Singapore Expats Forum

Should I move to 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.

Sponsored by:
Image
The Club Residences

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sat, 16 Feb 2013 9:12 pm

Although its clearly not the point of this conversation..

SMS, I'm physically pretty fit and did lots of hiking before. Its not the physical side of the training and as an ex-soldier (if my memory serves me well, I've seen your postings about your service somewhere on this forum), I'm sure you know it. I never had problems with punctuality or mental challenges in my life but army is way too different that that. When it comes to mindless regimentation and being terrorized with Detention Barracks and confinements for every silly thing all the time, I belong to the 'wuss' folks who just can't tolerate it.

Beside you have a good point. Your son might be considering it easy but NS is a lot of a gamble and how much you enjoy or hate it depends on your own personality, your BMT company (the norms and adherence to military doctrine varies enormously between them) and your posting. Yes, I do consider my current vocation easy, although with a very unstable schedule, but its still disrupting you're desired life and that is extremely annoying and discouraging. And that is not a 'piece of cake' sadly.

But my own service record is not the discussion subject here. My point here is that being subjected to military system, if you're impatient to live your own life and build your own things, is very destructive no matter how light your vocation might be and being completely out of control of my own life was genuinely traumatizing. And since the army term here is compulsory, the thread starter should be aware of those realities and different POVs before he 'sentences' himself or his children into it.

And well yes I admire the discussion standards on this forum so let's carry them on by agreeing to disagree.

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sat, 16 Feb 2013 9:13 pm

Wd40 wrote:We don't have too many 2nd gen PRs posting on this forum, other than asking questions about avoiding NS and giving up PR. Nice to have you here :)


Thanks, I hope to contribute in more optimistic ways too. :)

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Postby taxico » Sat, 16 Feb 2013 10:49 pm

disenchanted wrote:...My point here is that being subjected to military system, if you're impatient to live your own life and build your own things, is very destructive no matter how light your vocation might be and being completely out of control of my own life was genuinely traumatizing...


i'm a second gen singaporean (my dad didn't have to do NS of course) and did my NS way before you did.

you cannot expect a lack of regimentation in the military. this doesn't mean the singapore NS system doesn't allow you to do anything but "military stuff."

if you had enlisted in the south korean army (except in the KATUSA), you'd know what "subjected to military system" means.

like they say in prison, do the time and don't let the time do you.

my men have completed degrees, diplomas and accountancy courses during their 2/2.5 year duration in NS. i even had a young man that was a father of a <1 year old infant.

BUT if you expect to be given time off and lee way to do your stuff when you want to (like a civilian), then you're SOL.

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sat, 16 Feb 2013 11:41 pm

taxico wrote:
disenchanted wrote:...My point here is that being subjected to military system, if you're impatient to live your own life and build your own things, is very destructive no matter how light your vocation might be and being completely out of control of my own life was genuinely traumatizing...


i'm a second gen singaporean (my dad didn't have to do NS of course) and did my NS way before you did.

you cannot expect a lack of regimentation in the military. this doesn't mean the singapore NS system doesn't allow you to do anything but "military stuff."

if you had enlisted in the south korean army (except in the KATUSA), you'd know what "subjected to military system" means.

like they say in prison, do the time and don't let the time do you.

my men have completed degrees, diplomas and accountancy courses during their 2/2.5 year duration in NS. i even had a young man that was a father of a <1 year old infant.

BUT if you expect to be given time off and lee way to do your stuff when you want to (like a civilian), then you're SOL.


Once again, we're missing the point here. It's not whether military should change or a bidding on which country has a more screwed up army. I personally know that the SAF is fairly moderate but I don't hide I hate being inside of it anyways. I don't want to change the inherent characteristics of their doctrine. I don't buy any of it and simply want to finally get out.

What we're talking about is whether the guy who started the thread fully realizes what it means to dedicate himself or his future potential sons to Singapore. He still has a choice and I just want to make it clear that given his situation, he might choose differently and avoid all of that joy/misery altogether.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35496
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 12:28 am

disenchanted wrote:What we're talking about is whether the guy who started the thread fully realizes what it means to dedicate himself or his future potential sons to Singapore. He still has a choice and I just want to make it clear that given his situation, he might choose differently and avoid all of that joy/misery altogether.


The flip side of this is NOT having your son do NS and whisking him out of the country before induction. You would complete burn one of his bridges in the future in a place that is a hub for all of SE Asia. He would be considered an NS dodger and would be flagged in all the computer systems in Singapore so even if he tried coming back for a visit he would be picked up. Also, with the world as small as it is today, we need all the bridges we can get. It would be sad to finished your university and get a nice job with an MNC and in a few years been offered a plum position to head up a new division in Singapore. Oops!. Sorry sir, I cannot accept that advancement as I am AWOL from the Singapore military so cannot enter the country.

What happens when that time comes and he has to leave his girlfriend because you committed him to becoming a deserter. Nah, 21~24 months isn't enough for any young man to possibly ruin his entire future with a Damocles sword hanging over their head. Heck, a plane with problems could be diverted to Singapore with you on it due to engine trouble so you have to clear immigration for a night. Would really suck to be picked up due to a plane malfunction. It's just not worth it.

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Postby taxico » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 12:33 am

disenchanted wrote:Once again, we're missing the point here...


my point is: singapore NS isn't as bad as you make it out to be right now. you'll find that out when you're older.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9357
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 8:36 am

disenchanted wrote:A lot has been spoken about how business friendly this country is. But I have a little correction. Its INVESTOR friendly. If you already have a huge capital and want to expand overseas, Singapore is a like a sponge that will gladly accept anything that generates revenue. But the environment for local entrepreneurs is lethal. 'Our' education system destroys individualism and creativity since pre-school. The government keeps domination over a lot of industries (like media and transportation) and barriers to entry are worse than you think.

Could you please elaborate on this alleged lethality of the system especially as a direct on indirect effect of the character of the education system, and maybe also on these barriers to entry?

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 10:50 am

taxico wrote:
disenchanted wrote:Once again, we're missing the point here...


my point is: singapore NS isn't as bad as you make it out to be right now. you'll find that out when you're older.


Well I just wonder - why won't you just accept that not everyone has the same reflections and experiences on NS as yourself? Before enlisting I was trying to find out any useful information both online and from my seniors and all I ever came across was the sort of 'its fun, you'll make friends and become a man' BS. So yes, I will pay the price of appearing a little whiny b***h just to warn those who still have a choice.

To me it a sheer waste of time while being dependent on a bunch of abusive lunatics with a higher rank. And don't tell me its 'the same as working life' (I get that a lot whenever I bitch about the army) because in working life the most they can do is fire you instead of jailing you.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35496
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:10 am

disenchanted wrote:So yes, I will pay the price of appearing a little whiny b***h just to warn those who still have a choice.

You have certainly got the appearance part right.

To me it a sheer waste of time while being dependent on a bunch of abusive lunatics with a higher rank. And don't tell me its 'the same as working life' (I get that a lot whenever I bitch about the army) because in working life the most they can do is fire you instead of jailing you.


You think that all that can be done is be fired? Boy do you have a lot to learn.

This guy didn't like what he was being made to do and decided he wanted to quit. Still waiting to see the outcome......

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/afbddb44-7640 ... z2L2LkOnA0

Also plenty of instances of being involved with bosses who are doing shady dealings and get caught. They, and their accomplices tend to do heavy fines and often jail terms.

I know you don't like this, but there is only one thing to say. Grow Up.

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3965
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Postby Wd40 » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:14 am

I think its a well established fact, that given a choice, majority of people, including parents as well as kids will opt out of NS. I mean parents who have done NS will rather not have their children do it. So, given a choice, when someone doesnt want to do it, it clearly indicates that there is more to lose(2 years of your life) than to gain.

When people tell you, you make friends, you become disciplined and you gain a lot of out it. They are just telling you that its not a completely waste of time and you do eventually get "something" out of it. This I feel, people say as a "Glass half full" approach or "look at the brighter side of it" approach.

There was a conversation in my office, 1 person was a Singaporean who just came from the yearly 3-4 weeks NS service. An Indian PR who has a 2nd gen PR son but not yet of NS age, went upto the Singaporean and asked him, here's the main part of the conversation

Indian PR: Hey, I thinking what to do about my son, he will have to serve NS. I am not sure if it is worth it

Singaporean: It is good you know, he will make friends, learn lots of things....

Indian PR: But, how do I justify the loss of 2 critical years of his life. When his friends will all move ahead of him.

Singaporean: That is a fact of life.

When I heard that, I actually felt sorry for the Singaporean and was a bit angry at the Indian PR to bring us such a sensitive stuff in such a brash way.
Last edited by Wd40 on Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:14 am

x9200 wrote:
disenchanted wrote:A lot has been spoken about how business friendly this country is. But I have a little correction. Its INVESTOR friendly. If you already have a huge capital and want to expand overseas, Singapore is a like a sponge that will gladly accept anything that generates revenue. But the environment for local entrepreneurs is lethal. 'Our' education system destroys individualism and creativity since pre-school. The government keeps domination over a lot of industries (like media and transportation) and barriers to entry are worse than you think.

Could you please elaborate on this alleged lethality of the system especially as a direct on indirect effect of the character of the education system, and maybe also on these barriers to entry?


With pleasure. Firstly, the education system is rigid and regimented. Not even 'disciplined' which is perfectly fine, but it seems like a boot camp for kids.

I was studying humanities on my A Levels and whenever I wrote my own essays with my own structures and flow, I was inevitably marked down and failed. They don't tolerate individuality and whenever I came up with any facts additional to the syllabus or a point of view that made my work different from the 'model essay' (they seriously release such things), it was considered 'not relevant.' I had no disciplinary issues but at a few points I was treated like a renegade just because I wanted to do my work my own way.

How do I know I was right in the end? Because on my real exams I did write them my own way and got mostly As and Bs. The same act on internal exams would fail me. That's how paranoid and uncompromising teachers were in adherence to norms.

The culture is pretty funny too. My headmaster would force everyone to bring personal thermometers (for 'public responsibility) and ban students from taking a shortcut to some classrooms on a grassy slope for 'safety reasons. But during my final year they forced students to come to school sick and not miss classes, happily ignoring all that public responsibility and one morning during assembly when there was some really abnormally hot weather they carried out 3rd person on stretchers as she fainted, but the principal just had to continue his nonsensical speech no matter what.

Those are the best examples I can give. I'm not saying teachers were evil by themselves, in fact they were pretty endearing, but the system was just downright stupid. For me it was just a couple of years. But for local born Singaporeans, well, I feel for them. I wouldn't want my own kids in Singaporean school if I ever start a family.

Speaking of your second question, the barriers to entry one, the LTA centrally plans bus routes and MediaCorp holds virtual monopoly on the media industry. Yes there are loopholes but its still but no means 'free market' in a full sense. Even more damaging is the mindset (ok fair enough its not strictly speaking a barrier to entry but an important element anyways) of 'you can't do it here, its Singapore' that I come across all the time. No matter how optimistic and energetic you are with your ideas, at one point it will bend you.

I don't know how is it among the actual expats, but I so far been through the not very nice side of Singapore and the attitude I found there is pretty toxic.

SO, linking back to the subject, I'm not sure the TS really wants to do his stuff here when he could go HK or Taiwan. And at least get some nice landscapes together with it.

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:22 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
disenchanted wrote:So yes, I will pay the price of appearing a little whiny b***h just to warn those who still have a choice.

You have certainly got the appearance part right.

To me it a sheer waste of time while being dependent on a bunch of abusive lunatics with a higher rank. And don't tell me its 'the same as working life' (I get that a lot whenever I bitch about the army) because in working life the most they can do is fire you instead of jailing you.


You think that all that can be done is be fired? Boy do you have a lot to learn.

This guy didn't like what he was being made to do and decided he wanted to quit. Still waiting to see the outcome......

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/afbddb44-7640 ... z2L2LkOnA0

Also plenty of instances of being involved with bosses who are doing shady dealings and get caught. They, and their accomplices tend to do heavy fines and often jail terms.

I know you don't like this, but there is only one thing to say. Grow Up.


You know what, I'm sick of this discussion. Its not like I get paid for preaching here or I have nothing better to do. All I wanted to do is to save the poor TS disappointments. I learnt this place is NOT for me the hard way. But apparently you just like it here sooo much you can't accept anybody thinking differently. Oh yeah, I forgot, I'm not supposed to.

And if this is your definition of being a grown up, then I hope never to be one. And thanks for condemning every nation that doesn't have compulsory military service as immature.

But yes I did learn something very important in the army. Avoid anything defense-related for the rest of my life.
Last edited by disenchanted on Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

disenchanted
Member
Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Location: Singapore

Postby disenchanted » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:24 am

Wd40 wrote:I think its a well established fact, that given a choice, majority of people, including parents as well as kids will opt out of NS. I mean parents who have done NS will rather not have their children do it. So, given a choice, when someone doesnt want to do it, it clearly indicates that there is more to lose(2 years of your life) than to gain.

When people tell you, you make friends, you become disciplined and you gain a lot of out it. They are just telling you that its not a completely waste of time and you do eventually get "something" out of it. This I feel, people say as a "Glass half full" approach or "look at the brighter side of it" approach.

There was a conversation in my office, 1 person was a Singaporean who just came from the yearly 3-4 weeks NS service. An Indian PR who has a 2nd gen PR son but not yet of NS age, went upto the Singaporean and asked him, here's the main part of the conversation

Indian PR: Hey, I thinking what to do about my son, he will have to serve NS. I am not sure if it is worth it

Singaporean: It is good you know, he will make friends, learn lots of things....

Indian PR: But, how do I justify the loss of 2 critical years of his life. When his friends will all move ahead of him.

Singaporean: That is a fact of life.

When I heard that, I actually felt sorry for the Singaporean and was a bit angry at the Indian PR to bring us such a sensitive stuff in such a brash way.


Well said. Probably the most balanced thing I've heard here so far.

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3965
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Postby Wd40 » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:41 am

Just to add; we now live in a globalized world, we dont compare anymore with just our neighbors or classmates, we need to compare ourselves with even people other countries. When you go for 2 years of compulsory NS, after spending several years of schooling in a much tougher and competitive environment compared to say; someone from India or Australia who dont do the 2 years NS and also get through their relatively easier education system, in which you get to go to University and your chosen fields like medical and engineering without being a star, you realize that it affects your career badly.

If everywhere there was 2 years of compulsory then its fair and square, but sadly that isnt the case it does put you at disadvantage/advantage at times.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35496
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 17 Feb 2013 1:43 pm

Unless the person who interviews you happens to believe in the patriotism of a country or the payback required for the socio-economic safety provided during your years of growing up, then you will probably never see the 2nd interview. There are lot's of them running and working in all fields of work everywhere in the world. In fact, most countries give extra points to job applicants who have performed military service, especially in the home country. Same for jobs in the various countries civil services.

You don't get paid for preaching here nor do you get paid for ranting here, and frankly, that is about all your posts are doing. They are your personal rant. Preaching is usually for something beneficial. I can see you will never be a true citizen to any country because you find nothing worth fighting for. I actually feel sorry for you. Good luck. You are going to need it.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests