Singapore Expats

Does it feel like living in a "police state" in Singapore?

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.
Post Reply
Trekka
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 12:45 pm

Does it feel like living in a "police state" in Si

Post by Trekka » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 9:52 pm

I am being relocated to Singapore and am worried of the prospect of living there. Can any expats tell me how day to day living is there and do you feel uneasy about it. Singapore has such a bad reputation of being a police state, what with all the obscure laws and political supression...is this felt or noticed in day to day life? I have searched all the forums and blogs for info, and there is so much about internet censorship, arrests for small things, public flogging or public humiliation that I am getting the impression that Singapore sounds a horrid place to live.

I have been there 4 times for holidays and although it seems safe and very sterile if somewhat boring, living there is different to a holiday.

Before you all "jump up and down" in defence of an expat life and the like, I have been living in China for the past 8 years, so I am an old hand at expat life...and in a communist country for that matter...but Singapore is just scaring the crap out of me, compared to life in China....help allay my fears.

Also...the cost of living seems outrageous ...can I live and save on 160K SGD a year comfortably, or will it be tough.???

User avatar
durain
Director
Director
Posts: 3666
Joined: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 8:15 pm
Location: Location: Location: Location:

Post by durain » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 10:23 pm

if you are not a mugger, illegal graffiti artist, sell illegal DVDs, drug lord, terrorist, gangster, etc. then you got nothing to worry about.

S$160k a year is more than enough, but then all depends on your lifestyle - S$20+++ chicken rice in mandarin hotel or S$2.50 in hawker center.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11689
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:13 am
Answers: 10
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 7:32 am

As noted, as long as you're not involved with guns or drugs or smuggling, at the local level you'll like Singapore more than the typical US city. The police are polite, and the authorities are reasonable if you wish to protest traffic and parking offenses. It's got a decent court system for dispute resolution.

Political discourse is much more tightly controlled and British style libel and defamation laws are used to reign in opposing views. Should you wish to challenge various aspects of Singapore government you might find yourself ejected from the country.

On the whole, I would be more concerned if I lived in China or somewhere in the middle east, or perhaps some South American/African countries than I would be about Singapore.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40467
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 10:02 am

Strong Eagle wrote:As noted, as long as you're not involved with guns or drugs or smuggling, at the local level you'll like Singapore more than the typical US city. The police are polite, and the authorities are reasonable if you wish to protest traffic and parking offenses. It's got a decent court system for dispute resolution.
Actually you'll probably like it better as the crime rates are considerably lower and the street considerably cleaner. It's also rare for muggings to take place. Although the catch phrase is "Low Crime doesn't mean No Crime", one does get rather lackadaisical when out an about. Don't worry about it. Unless your are a political activist or criminal you will be fine. (This yank has been here over a quarter of a century with no problems).
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

splat
Member
Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue, 04 Nov 2008 12:21 pm

Post by splat » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 8:21 pm

It may be a "police state" but you never ever see any police as no-one breaks the law....

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3004
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Post by jpatokal » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 9:17 pm

splat wrote:It may be a "police state" but you never ever see any police as no-one breaks the law....
Yup, the cops here actually keep a very low profile. Singapore works on the principle "kill the chicken to scare the monkeys" -- set absolutely draconian punishments, and enforce them just enough to remind people that it's possible to get busted, but 99% of the time, look through your fingers. There's plenty of jaywalking, littering, chewing gum, pirated software, porn DVDs or whatever in Singapore... it's just kept out of the public eye. Flaunt the rules in public, and you'll be struck down with great anger, but sneak behind them in somewhere out in Bukit Ulu-Ulu, and nobody cares.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40467
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 11:17 pm

jpatokal wrote:but sneak behind them in somewhere out in Bukit Ulu-Ulu, and nobody cares.
Unless it's contraband ciggies being sold by Indos coming out of the jungles and drains! :P
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Fri, 12 Dec 2008 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 9:24 am

Post by road.not.taken » Fri, 12 Dec 2008 5:28 am

I agree, unless you step out of line -- Singapore's reputation as a nanny state or police state even, seems overblown and exaggerated. Then again, I live on the same street as a 'listening post' so the idea of a police state is a bit realer to me. It is a highly monitored society, they've just gotten better at hiding it is my guess. The good news is, it keeps the vast majority of citizens safe, the bad news is your civil liberties can sure take a beating, but usually without you even knowing. :)

User avatar
Zeenit
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 603
Joined: Wed, 02 Apr 2008 9:50 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by Zeenit » Fri, 12 Dec 2008 8:23 am

Think I take Singapore anyday over China.
Zeenit

AngryAngMo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri, 05 Dec 2008 10:30 am

Post by AngryAngMo » Mon, 22 Dec 2008 3:02 pm

I agree, first i got your point with Singapores reputation as a police state etc (which by the way, and by the others already explained cant be really "felt" here at all), but upon continueing and reading you have been living in China for the last 8 years and you are afraid of Singapore made me laugh loud out.

I think i would always prefer Singapore.
And dont worry about your budget, im an expat myself and 160k is long long enough.

Trekka
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 12:45 pm

Post by Trekka » Mon, 22 Dec 2008 10:31 pm

Thanks to all who answered my question. I know most of you think I am crazy, but I do have worries about Singapore.

Can Road.Not.Taken please explain what he means by"I live on the same street as a 'listening post'". Things like this is what makes me think Singapore is scary.....

P.S. China is the safest place I have ever been to, no crime to speak of, and unless you protest for a "free Tibet ", there is no worries living here.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40467
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

))

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 12:54 am

Trekka wrote: P.S. China is the safest place I have ever been to, no crime to speak of, and unless you protest for a "free Tibet ", there is no worries living here.
Let's see now, Civet Cats, Bird Flu, Melamine poisoning, Falung Gulang (Sp!), not counting political prisoners for no apparent reasons.......

I guess it all depend on point of view. :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

AngryAngMo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri, 05 Dec 2008 10:30 am

Post by AngryAngMo » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 9:47 am

how about the general lack of human rights and the freedom of speech...
(where we at least have the first one in Singapore)

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40467
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 10:09 am

AngryAngMo wrote:how about the general lack of human rights and the freedom of speech...
(where we at least have the first one in Singapore)
'fraid I gotta throw a monkey wrench in that one. Human Rights? As long as the Internal Securities Act is still in use there's no such thing. Detention without representation doesn't sound like human rights to me. :cry:

Oh, you do have freedom of speech here as long as you have the facts to back it up. Opinions are heavily frowned upon though and will see you sued into oblivion if you happen to be a (pseudo)politician. :?
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

User avatar
ScoobyDoes
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1667
Joined: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 6:42 pm
Location: A More Lucky Spot

Post by ScoobyDoes » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 11:07 am

And try arguing with the guys at the Second Link they have no legal right to take your fingerprints just to leave the country........bearing in mind they don't do it at the Causeway or the airport!!!!

No print, no leave lah!

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests