with a rapidly growing Graying Population and less children to take care of them. This is causing debates in the Government because there aren't enough nursing homes to take care of them as the children are too selfish to in a lot of cases.

renault wrote:No 6, would i treat u as citizen? why not!!! so long u take up the citizen shi
You are better than a lot of your fellow citizens. Read the local papers, often when mentioned about the "citizens" the complaints from the rest of the citizens is that "those citizens weren't born here". Surely you have seen that as well. We all have.
renault wrote:Well, that might explain why you dont feel a sense of belongings in any where.
If you're above statement were to be a cut, then why do "Singaporean" always refer themselves as Chinese or Indian or Malay instead of Singaporeans? Better look into a mirror as ask yourself the same question.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by renault » Sun, 31 May 2009 7:56 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:renault, you make some strong statements. Unfortunately, your statements seem at odds with your actual knowledge. My comments in blue.
renault wrote: Hey QRM,
Let me straigthen u up abit. No 1, its not minor if u as foreigner trying to make a mockery of ur host country population.
First of all, you seem to be making a mockery of your own country as well as you obviously have some gaps about your own country's history. But don't feel too bad about that as most citizens of most countries don't know their own history too well either. It's the immigrants who tend to know more about a prospective country's history as they study it before making a life changing decision to immigrate to that country before actually doing so.

I dont think so at least i'm have learned to respect people regardless of race, language or religion as a singaporean.
renault wrote:No 2, u doesnt seem to understand that singapore is make up of multi-racial population and u dont seem to know what is call living in harmony

The only reason you all live in harmony here is primarily due to the ISA. Dissenters are locked up permanently, without recourse to a court, a lawyer, or a fair hearing, by the government which is primarily made up of the dominant race here. GRC's were formed to make it harder for the minorities to gain a foothold in any constituency but would allow the government to give the minorities a theoretical voice in Government (but no GRC has a majority of minorities in the group). It's called lip service only. Therefore all live in harmony (at least visibly on the outside as long as this country is at peace). The true feelings of the minorities will show up once the country is destabilized or in strife with it's neighbours. Don't you believe for one moment that you actually are living in harmony. Have you ever heard a minority say that they are living in harmony? Didn't think so.


Since u have stay here for last 26 years and is a member of PA. Cant u see the improvement Singapore has already make?
renault wrote:No 3, stop trying to blast ur so-called know how about singapore history cos u know nut about it.
It's pretty obvious you don't know too much yourself either, I'm afraid. Did you know it was Foreign Talent that trained your military? Israelis no less. Most of your Manufacturing industries were MNC's who brought over their foreign talent to train and oversee those factories, Same for the refineries and Major building works. Same goes with the MRT & DTSS. Get real. Without FT you would still be the backwater I saw in 1967 the first time I came here.

As i have mentioned before, i agree FT do contribute to the nation building.
renault wrote:No 4, as i have mentioned, i have no issue with my country and never did i complaint about singapore.
I would be willing to bet you are Chinese then. While you don't have any complaints, lots of your countrymen do, and they are voicing it by immigrating in larger and larger number each year. I wonder why?

Yes u are pefectly rite that im a straits chinese. People move around and we cant stop them. It get larger cos the population is increasing

renault wrote:No 5, i have no planned to take up PR offer in any country. Reason is simple: I M HAPPY HERE

Good for you. But don't forget, no country is perfect. And to make a country better, one has to admit their faults. Even LKY has admitted his Stop of One policy of the late '70's was a mistake and now the country is paying for it with a rapidly growing Graying Population and less children to take care of them. This is causing debates in the Government because there aren't enough nursing homes to take care of them as the children are too selfish to in a lot of cases.


I agree no country is perfect and at least the government has realised the problem and is making changes.
renault wrote:No 6, would i treat u as citizen? why not!!! so long u take up the citizen shi
You are better than a lot of your fellow citizens. Read the local papers, often when mentioned about the "citizens" the complaints from the rest of the citizens is that "those citizens weren't born here". Surely you have seen that as well. We all have.

That happened in all country. It bottom down to integration
renault wrote:Well, that might explain why you dont feel a sense of belongings in any where.
If you're above statement were to be a cut, then why do "Singaporean" always refer themselves as Chinese or Indian or Malay instead of Singaporeans? Better look into a mirror as ask yourself the same question.
Isnt it the same in Britian, Aust or America?

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 01 Jun 2009 12:15 am

So, if you are agreeing (by asking if it isn't the same in the US, UK or Aus) I rest my case. Get out and see some of the other countries in the world with using MTV to make your comparisons. :roll:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by renault » Mon, 01 Jun 2009 1:35 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So, if you are agreeing (by asking if it isn't the same in the US, UK or Aus) I rest my case. Get out and see some of the other countries in the world with using MTV to make your comparisons. :roll:
I do not need to make comparison as by stating the fact about singapore, others can judge by its result

1: We have grown the economy. See our GDP for the last decade and oh ya! FT do contribute if that would make u feel part of it.
2: We have live in harmony. We have no strike and racial attack report so far. At least for your last 26 years stay here.
3: The ISA has done a good job by ensuring we are free from terrorist.
Thats y u can walk freely on the street.
4: Recap on the resilient package announced for budget 2009 and learn how does the govt help to retain job for local as well as PR regardless of race. Take job credit for example.

Well, I would sign off from here permanently and u need not replied as i'm only stating my opinion and not debate. U can declare urself a winner if u want to.

Personally, i welcome FT with the right attitude and since u are a member of PA and trying to help, u should help to cultivate the right values and set a good example for others (whether to expat, PR or local).
:lol:

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