Mail from a foreigner in Singapore

Dear Wendy,

I had great respect for you. Your hilarious blog entries never fail to leave me in stitches - until I saw your Singapore entry. I'm not a "kantang" as you put it. I'm not even Singaporean. I'm not even Asian. I'm a New Yorker. A 16 year old teen who was forced to live on this little island with my father.

I grew up in Manhattan. And in case you're wondering, I have done Marijuana. And pot. And I regret that. Drugs are baned effectively here, somethingwhich I support. BUT, in terms of culture and lifestyle, Singapore is boring and restrictive. Back in nyc, almost once a week, you can see groups of people marching down 32nd street waving banners proclaiming their supportfor Aids funding or shouting out their views about the cuban missle crisis. Here, it's so quiet.

The first day I arrived here and chewed gum I got stopped by the police. I knew such a law existed, but I wanted to find out just how keen eyed the yare to spot people chewing gum. I wasn't fined (thank god for that) but Iwas ordered to throw it away anyway.

Maybe you are not widely travelled, I don't know. But I suggest you drop by nyc, when you can. THAT will open your eyes to what sort of place singaporeis.

regards,
Chelsea

btw, the dvd of kill bill vol 1 is banned while its sold at every videostore in Bangkok. Says a lot doesn't it?

ps, in case you're wondering, yes I wanna get out of this hell hole as soon as I can.

My Reply


Right Chelsea,

If you are not a local, then I do not blame you for not liking Singapore of course. What I would like to say is this - you are not aSingaporean, and you did not grow up here, absorbing in its unique(albeit boring) culture, and surrounded by all your neighbours and friends, while celebrating the past 20 (for me) National days with ur
loved ones; cheering as your country grew from a cheap labour land to
the successful country we are now, cry as crises befall upon us.

I can understand if u do not like Singapore, for you do not truely belong here.

But pardon me - I will not say anything bad about my country, because it gave so much to me. You will never understand, and thus, I must also say you have no rights to judge whether we Singaporeans should love our country or not. Love - it is not based on whether we have the new DVD of Kill Bill and whether gum is banned. It's this land's soil that we have grew up with, and I love it with all my heart, and I will lay my life down to protect it. It's not about how the Government rules us either. It is about everything familiar to me here, and every laugh I had on this tiny island, or every tear I shed that formed our humid Singapore air.

While people can criticize my country, I do wish they will not do it in front of me - rather like you will not like me to insult your father, even if it were factual criticism.

I wish you best of luck to get out of Singapore, for I am sure she would not want you to suffer on her as well (and yet she can't change herself to accomodate your likings, nor everyone else's).

Love,
Xiaxue

*****

I hate everyone Singaporean who hates Singapore. MEI LIANG XIN! Yuck! GO DROWN YOURSELVES LA, UNGRATEFUL PRATS!

p/s: I am not THAT widely travelled, but I've been to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taipei and of course the usual Indonesia and Malaysia. I still love Singapore the best. Cheers.

Comments

EteRnaLD said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
EteRnaLD said…
And if i were LKY, i would tell SPH Straits Times Newspaper this...

"Yup, Go ahead and publish whatever this girl says. Cos finally, someone will be able to express whatever i have been trying to tell everyone of our people for years... SCREW YOU FOR BEING NON PATRIOTIC AFTER WHAT I HAVE DONE FOR YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!"
(.__.") said…
oh yea. at least singapore is a safe country unlike NY.i dont think i ever want to visit new york. never. i just love singapore the way it it. cheers.
justalady said…
It's quite stupid and contradicting to say that you wouldnt want to visit NY because if you had the chance to, you wouldn't turn it down would you?
FeO said…
well said, xiaxue! :D
Claireee said…
Hey Peeps,
I would like to correct you w/ the fact that NY/Amercia is not as dangerous as how the Singapore media tends to portray it. It's not a city w/ abosolutely no crime at all but neither is Singapore. SIngapore is a great country to VISIT but not suitable to live for an extended period of time. Afterall, the place is way too tiny. I'm was born in Singapore but I moved to Florida when I was ten years old. I go back to Singapore every other summer to visit my relatives. I have to say, Singapore has a long way to go before catching up w/ America. I guess that explains why people all around the world try to flood to America. It's indeed the most influential country. Just to let you know, even though both Singapore and America enforced the law of not selling cig. to folks under 18, they don't really check your I.D in Singapore but they do every single time in America. That sure says something.
Claireee said…
Hey Peeps,
I would like to correct you w/ the fact that NY/Amercia is not as dangerous as how the Singapore media tends to portray it. It's not a city w/ abosolutely no crime at all but neither is Singapore. SIngapore is a great country to VISIT but not suitable to live for an extended period of time. Afterall, the place is way too tiny. I'm was born in Singapore but I moved to Florida when I was ten years old. I go back to Singapore every other summer to visit my relatives. I have to say, Singapore has a long way to go before catching up w/ America. I guess that explains why people all around the world try to flood to America. It's indeed the most influential country. Just to let you know, even though both Singapore and America enforced the law of not selling cig. to folks under 18, they don't really check your I.D in Singapore but they do every single time in America. That sure says something.
Claireee said…
Hey Peeps,
I would like to correct you w/ the fact that NY/Amercia is not as dangerous as how the Singapore media tends to portray it. It's not a city w/ abosolutely no crime at all but neither is Singapore. SIngapore is a great country to VISIT but not suitable to live for an extended period of time. Afterall, the place is way too tiny. I'm was born in Singapore but I moved to Florida when I was ten years old. I go back to Singapore every other summer to visit my relatives. I have to say, Singapore has a long way to go before catching up w/ America. I guess that explains why people all around the world try to flood to America. It's indeed the most influential country. Just to let you know, even though both Singapore and America enforced the law of not selling cig. to folks under 18, they don't really check your I.D in Singapore but they do every single time in America. That sure says something.
Slopster said…
Hi Claireee..Singapore is indeed small, land area wise. BUT what makes a country? The total land area? No, Its the people thats makes a country what it is. I do not think our people are striving to be another USA. We do not need another USA. We are carving our own future. To be Singapore and no one else. Stifling you may say? Maybe. But think of it this way, if the majority of the citizen do not see the pros of the way the Governing Party is handling our state of affairs, do you think they would still be up there? If you even dare to suggest that they were oppressed to vote for them, why aren't the 'oppressed' swimming to freedom to Malaysia. Instead, people from all over are actually swimming to get in.
There are merits in your thoughts, but your arguement is indeed flawed.
Have fun staying in your adopted country. May you never have to suffer by coming back to 'cramp' with us on this tiny isle that we love and support.
Warr said…
Heh heh... widely travelled indeed... well, I have been to almost every country in Asia, travelled most of the states in USA (i think about half of the 51), been to Germany, Holland, Austria.... I lived in USA for a year (and couldn't wait to come home). I think Singapore is "boring" from certain perspective. But then, most people are boring. It has nothing to do with where u live. I know people who live VERY exciting lives in Singapore, and those who live very boring lives in USA. All the imagery about protests on the streets, gun-totting hoodlums... they are gross exaggerations; snapshots of incidents. We have ours too... the alcohol/drug guy who rammed into 9 cars and killed 2 people (his friends, no less!), we have people flinging themselves in front of the MRT trains, we have 14 yr olds who proclaim their earnings as prostitutes... yes, we have our fair share of "colour"... or "color" if u insist.

There is nothing perfect. I had to drive 20 mins just to get food, and i was staying in "bustling" Silicon Valley... I had to wait THREE DAYS to see a doctor who was 30 mins drive away... had to pay US$260 for my son to see a doctor in hospital emergency... now... compare this to - a choice of at least 2 - 3 doctors just around the corner, S$10 to see a doctor at emergency...

How to compare? Where to start? For every + there is a minus somewhere. Stop comparing. Be happy with what we have, be thankful. Most of all, CONTRIBUTE. Boring in Singapore?? Who made it so? You, sitting there, sighing at the sky is making it more interesting? Get real. It aint gonna get better till u step up to the plate and hit that home run.
silvermyst said…
Clairee, are you an American? Because if you are, Americans like you are the ones who give Americans a bad name. I've met many Americans and I've even been an orientator for my university to American students from various colleges in the US, and I know that many of you are genuinely very nice and I love your brand of humour.

However, You have to realise that while everything you've said in your post is extremely valid, to say that Singapore has 'a long way to catch up' to the US is a fallacy. If you look at the US media for example, they're extremely insular. Even the world news (whenever there is some) relates back to how it'll affect the US.

This is the very reason why there is so much anti-American sentiment around the world. By this I don't mean just in the Middle-East, but even in places like Australia, where I've lived for 8 years. We may have sent our troops in with you, but because of this, much like Tony Blair, it seems that it may cost our PM his job. Think carefully about the rest of the world and not just from an america-centric point of view.

There are pros and cons to every country and every culture. Just like how your greatest stregths are your greatest weaknesses. SIngapore has a very sterile culture, and the people may be rude as a product of our economic structure, but your free speech act has allowed ridiculous court cases including suing your own parents from tripping on yoru porch. Do you want to accuse me of using a case that doesn't reflect all Americans? I'd like to say that maybe you're doing the same. That perhaps, not all of us are sterile and closed-minded as we look.

we've degenerated into nitpicking when we say tiny things like chewing gum and littering, when what you are commenting on is the culture as a whole, so perhaps think about what I've said and then think about it from a global point of view.
Soon Ann said…
Hey Xiaxue, kudos for your reply to the email. I'm impressed by your love for our country. I too love Singapore and am willing to lay down my life defending it. This entry shows a side of you which you seldom reveal. I saluate you for that!
Eryka said…
Its really nice of XiaXue to remind us to be appreciative and content with what we have. Singapore has its plus points and minus points. I dont hate Singapore and neither to I love Singapore. To me, it is a company and not a country. We have everything within access due to our landsize. We are pretty much sheltered. It has become not much of a challenge to have everything within reach except probably a stable job for all the educated citizens. It' really infuriating when all of us spend our money on education making sure everyone is educated but to have our ricebowls being taken away as part and parcel of a globalisation scheme. I've known some swedish film students who made a film about us living a very routined life in our flat units which they've compared to rabbit holes. I find it very disturbing. There are some who leave this country as a coward and some who leave here for the adventurous challenges and risk they might face overseas. All I wanna is that we all like to compare, comparing for improvements. If Singapore is really good, people will stay. If Singapore prefers foreign talents, its citizens are going to be very sad. We have to look further beyond Singapore to help achieve its globalisation plan. I think some of us are very much living in a well like a frog.
Do we still remember that when we were young our parents would say, 'If you dont study hard, no paper qualifications you will be jobless and might end up beind a road sweeper?' I think that's really not applicable now to scare the children these days...
Last but not least, criticisms are a way to improve not to be taken personally...I have hopes for the goverment to be listening and giving their shot at making things better.
bubblybee said…
Remember the movie "Day After Tomorrow"? The rest of the world seems to disappear, when the disaster strikes. It just reflected how arrogant most Americans are.

If America is the most influential country right now. I would love to see that changed. I don't think S'pore will want to be another America at all. Please do not think so highly of yourselves. Singapore would rather improve their trading relations with China. America is so keen to support Taiwan, because they felt threatened by China.
Gum said…
Don't worry, an excerpt / summary of this blog post will get to LKY. But personally, his son reads in to the posts.
fiona said…
i love singapore. nuff' said :D
Weili said…
Nothing I say can adequately express my LOVE for SINGAPORE!
Muuuaaaccckz!!! I love Singapore!
Wahahah!
Lionzmane said…
Didnt read what the rest said, but yeah, it just sucks to see people hate singapore so much.

When i was in army(NS), i hear people saying if a war breaks out, they would be the first to get out of here instead of defending the country. and they said this with so much pride and "but of course" kinda face. Really makes me sick. I am not saying its an easy thing to do, to face war, quick death(if lucky), tourmented death if caught as POW. But come on! crawling to another country to avoid ur responsibility? yaya... can hear people grumbling about what the country ever gave u... then what have you ever gave the country? give me! give me! give me!...ME! ME! ME! is that all people nowadays think about?

There are things one likes to do, but there are also things one MUST do. But well, maybe i am wasting my time talking about values nowadays.
Claireee said…
Hey ya'll,
I just want to clarify myself. By saying Singapore has a long way to catch up w/ America, I am mainly referring to the living standards, education, career options and culture aspects. I did not have any intention to critize the Singapore government in any aspect for I don't know jack shit about Singapore politics . Thus I have no say in that. What I'm trying to point out is that Singapore has limited resources and extremely restricted options/opportunities. Singapore itself digs scholars w/ foreign degrees.

Warr,
I'm sorry to hear that you have to wait for 3 days to see a doctor and paid US$260. You need to know that there is a thing called INSURANCE. If you get insurance, you can see a doctor 24/7 cos' family doctors are on call all day long and you don't have to pay ANYTHING! Insurance is also the reason why doctors make a butt load of money in The Stats. Everything in America works around Insurance. I don't know why you lived in "bustling" silicon Valley cos' I sure know my house in The States is like 10 times bigger than my granpa's bunglow! you've only stayed in USA for a year, there is no way you could absorb and understand its culture in such a short period of time. Singapore has its pros of course. That's why I said that it's a great place to visit! I am in Singapore right now for my summer vacation and it is indeed a beautiful and compact island country. Food can't get any better! BTW..."Get real. It aint gonna get better till u step up to the plate and hit that home run"..that's American English right thurrrrrrr.....

Silvwemyst,

Can you please tell me why "We may have sent our troops in with you, but because of this, much like Tony Blair, it seems that it may cost our PM his job." I'm pretty damn SURE there is a reason behind this right?!

Erika,
I totally agree w/ you that Americans are arrogant but they have a reason to be arrogant though. They have the strongest country to back them up. I am not saying Americans are great but their country is awesome!
Re-minisce said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
min said…
hey singapore's a multi-racial country remember? let's not say anything bad about nyc or anywhere else people think is better than singapore. we grew up here and we definitely feel more than those non-singaporeans. just like those people who grew up else where, they sure feel more about their country than us. don't get me wrong but i love singapore. anyway, regarding that dvd of kill bill vol 1 banned in singapore while its sold at every videostore in Bangkok says a lot, we're totally two different kind of countries. how can you compare like that. if you want to make such comparisons, the list will be so damn long.
Maxterz said…
hmmm i only hav e 1 comment and that is... ppl have different type of likes and dislikes...some ppl like singapore for some reasons and some ppl like other countries for some reason... as for me... i like australia for my reasons are that australia is a country of peace too and its nice... well some ppl may not think so but who cares its my likes not theirs... btw i am just a 15 yr old boy living in sg... hoping to go to uni of aust... and live there... its not i dun like sg... its i prefer aust den sg :D
Claireee said…
Btw...Singlish is not something to be proud of...it gross me out. I mean come on now, either you speak in complete English or Chinese. I don't really give a crap about the funny accent, just don't mix 'n' match like nobody's business.It sounds TERRIBLE! Of course I'm all against those folks who try to fake American/British accent cos' that's even worse.
derrick said…
its great to know that you love singapore a lot.

i love singapore too!!!!

yeah. maybe the culture here is considered boring compared with other countries. but i find that this is necessary to make singapore a safe and stable country. without stability, our economy cannot function efficiently... and we rely so dearly on trade with other countries for our survival. so, count our blessings
Stephanie said…
Perharps this once i should post a comment after reading. Hi xiaxue, remember the reader who wrote an email and stole a gmail from u? Haha. okie, anyway,
Im always proud of my nation, Singapore. Every year, i will look forward to get tickets to National Dap Parade, but of cos, only 2 years ive been there. It was a fabulous experience, no matter how boring you people think it is. Singing the national anthemn together, or the yearly national songs, man, Singapore has grown with us.
Clariee thinks that American has every reason to be proud. COME ON. Bcos they are strong to be proud, yes i agree, bcos what? They have strong political system, big nation, MUCH resources, well respectable and well reputable. Once US stocks crash, the world's stock index comes crashing as well. Well, to think about it, comparing to singapore, we have to be 1) Saving on resources cos we do not have much resource 2) Land is even a problem to us 3) People are our resources
So do you think there will be any chance the government wants Singapore to be a country with people taking drugs, watching malice movies, or taking knives or guns to point at anyone?
No?
Taxes: GST, Income Tax to Salary wage fall, Everyone blames it on the government. But do you know how much government has done for you people? They actualy use these taxes to help boost the nation's economy when it is down, to plan for long term uses like Education, when educated pple like us will help booast the nation's economy in 10 years or more. Government always run a budget deficeit instead of surplus because their planned revenue < planned expenditure. So the taxes we pay might be alot to us, but to think, these taxes are to help booast the economy, like the SARS period, when they government has to spend on 20% more of its expenditure to help us go through this period.
SARS. Will America be as united as Singaporeans when it comes to such crisis? Who knows.
Yes, it has reasons to be arrogant, bcos it is a rich, political country. If singapore has that BIG surface area, that amount of money to spend on, we won't run on a budget deficit and we can have more eye candies to travellers,
Like disney land, more tourists sights.
With our fragile economy and much more reclaimed land,
Non singaporeans may not understand, and i look down on Singaporeans who think that Singapore is just an island where they will leave if they have the means to.
Singapore do not need these people. You can leave right now. She's not going to make you stay nor shed any tears if you're leaving.
nadnut said…
oh for goodness sake!

1) singaporeans who love singapore = shall continue loving singapore and tok abt it..

2) singaporeans who hate singapore = get out of de country and migrate. stop whining.

3) foreigners who love singapore = welcome! :) good to see tat. good.

4) singaporeans who hate foreign countries = dun bother. juz tink abt ur country and be 1)

5) foreigners who hate singapore = dun bother to compare. juz go tink abt ur country. enuff!

6) foreigners who love their country = keep it up.

de bottom line is.. why u gonna compare? no matter wat, nobody will be happy. it still ends up ppl comparing.

so if u hate ur own country, go migrate!

and if u love ur country, good for u!

no use BOASTING abt it.

coz if u gonna compare, its so different. like a strawberry and a mango.

one MUCH MUCH smaller. another bigger. everything is different. from de taste, to de seeds. diff ppl like them differently.

so? have u ever told ur fren who loves strawberries tis 'hey! why do u prefer strawberries to mangoes? mangoes are so juicy and sweet!'

coz ur fren would say tis 'mangoes?! strawberries are sweeter and there is no seed!'

well, im gonna say tis: 'mangoes and strawberries are nice. juz depends on who is eating it and he/she prefers which one'

sighz. sorry to be sooo longwinded on ur blog xiaxue. :(
Angelic Gal said…
Hi there,
I'm a S'porean working in an American School. I wish to say that many American teachers in the school chose to be singapore citizens! I'm not joking...it's a true fact. Not one but a handful!!! The reason they gave..it's a great country to live in!
sh said…
patriotic! *does a standing ovation* well said!
Eryka said…
On first thoughts, some might think reasons like a killbill dvd and chewing gums for leaving Singapore may sound silly, but when you look deeper its something more than just materials. The way the government manages us goes to show that even with the amount and quality of education they provide us, they do not trust us to handle a mature film and also to dispose our gums properly. I'm sure that despite all these measures, there will still be other sources of getting hold of these restricted items. Perhaps, Singapore's encouragin us to go underground trading? I dont know.
We all wonder whether staying in the country symbolises patriotism and loyalty. Like one of the commentors said, it's really contradicting to say you will not leave the country to explore the world if given the opportunity. Look at China's citizens. They're flocking all over and around the world. Does it mean they dont love China? I think its pretty unfair to generalise all who leave do not love Singapore.

Also, do you really welcome foreign talents when you're in a situation where you're not given priority for a job? Yes, you love Singapore so much but it is giving non-singaporeans ( some of whom do not even love Singapore and is making use of her to board jump to other countries) a job which you need so badly. Singapore is so nice, so secure, so clean, everything has got a system and is in order. Why? Landsize. Asking you to manage a Country which has a land mass of 600 over kilometers square as compared to that of China's. Which would be easier? Saturation is probably sinking in. Saturation of over emphasise in certain areas, certain form of management.

I guess everyone has different standards. For me, I fear that this shelter that has been protecting me will not allow me to develope to someone of greater use to the society. I want my children to grow up with more creativity and an appreciation for the arts as well.
I agree with re-minisce not to defend Singapore blindly. In the world today that we live in, media is well controlled by authorities. Its all the same all over. Most hide the truth. Some look beyond some dont. When one does not question about how things are done one does not want to know more. Satisfied as it is, complacency does not seek improvements.
Audrey said…
Well, Singapore might be boring and all...but you cannot ignore the fact that we are multi racial!!! Which country do you see that there is no discrimination of the races? Even though my American cousins claim that they get along with their black classmates, they are ostracized just because they look Asian...

And I went there to study for 6 mths before... Not that I am proud or anti-social, I get along fine with anyone and everyone, even if they say they hate Asians. Their attitude was not very welcoming...they made rude remarks about Asians being street hookers and stuff...

yes, there are bound to be some black sheep, but not everyone is the same. I'm sure Americans do not want to be labeled as racist just because I saw a Black guy bashing up a White guy jus because he took the last pack of chips and refuse to let him have it..

Singapore is a strict and boring country...but one has to live in the heartland to truly understand the meaning of racial harmony and peace...

My Indian neighbors share food with us when my parents are not in Singapore as they are afraid that we do not know how to cook...where can you find such neighbors that help you regardless of your race and religion? They din even bother to ask if we got food, they just cooked extra and brought it over!!!

Singapore is small, the Government is strict... people do not protest on the streets cos we do not see any sense in that. It would just be a waste of time. Y not give feedback thru other channels like the media or contacting the agency involved directly?

In Singapore, suggestions are taken into serious considerations, so the need for protests and all is really not necessary.

And it would be a waste of resources to have a protest in small Singapore. Protests means time off work and more police needed to control the crowd. It could also mean traffic hold ups and people hurt...

Protests are not a way of showing how not boring a country is. It merely shows how the people think.

Singaporeans weigh the pros and cons of protesting and decide to give their feedback in other less time-consuming methods. This does not make us boring at all.

Maybe non-Singaporeans should try to know some friends of other races here and get them to show you how Singaporeans live and you will realize that our life is not boring at all.
the Queen said…
Singapore is the best!

Will nvr dream of living anywhere else permanently. Safe,best in many things...

i can't fathom why some singaporeans actually complain about this lovely country. we have evrything done for us. which is good. we don't have to worry(much) about perverts in public places,going home alone,getting at least primary school education,drinking clean water,having alternative sources when one resource runs out,having our employers help us put aside money for CPF,MediSave...etc,getting loans for financial burdens,good education standards,clean and hygienic places to eat,honest and clean government,religious freedom,upgrading of hdb flats regularly(when there is at least 75% agreement to ensure fairness),cheaper electronic goods(esp handphones),betting for soccer even,convenience with good transportation system,insurance companies galore for the paranoid....

gosh i think there's more good things that SINGAPORE offers but some petty and whiny and complaining-all-the-time-coz-they're-freaking-ingrates Singaporeans don't get it!
jack tan said…
lol. think yourself as goats. you all are eating the grass your feets stand on. so when the grass gets all eaten up what do you eat? soil?

calling the grass you feed on your "father" is the most fucking stupid thing i've ever heard. i'd rather call the big goat beside me my father.

in that case, im sorry to say your father is dying soon.
jeRrRKKKK said…
i used to love singapore too...
until i joined the army
silvermyst said…
I wish there was some way to refer to comments as I type I keep forgetting.

I'd agree with Erika (I think it's Erika) that you have to live abroad so as not to be so insular. ON BOTH SIDES.

As to Clairee....

The reason why John Howard and Tony Blair may not be re-elected is because they sent Australian and U.K troops in to war with the US in a war not only the UN did not approve of, but the Australian (i don't know much about the UK) public did not approve of.

The march to protest against sending the troops to Iraq was in fact the biggest protest in the history of Australia after the Vietnam War.

That's the reason.


As to your latest reply...

I am mainly referring to the living standards, education, career options and culture aspects. I did not have any intention to critize the Singapore government in any aspect for I don't know jack shit about Singapore politics . Thus I have no say in that. What I'm trying to point out is that Singapore has limited resources and extremely restricted options/opportunities. Singapore itself digs scholars w/ foreign degrees.

I'm glad to see you have an open mind. The problem is that trying to take Singapore's politics apart from its culture is almost impossible. Unlike the US, this is a state where the government has defined its culture. I'd hardly call the living standards of Singapore low, we're in the top 100 cities to live in. We have over 90% home ownership, much higher than the states. Education: while it is true that the way in which we teach our children isn't flash, and that few can actually apply what we study to real life, making us entirely un-street savvy, you can't deny that we have the world's best maths students here...or that our education standard is extremely high, save for the METHOD of teaching and learning.

Employment: our opportunities are low, and we do rely on manpower, but we do have options. AS for foreign degrees: NOT REALLY. some unrecognised unis will get you no where. Also, grads from foreign unis are sometimes resented. Again, this relates back to culture.

Cultural Aspects: please again note, that every culture has its pros and cons. We are not say, a Pol Pot regime, and as a 1st world country, I'd say we are doing something right.

Go read some of the other pro-Singapore posters. I may not approve of their blind faith, but their comments are very valid.

Culture is an individual thing, and I reckon everyone should try keeping the 'impressing you own culture' thing onto everyone else off. This applies to BOTH SIDES, so don't get wrong.

Perhaps talk to some people who aren't dying to get out of Singapore and see what they say.
silvermyst said…
oh and to poor chelsea if she's even still reading this:

I totally understand what you are trying to say. Perhaps maybe you should word it better next time.

Even then, there are many things that need to be explained at length to you. you'll be able to find kill bill.
`nic.ethan said…
Singapore cannot be compared to America. not even any other countries.

No country is "the best" or 133t or whatever you americans want to call it. there`s always pros and cons.

i lived in america, texas [there`s where your chimp president was from.] for about 3 years before i came back to singapore.

i cannot make a general statement because texas is just one of the many states there. however, trying to live in a new country is as painful as you describing how painful it is to live in singapore.

when i was there, my father`s friend son was shot dead while driving. if you wish to talk about culture, try explaining this. if you wish to talk about standards, trying fixing this.

then again, it would simply be only one situation.

so, to judge a country based on some situation you encounter is simply unfair and unjust.

isn`t america the land of freedom?

basically, you`re just ranting off your mouth without thinkin about consequences.

if i were to be like you and judge all americans, i did say,

that`s why iraq`s in a messed up state right now. because you amercians don`t think, act gungho and try to play hero.

then again, i won`t.
in_europe said…
My norwegian husband love Singapore so much and we will still plan to move back to Singapore in a few years' time.

We have friends who also relocated to Norway and they miss Singapore so much. Likewise we have alot of foreigner friends who also love Singapore and had refused to move back because of their love of singapore, although they might come from a "better" country, like for eg. Switzerland, Australia, France, Sweden or America.

And yes, I think we have a more exciting social life in Singapore, because going out for a party at night is much safer, cheaper and better choices than in Sweden and Norway.

As for chewing gum and drugs? I think it is no big loss to Singaporeans anyway. I sat on someone's gum a few days ago in Sweden and that was not nice. And as for small HDB flats in SIngapore that look dreadful? Check out the small apartments in Europe, and especially how they looked in winter... with those graffiti, broken glasses and windows (because the cleaners are not as efficient as in Singapore)

Give the girl a break, I think she is going through a tough patch in Singapore and probably feeling homesick. Most people only appreciate something better after it is no longer there.
Ms Gia Gia said…
Good reply!

People who are not Singaporeans just can't understand our lifestyle, just as I can't understand why you get a fine for parking in a lot without ticket, but it's okay if you park somewhere else without a parking lot in Malaysia.
popglamour said…
you know what, i just thought i'd say that america is a great place to work and enjoy life but definitely not somewhere you'd wanna spend the rest of your life in. america may be the land of the free, but think about things that could be added behind the word 'free' that reflects on american society. free to what? the list is endless, both negative and positive.

people shouldn't really go around claiming things they don't understand about or only have a superficial understanding of. to each his own, but make sure you make a sensible claim before putting it on show for everyone to see. ever heard of the benefits of tolerance and gaining something i like to call culture?
ttw said…
sorry, but i disagree that singapore is not a racist place. blatant racism exists in hiring practices (just look at the racial distribution of people in top civil service positions for example), it exists when you look with fear at the foreign workers in construction sites and in serangoon, and it certainly exists when you refer to some of them as "bangalas".

i believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. and to those people who really love singapore, i'm glad for you. however, humans have been migrating from their home countries all the time in search for a better life. think about our ancestors and how they even got to singapore - well, some of them at least must have felt that there were no opportunities in china, they might not have liked the government, etc., precisely the same issues we are facing now. it is rather unfair to tar everyone with the same brush.

maybe a little tolerance is called for. those people who wish to leave singapore are certainly free to do so, and if they don't find a better life abroad, well, that is their burden to bear. mudslinging and critisicms of "my country is greater than your country" really just gets us nowhere.
Zen|th said…
Well, all I have to say is that each country has it's own pros and cons. And because of these pros and cons, there will always be people for and against that country.

It all comes to each individual's perspective and preference to decide which country they prefer and choose as their home.

I think you should always support the country you're from, but then no one can choose where they're born, so I don't really blame those who don't like the country they were born in.

So if someone says they prefer living in another country, by all means go ahead and live there.

I think what matters more is that you know you have a place called home, and love it like Xiaxue does.
Jonathan said…
Clarieee (regarding your response to Warr),

I am staying in the US and I just want to correct you when you say that if you have INSURANCE, "you don't have to pay anything." I have a PPO with Blue Cross but when you purchase that insurance, there are a whole list of exclusions in there that will not be covered, for example, pre-existing condition.

One thing that's for sure, wherever you are staying in the US could be located in a rural/ sub-urban area because as an American, obviously you should know that housing in cities are very expensive like San Francisco or NYC as compared to Alda, Nebraska or Newburg, North Dakota.

You have also admitted that because Warr had only stayed in US for a year and "cannot possibly absorb and understand its culture in such a short period of time", doesn't that say the same for you too. You cannot absorb a Singaporean's culture and Singlish gross you out. Well, how long have you stayed in Singapore? Do you think that the length you have stayed in Singapore substantiate your comments?

Just like how you are forced to stay in Singapore, I am forced to stay in the US too. I hate US as much as you hate Singapore. So let's just hope that we can get the hell out of here and back to wherever we came from.
martx said…
Cheers Xiaxue!

Although there might be so much to say about the PAP and how restrictive Singapore is, I cant belive there are so many out there that are so ungrateful for all that out country has done.

I think this American teen probably did visit Bangkok, but stayed in 5 star hotels. Perhaps she should try the urban living there then she will probably wake up her idea.

In fact any Singaporean who does not cherish Singapore should try missionary work for a time in any Asean country. I am sure they will have a change of heart.
N@m!e said…
check out my blog.. www.sweetnamie.blogspot.com

i put ya in!!
Claireee said…
To Jonathan,
I would love to remind you the fact that I was born and raised in Singapore for TEN years. I'm a senior in college now and I go back every other summer to visit for a month and my parents/granparents are Singaporeans. I ain't no twinkie as you think dawg! I dare to say that I've been to most of the places in Singapore but how many States have you been to in US? Or should I say cities? Do you think you comprehend more US culture and lifestyle than I do of Singapore?! Referring to "Just like how you are forced to stay in Singapore, I am forced to stay in the US too. I hate US as much as you hate Singapore." I DO NOT hate Singapore! Hate is too much for me to handle. Get that in your head ority?! As for the insurance part, of course there are whole bunch of exclusions but if you know how to use your FRIED brain and choose from over thousands of different covered insurance. YOU SHOULD BE FINE! But again, which dumbass is gonna cover pre-existing condition? If that's the case, why do they want to spend freaking 8 years to get M.D then? Also, you should know better that even in NYC and San Fran, you get to live in much bigger and nicer houses as you pay the same price in Singapore. Those bunglows in Singapore are tiny! Have you ever been to L.A's Sunset Blvd? I think not! I don't think I even have to mention about cars then. Ya know what I mean?! GAWWWWWWWWW.... Once again, let me repeat myself one more time : I DON'T hate Singapore and it's a great place to VISIT!
marie-joelle said…
Hey Xiaxue, seems you've started quite a furore here.

Didn't manage to read through all the comments - too many! - so maybe I'm repeating what someone else has already said but anyway.

I was born in Singapore, but both my parents were M'sian so I ended up being M'sian too. I lived here till I was 16 then moved to Perth (Australia). It bothered me for many years that I was M'sian - even though I didn't know the anthem or anything about the country/people/language - and not Singaporean. To me it felt like a farce.

When I moved to Perth I missed S'pore terribly and the first year I was there my parents let me come back twice because I was so sad.

Anyway, after seven years in Australia I came back and have been working here since Nov last year.

But for some reason I cannot adapt to the way of life here anymore. Singapore is not the way I remember it. Or maybe I have changed and what I want is different now.

So I'm moving back to Australia.

I don't think Singapore has any more or less good/bad points than any other country. And by all means, if you are Singaporean then you should love your country otherwise what is the point?

Everyone is different and what they like/dislike will be different too. Some might like Singapore, and some might not. There are cases of Singaporeans moving away because they don't like it, but there are also cases of foreigners moving to Singapore because they like it. The same goes for any country. It's all a matter of personal taste in the end.

I went on a round-the-world trip last year and realised that there is so much out there in the world that we don't know about. We have to realise that while each of us has our own opinion, it is important to understand and accept the views of others as well. There is beauty in each and every city if we are willing to open our eyes and see it.

BTW, I was a little miffed at your comments about 'kantangs'. By your definition, I should be one, but I don't think I am. I used to listen to Chinese radio all the time until I moved to Perth. At home I spoke Mandarin to my dad and English to my mom. I watched SBC drama serials religiously throughout primary/secondary school. And I eat Chinese food just like a typical Chinese Singaporean. I'm from RGS and even though I agree that there are a lot of 'kantangs' in English-speaking schools like RGS, MGS, ACS, etc. I hope people realise that there are a lot of true-blue Singaporeans who go to these schools too.

I think it's alright to call people 'kantang' or 'angmoh-pai' tongue-in-cheek, but to use it as an insult it is just as bad as someone bitching about Singlish.

In any case, Happy Birthday to Singapore, hope all you S'poreans out there have fun watching the parade.

Just my 2 cents.
SERINA WAI said…
YAY! singapore boleh!
[ - 雯'§ - ] said…
Wht can i say ?
Background abt mi : grew up in Singapore , frenz are all in Singapore , speak chinese as my main language , been in a convent where there are a lot of kantang kias as my class mates , studied in poly where mixture of ppl exists where there a lot of chee bongs and goody-two shoes. I have performed in the National Parade before when i was in preschool in Yamaha and then it was celebrated at the Padang open field. I been to at least 7 National Parades Celebrations courtesy of my aunt and aso my ex ex bf. And have tons of goodie bags and experience during the celebration itself. And Now i am studyin at overseas .

Why am i studyin here ? Not becoz i dun wan Moe to earn my money , but juz refusin on draggin time to finish my education ..

I love singapore, nt becoz of our government . but becoz i grew up in there, i hve frenz there , my family worked hard for the society and the society did hlped my family and i grew up. Thus i am thankful to the society. I am familiar with everything in Singapore and definately will not give up my citizenship. True there might be better oppurtunities overseas, but still Singapore is my home and i wan to be where i belong.

Our Singapore government did imposed a lot of rules on us citizens... but their objective of these laws are actually for the good of us. Like wht some previous posts had said, taxes and gst are juz for our economic trends in the international market. And even for laws for like bubble gums helps us to be a clean country.
Let's take a comparsion with where i am now and in Singapore. it was abt 7pm in the evenin and i need some groceries for my dinner. And thus i went to the nearest supermarket to get them. While i am crusing the aisle, i stepped on two gums stuck on the floor within the same aisle. And when i turned to the next, i kenna another gum on the floor. Wow such luck. ( stop laughin at tis moment )
Tht is y Sg government are bannin the use of gums. for ppl can be tht inconsiderate. And with tht, they hve to spend extra money and effort juz to clean and scrapped it out. So as much as tht, the government came out of an idea bannin gum to save tht resources used to pay for removing the gum. And it is effective ..

So it isnt tht silly to actually ban it frm sg. This is only one example on y SG government have so much laws within the book ..

So as much as others are complaining, y nt stop and think more before yaddering off .

your sincerely
Sonya

Which btw, Happy birthday . Sorry to not being able to be with you now. Enjoz ur bday ~!
cheers said…
yay, way to go XX! I've been to many places, such as europe, america blah.. and i must say that none is as safe as singapore. In Edinburg, there's many beggars around and it can be very dangerous to walk at night. This is not so in Singapore! Though we may all whine and rant about our home country, but still HOME is where we belong and it's the best! Btw, did you even know that the pple in bangkok wrote to their own newspaper's (The Nation) forum, stating tat Singapore has a better night life scene and pubs than those in Bangkok, given the fact that Singapore's night life is vibrant, healthy and not sleazy. This goes to prove a lot of things that we should be contented with what we have and foreigners are acknowledging the fact that we're getting better and moving in the right direction! So, Happie Bdae Singapore! Cheers!
eggtOfU said…
everyone loves a certain country la.
it ish to one's liking de.
each country has its pros and cons.
so beat it. but,
p.s,
i luvvv spore~
Anonymous said…
Got caught while chewing gum in S'pore? This is ridiculous... Chelsea dear, the sale of chewing gum is banned, but NOT the chewing of gum k?

Duh....
Just me said…
[I am not here to insult anybody, just to express an opinion.]

Singapore is hardly a quiet place. Our economy is booming. Our commercial centres bustling with people and traffic. Office buildings with their lights still on late into the night. Lots of night places to eat, a rather reasonably lively nightlife scene.

I used to complain that there's nothing to do around here. That Singapore sucks cos it's so darn boring. Alot of people say, it's just eating and shopping and movies only. But that's because those people only choose to do those things. There's NO SUCH THING as "I don't have a choice". There are so many things to do, it's only whether you want to do them, and you want to look for things to do.

Visit the beach, ice-skating, take up salsa, talk a jog/walk in the park, sit outside cityhall/supreme court chatting with friends till late, rockclimbing, pick up a sport, etc! There are endless things. Yes, there will be considerably lesser things than perhaps in the US which is so much bigger than us.

Is your definition of "happening" yelling and waving signs with loads of people down the street? Oh yes we are all allowed to speak out, to fight for a cause, but here, we just do it through other more subtle means. Perhaps we'll deal with peaceful protests later.

We are a young nation. We are stable, in our early stage of progress (only 39 years compared to US's hundreds of years), we need stability the most. The other privileges will come later.

Are we really ready for all that "freedom" (as Americans always call it)? Look at Indonesia and Philippines - always having protests, riots, etc. They are not doing as well as us, for a fact. The society and economy there are not stable. They have the so-called freedom in media and speech but to what end and at what consequences?

I think I'm a Singaporean who grew up watching too many American TV programmes and had an overdose of Hollywood movies - maybe Chelsea you too.

However as I grow older I begin to see more and more things in different perspectives. For example many Hollywood movies (e.g. Armageddon and Independence Day) are very US-centered. The Americans will ultimately save the world. The rest of the world will have to depend on Americans to set things right. Perhaps it should just be seen as propaganda for team spirit among the Americans and a morale-booster. But I think, you guys have a very healthy enough morale, and fantastic team spirit already. Whether it is self-centeredness or arrogance it is not for me or anyone else to judge.

I wouldn't boast that I'm well-travelled. But I have been to several places in Europe, UK, and Asia. Yes, during my recent travels to Europe, I saw so many things and so many people it really opened my eyes. And I realise how extremely small Singapore really is! How little space we have.

But home is still home, and we are progressing steadily and gradually. I can walk around with my handbag hanging from my shoulder and not constantly worry too much, we do not have earthquakes or flooding or tornados or typhoons or volcanic eruptions, we have clean and efficient transport, a good sewage system, advanced technology, modern buildings and shopping centres....so many things, who can ask for more? You can't have your cake and eat it.

Chealsea:
I don't doubt that NYC is an interesting place, and I would probably have lots of fun visiting. But it's not the only fun place. (Also, try visiting Amsterdam, or rather the entire Netherlands itself - a "free" country as well, rather stable, nice people, loads of stuff to do/see, and also very beautiful)

I would like to ask you, of all your years in Singapore, have you made a real effort to get to know her? Have you gone around her corners....Chinatown, Little India, etc? Have you looked around with an open mind and open heart?

I see many foreign/expatriate kids around...hanging out at their expat schools, Holland Village, Lido Theatre, certain clubs...they're in their own little expat world in a foreign country with their own little bunch of friends. They don't immerse themselves into the environment that they live in at all....of course, not all are like that, but I see many that are like that.

Well like Xiaxue said, there's nothing much you can do about Singapore, she can't really change herself to suit you. So meantime since you're kind stuck here, why not just make the best of your time here. Instead of just staying in your own little world, get out there and explore, look for things to do, go to the "fun" instead of waiting for the fun to happen to you.

You can either spend your time griping about how you're stuck in this hellhole and can't wait to get back to NYC, constantly comparing this place to NYC, or be more positive about your situation, soak up the culture!, try to see the government with abit more of dry humour, as for the weather - well um, just fan yourself constantly then. (You can get beautiful Chinese sandalwood traditional fans in Chinatown for $2)

Half the fun will come from within you, it's not all the environment's fault. Instead of constantly harping of what you can and cannot do here, just go out there and live to the fullest you can here! Life is short.
Don't be stupid. I lived here for more then seventeen years, chewed gum, brought back from malaysia/somewhere else, on the streets/school/everywhere, every single year and never got caught before. Hey i thought i'll share a little incident with you that i still find amusing. Last year, i met 3 american guys from the navy who were stopping over in singapore in hmv. They said i was the only girl who spoke to them when greeted instead of looking at them like they're nuts. Anyway, this guy asked me if it is really illegal to spit in singapore. So i spat on the road in front of me to make a point. Well, i sure cured them of any thoughts that singapore and singaporeans is that uptight about some things. Yeah, i know its really disgusting, but hey, i seldom spit and spitting to prove a point is about as action packed as a protesting horde of people. AND I THINK PROTESTING en mass IS GOD DAMN STUPID. It is the most useless form of expression i have ever known of and any society that responds/subcumbs to that instead of other forms of communication is pig headed, almost illiterate and disrespectful of the values of its people.( beccause they would have had to ignore earlier overtures from that same group of people for the group to resort to this) Ineffective governing as well! to drive people to do this when there are so many other positive methods of going about it. Protestanting is a no-brainer, get over it if you don't pride yourself as a nusiance.
Claireee said…
If the government impose laws to prevent people from chewing gum and spit etc and those who go against the law doesn't get fined, what is the whole point? Very contradictory isn't it?! And why do you sound so proud to prove that?
mia said…
hey hey hey! loved your new post. inspired me to write my own national day greetings on moblog.com.sg. U not signing up?
passerby said…
Claireee,
First, u do get fine if u are caught. But how often has that happened. In the past, the law was laid down for better public hygience and health. now, i think the point of the spitting fine serves more as a deterrant. If u ever been to China, u will understand the reason for this law. It is really digusting.

I think Jelly bubble, bub! bub! (and correct me if i m wrong) was trying to prove that S'pore is not an uptight country who has policeman standing ard, catching and fining ppl who spit.. That is the impression that many foreigners have..
bubblybee said…
Claireee..

I only have vague memories of what happened to me during the 1st 10 years of my life... are you trying to tell us that you are a genius or something?

The girl whom spit just to prove a point was really silly. And it is the existence of such inconsiderate people, that made such bans necessary. The law acts as a deterrent, not necessarily prevention. Even murderers in America get away scot-free... it is really absurd for you make such a comment over such relatively minor offence. In every country, there are bound to be thieves who aren't caught etc.... NOT just Singapore. There is an optimal number of policemen to be on duty, decided by the interaction of the cost in monetary terms, and the welfare of the general public (the benefits). Did years of a RELAXED education system, taught you nothing? Or did you party too much and neglected your studies?
Yeah, sure silly, if you don't mind foreigners going around discussing singapore and singaporeans as uptight control freaks/aka nanny state/ restrained & restricted = boring ( which is what was said in the post itself.)

Do you think those three guys which found the idea of getting arrested over spitting ridiculous, have the habit of spitting? It is not about the spitting , but the police getting involved in such things. Also, did i not say i seldom spit? It is the people who think nothing of spitting, maybe have it as a lifestyle habit or even think its cool (korea or somewhere, can't remember) that made such bans necessary.

Why do I sound proud? Yes, I am proud of riding those guys of that annoying notion. It is a widely spreaded stereotype that i have alot against. I was showing them my point. I am proud that i appealed to my audience, won them over,succeeded in it, and now have people to help start the end of that freaking stereotype.

And kudos to passerby for helping me explain, thank you.
Yeah, sure silly, if you don't mind foreigners going around discussing singapore and singaporeans as uptight control freaks/aka nanny state/ restrained & restricted = boring ( which is what was said in the post itself.)

Do you think those three guys which found the idea of getting arrested over spitting ridiculous, have the habit of spitting? It is not about the spitting , but the police getting involved in such things. Also, did i not say i seldom spit? It is the people who think nothing of spitting, maybe have it as a lifestyle habit or even think its cool (korea or somewhere, can't remember) that made such bans necessary.

Why do I sound proud? Yes, I am proud of riding those guys of that annoying notion. It is a widely spreaded, deeply ingrained stereotype that i have alot against. I was showing them my point. I am proud that i appealed to my audience, won them over,succeeded in it, and now have people to help start the end of that freaking stereotype.

And kudos to passerby for helping me explain, thank you.
Hey shit, where's that dustbin option? Also, bigger houses just goes to show that you have some CHEAP land over there, which is a *snigger* BAD INVESTMENT. so.....wahhahahaha you have cheap land....so ulu somemore... have to drive in order to get anywhere....hahaha * snigger*
Claireee said…
Bubblybee,
What I said was just trying to point out how silly that girl is. Ority? I'm no freaking genius, that I admit. Not only did I stay in Singapore for 10 years before moving to The states, I go back every summer to visit my relatives for a month for the past 12 years. Btw...just to let you know...America does not have a RELAXED education system as how most Singaporeans think. Ya'll think everyone in The States just party all day long/smoke pot and don't do jack shit? So why is America the strongest and most influential country today? America has a much bigger population than Singapore so of course there are more fucked up people. I do party and I'm in a sorority but I don't neglect my studies. College life in America is a totally grand & unique experience that you can't find anywhere else.I'm a senior in Columbia (if u even know what it is) majoring in Cooperate Law. To top that, I get to pay 3 times as much to work in SIngapore comparing to a fresh graduate from NTU. HOHOHOHO. But I don't think I will accept the offer cos' for the same amount of pay, I can lead a much better life in The States.

As to the silly 17 years old whatever-your-name-is girl,
Whatever you said about cheap land and bad investment relect pretty damn bad on yourself. It's about time for you to hit the books and get your facts right b4 all the bullshit! STFU!!
Eryka said…
Very well said Clairee. I can totally understand that what you've mentioned are simply facts and how you feel. You dont hate Singapore and there's no need for hating Singapore. They're probably too sheltered to have a more open mind. Its also disgraceful for them to say they are not patriotic. BUT THEN AGAIN, they are mocking about their own fellow citizens joining Singapore Idol. Laughing at them for bing stupid, thinking that we Singaporeans are a joke yet proud of it. Such irony.
racife said…
Err with regards to the laughing at singapore idol post, i can assure you that it happens _everywhere_. Just for an example, visit this malaysian forum http://lifestyle.mypdacafe.com/viewtopic.php?id=183 (btw i don't have anything against malaysia/malaysians).

That being said, i'm looking forward to watching the william hungs of singapore :)
Gosh, aren't you glad that there, finally, is someone other then you that has got "not so factual" statements? Notice that, amongst all the comments, every single one of yours has been corrected and refuted due to their straying from the facts ?

books? facts? I'm not interested in housing at all. I don't need facts to find a reason to snigger or to squeeze out a lame ass offensive statement directed at what you wrote, and you sure didn't like it ( scored one!)ANYhow,If you can get bigger houses for the same price, obviously its cheaper then the ones in singapore. CHEAP LAND.( you are supposed to ignore me sweetie, there there don't get upset, your mummy still loves you. )

and most SINGAPOREANS don't think america is relaxed. HELLO? The whole world knows they have one of the most competitive system around, that's why all the americans are sO hung up over whether you win or lose. *snigger* hung up...still hung up *snigger* But then again, it is very relaxed in comparism to singpore's exam orientated and based, pressure cooker of an education system which requires you to be a slave to the books every day in order to make it. The derth of alternative routes that exists in countries like america is another reason there is more pressure and stress in singapore, as you will know that you are dead meat if you don't make it. Any hope of a future depends on your ability to excel in the exams, nothing else counts.So,sweetie, your boasts about your america does not explain america as having a "non- relaxed" education system.
"party all day long/smoke pot and don't do jack shit" = "relaxed" ?
CHECK THE DICTIONARY! You have an inaccurate interpretion of " relaxed ".

Ironic to be proud of stupid jokes? Oh no, its not. i'm proud of all the superficial seemingly stupid things i do. Something doesn't have to be in the "approved" category or even in a positive light for you to be proud of it. Get out of the strait-laced Lane, missus!

It is disgraceful to not be patriotic? Hmm...I doubt even Goh chok tong ( did i spell wrongly?), would agree with that. It is your country, you either find it something to be proud about or you don't. You don't have to be proud of it or even like it, to not bite the hand that feeds you or to not repay the country you owe your startings to. Whether or not you are proud of your country depends mostly on the country, not the individual. In the same way, whether or not you are a "good" gf, depends mostly on the relationship, not the type of person you are.

ANd erika, open mind to do what huh? huh? HUH? HUH? DO WHAT! To understand other people's arguments enough to refute it? OPEN enough? WHAT more can you do with being more open?
Eryka said…
Her facts are her experiences and what she has seen, I believe. Likewise, your perception is not my reality. Open mind to do what? Open mind to criticisms, ideas. Being able to listen and expose to other's experiences and ideas. Having the ability also to agree to disagree.Like alot of them have said, it all depends. What are your needs? Singapore is saturated. I dont think Clairee was even trying to put Singapore down just because. Also, it is not wrong of her to say Singapore still have rooms for improvement, probably just not in comparison to the States. We all have to admit there's no perfect country. There's no country that can satisfy everyone.

It is ironic to know that we claim we are proud to be a Singaporean but not supportive of our own talents. I dont understand why to many Singapore Idol is a big joke. This is what I really cant stand. It is also this mindset of not being supportive of the locals that gets me down. I know we need globalisation. We need to have a world class education system. I really dont think we're there yet. I'm not sure of the value of our local university degrees abroad though I know a foreign degree here is quite the catch for many companies.
All in all, Singapore is just too small for the ambitious me.
Eryka said…
The only people who have 'won' by participating are those who have long mentioned this is would be an endless argument. To each his own. I am done with this never ending cycle.
Jonathan said…
Claireee,

I�m glad you pointed that out for yourself about the insurance part because when you wrote to Warr, you said that you don�t have to pay a single cent at all but that was so wrong. I brought this up not because I had doubts about your love for America or for Singapore but because I had very bad experiences with the health care system over here. My girlfriend had high fever 5 years ago. Over the counter drugs at Safeway and Walgreen�s didn�t help to bring it down. I was so vexed and worried and so I started calling all the doctors around my precinct to schedule an appointment but all the receptionists said that all appointments were full and would have to wait for 2-3 days for the next available slot. In the end, I brought her to the emergency room in Kaiser. Even with insurance, she ended up paying $1200 for a night in Kaiser. That was no pre-existing condition Claireee but the insurance company didn�t pay for everything. They only subsidized half of it or something, I cannot recall.

I completed my college education in UCLA and this is my 5th year in Franklin Templeton in San Mateo, CA. I have traveled to 17 states in the US, including your hometown. So yes, I do know where Sunset Boulevard is. In case you�re curious, I mentioned previously that �just like how you are forced to stay in Singapore, I am forced to stay in the US too.� That is partly because of the high pay here too, just like what you are getting right now. I had to pay my parents back the money they had invested in me for my education. There is just no way I an do that in Singapore. I am torn between making a decent salary in US and away from my family.

There are also other frustrating situations that I�ve encountered here like how the SSA spelled my name wrongly on important documents or how rude and obnoxious the people in DMV are, etc. That�s all too much to say in dear Xiaxue�s blog.

Whatever it is, I hope that you will have a blast the next time you visit Singapore or even here at the West Coast. Good luck with your education.

Jonathan
Jonathan said…
Claireee,

I�m glad you pointed that out for yourself about the insurance part because when you wrote to Warr, you said that you don�t have to pay a single cent at all but that was so wrong. I brought this up not because I had doubts about your love for America or for Singapore but because I had very bad experiences with the health care system over here. My girlfriend had high fever 5 years ago. Over the counter drugs at Safeway and Walgreen�s didn�t help to bring it down. I was so vexed and worried and so I started calling all the doctors around my precinct to schedule an appointment but all the receptionists said that all appointments were full and would have to wait for 2-3 days for the next available slot. In the end, I brought her to the emergency room in Kaiser. Even with insurance, she ended up paying $1200 for a night in Kaiser. That was no pre-existing condition Claireee but the insurance company didn�t pay for everything. They only subsidized half of it or something, I cannot recall.

I completed my college education in UCLA and this is my 5th year in Franklin Templeton in San Mateo, CA. I have traveled to 17 states in the US, including your hometown. So yes, I do know where Sunset Boulevard is. In case you�re curious, I mentioned previously that �just like how you are forced to stay in Singapore, I am forced to stay in the US too.� That is partly because of the high pay here too, just like what you are getting right now. I had to pay my parents back the money they had invested in me for my education. There is just no way I an do that in Singapore. I am torn between making a decent salary in US and away from my family.

There are also other frustrating situations that I�ve encountered here like how the SSA spelled my name wrongly on important documents or how rude and obnoxious the people in DMV are, etc. That�s all too much to say in dear Xiaxue�s blog.

Whatever it is, I hope that you will have a blast the next time you visit Singapore or even here at the West Coast. Good luck with your education.

Jonathan
Re-minisce said…
Beautifully, and gracefully written, Jonathan.

There is no utopian society, and in the same way there is no perfect healthcare system.

Be glad the wait was only 3 days. in the UK it would have been 3 weeks!

I don't want to have to do this, but, well. Did the hospital stay make any difference? what was her diagnosis? Was it a bacterial infection, or viral?

Sorry. That's the work-me kicking in. Bad re-minisce.

I'm glad she got better, at any rate.

And while we can all gripe all we want about the countries we live in, let's not forget the gripes we used to have about Singapore as well. :)

There's a balance to everything. I suppose it really, at the end of the day, depends on where we want to stand, and which balance we are comfortable with. Let's just all live and let live. No calls for foreigners out, and traitors to be lynched. (good old lynch mob. someone here seems good at rousing them.)

On the flip side, no calls for foreigners in, and everyone to defect. Let's just... live.
Claireee said…
Jonathan,
I'm sorry to hear that about your gf. I really have no idea what kind of insurance you got cos' it sure is a piece of crap!! I've never heard any case like yours so I'm thinking maybe you are an international student and doesn't know where to start w/ the insurance. For most of us, we usually pay 10 bucks copay and the rest is free. Such includes visits to physician, dentist, orthopedics etc etc. Doctors are on call 24/7 and there are usually more than 5 doctors in one private clinic. Btw, wussup w/ all these Singapore international students going to UCLA for a degree? My mom's friends( in Singapore) sent their kids there too. It's not even on the top 50 colleges list though! But West Coast has the nicest weather and coolest peeps!!! Good luck staying in The States and may you get to go back to your motherland ASAP.
Xiaxue said…
Bleah. Read until I die.
hornicole said…
ority ority ority ority
arent u irritating?
why are u defending?
insecure? dear clairee?

STFU STFU STFU STFU
that is wad u keep saying
u are juz blockin' out wad ppl r sayin
man, u are really insecure.

what's with the angst against our country?
izzit juz because you dun get wad u wanna do?
now now, aint that childish
even kids dun ALWAYS get their way.

so lemme, this 15-yr-old tell you
wad she has to say
in this little poem FOR YOU!
so juz listen up

thank u for saying tt we have nice food!
we have american foodstuff too!
but y izzit tt we dun see laksa and kaya toast in USA?
its because we are special.

we dun have to insist that we are superior
we dunwan to be called a developed country
we dont care for all these crap
for we juz wan to remain loyal to our lion city

a country is not juz about insurance
and neither about kill bill dvds
its about our upbringing and hope
and with tt, i daresay singapore did the right things

you may like apples,
i may like pears
wadeva the case,
they keep our health to its best

so do u get my point dear clairee
that we all have different tastes and upbringing
and we all wan to achieve different things
so please juz stop defendin and insisting dear clairee,
for we, singaporeans, do not care.

We Love Singapore.
Xiaxue said…
We are Singapore we are Singapore we will stand together hear the lion

la.


la.


la.



BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
aphrodite said…
Is it just me or is that chick rude?
Anonymous said…
Count on me Singapore! Count on me to give my best and more :D!!!!

:P
Anonymous said…
hey.
it's KENtang. Not KANtang. And, I don't think there's anything wrong in not liking something about Singapore, because while it may be all clean and green and whathaveyou, it also has its bad points like any other country.
Right now, I'm sort of in two minds, because I can't quite choose which is more pathetic - this blog, or Singapore as a whole. I think the latter wins by just a hair. I think I'll take my crime-infested rest of the world to this asinine excuse for a country anyday. May your entrails run freely in the desert sands!
Why bother to say whether u love or hate Singapore ? If you do not like Singapore, the solution is very simple . Get out and leave and go anywhere you like . repeat tghis until you found a plce that is perfect ( prob take forever) .

simple
`nic.ethan said…
well, i`m glad ther furore`s over.

to pretty much sum things up here-
no place is perfect.



national day`s coming in a few mins time.
shanna said…
though im not singaporean, its my homeland and i love it so much! miss staying in singapore!
Xiaxue said…
Hi UtarEmpire!

One word for you!

BAH.Now fuck off. =)
wansai said…
http://www.firecow.org

I'd like to start off by bringing in a viewpoint from someone who is both very asian and very american.

Singapore is a great place! There is no doubt in my mind about this. I've lived here for about 12 years now and although I am loath to compare the 2 I will tell you why I love singapore and why my eyes tear when I hear the national anthem being sung. I feel very patriotic even though I am American. Just as patriotic when I think about my country (USA).

Singapore has such a diverse culture that is so integrated into one nation that it has created it's own culture. We have Singlish, our very own bastardization of the english/malay/Indian/chinese language. You may scoff but Singlish is it's own language not unlike English being a bastardization/derivative of latin (if you look at it like that). This developed in a spate of 30 years. It's really quite amazing just thinking about how difficult it is to have a whole new language develop in so short a time where everyone living here knows it as a second language.. nay, as a first language in some instances. You may or may nto like Singlish but you cannot deny it's importance/signifigance in being a big part of our multicultural identity.

LAW:
Singapore may have many restrictive laws but being an American coming to Singapore I can honestly say that these laws have NEVER gotten in my way of enjoying myself the way I like to enjoy myself.There are tons of laws but they are very loosely enforced. They are there as guidelines.

I can also safely say that the laws in the USA (I come from California) are much more restrictive. Over there they will enforce laws. There are even laws that determine how you should behave/act etc. Ultimately laws that inhibit personal freedom.

Sure some of the laws are draconian and absurd but so does every other country have absurd laws. For instance you can be jailed for having anal sex in some states in the USA. Or that you can be fined up to 20,000 US$ for detonating a nuclear warhead in the very small city of Chico, California. How the Chico authorities would collect that 20k after they;ve been incinerated is beyond mention.

Our laws are no different from any other country.

Speaking of FREEDOM:
I feel even more free now living in Singapore than in the USA. What we have in the US is a concept of freedom that is made repressed by our cultural biases & most definitely POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Not to mention some of our laws in the US contradict very clearly with our very own constitution which is supposed to grant us personal freedom.

Here in Singapore, I can wake up in the middle of the night, walk downstairs to go grab supper/beer etc. At anytime I like. And most of all, I can decide to take a stroll at 3AM without having to end up on the morning news with someone finding my body robbed and murdered (although it does happen here sometimes as in every other place in the world).

I can say what I want when I want and to whoever I want, as long as it's not politics to a politician. I've never felt suppressed in anyway and I am a very vocal person.

I can eat what I want, do what I want as long as it doesn't interfere with other people and within the confines of the laws. Laws that every country has.

SINGAPORE THE SMALL ISLAND:
It's small but that also means it's convenient for travel, meeting friends, partying, meeting new friends etc... It's just so convenient here it's beyond words.

STANDARD OF LIVING:
Singapore has one of the highest standards of Living in the world. Our tap water is even cleaner and more drinkable than even US water. everythign that happens in Singapore is of very high standards. People sometimes forget this because the style of living is different. Sure HDB isn't glamorous and land being as scarce as it is, houses will be small. A big house/apartment does not make for quality of living.

On HDB, it was conceptualized by a European architect to be the be-all of public housing. they tried it and it failed. Architects worldwide come to Singapore to try to understand WHY/HOW Singapore, this small island of 30+ years old, was able to make it work when it wouldn't even work for it's own creators.

No HDB is not galmorous but it has it's uses and it also is a factor in reminding Singaporeans that we may be small, but we are family.

Frankly speaking I love HDB for a variety of reasons and this is coming from someone whose family is well off enough to own several apartment complexes in the USA.

Standard of living? I'd take an HDB with all it's amenities, spirit of community & family over a big house. Besides with enough money HDB can be a work of art. =)

All in all Singapore is a wonderous place. I'v been here 12 years and still counting and not one day do I wake up thinking how shitty it is. at teh front of my mind is always that I envy singaporeans for having built such a great place.

But the sad part is that I feel more patriotism towards singapore than some singaporeans. To only see the bad and not the great amount of success, and opportunities in their own country.

Don't get me wrong, I love the USA. It is my country after all but there are things in Singapore that make this small island equally as great as the USA.

I think that sometime sbeing young, people never see beyond what they know. Bubblegum and smoking weed beinig one of them. These are so minor as to be infitisimally irrellevant but people use these kind of things as a reason to not see the wonders of the world and to see that their country is somehow "better".

Food for thought. American and proud to be Singaporean!!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yan Ting said…
YEAH! me lurvvvvvee singapore too. *hiak* i think i kind of like the idea of empty streets w/o ppl holding banners n expressing their views lyk tt. firstly, it looks lyk those riots n strikes i learn in social studies... secondly, itz quite disturbing isn't it.

anyway, ppl who dun lyk it here can GOOOOOO since the place is getting smaller. the rest of us can enjoy e space left by the kind souls.
guardian said…
I personaly agree with your stand about supporting Singapore, though I would have put it in a nicer way. Hmmm... But hey, it's your blog. You have every single right to talk about anything using your way. =)

Honestly, Chelsea can't compare Singapore with NYC at all. In that case, you'll probably have to compare EVERYTHING, including the crime rates, port statistics, security and whatever.

Every place is unique to its own, and that's what makes Singapore, Singapore. And I still firmly believe that Singlish is another way of distinguishing ourselves from other languages. It's our language, that ALL our citizens know sof. Find me one citizen that can't speak a single bit of single and prove me wrong. *sees a hand raised and bashes him up* None.

Good work with this blog. I'll be sure to check this place out often.
fuckeryou said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fuckeryou said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fuckeryou said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fuckeryou said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Xiaxue said…
Why what? Oh. Because I just don't like lor. =)
Slopster said…
damn....that f*****u sure is determined to leave his mark here eh? lol
Diana said…
i didnt read everything but i think i agree with silvermyst and clairee sounds like a stuck up person. just a comment in a comment box. tata.
me me me said…
note to clairee: u only lived here for the first ten yrs of ur life... so unless u can remember every freaking detail of ur life back here in singapore, i suggest u not speak another word. cos there's no point in discussing the merits of living in the us of a compared to singapore when u barely remember life here!
dun tell u said…
u said u will defend singapore with ur life? can ur life defend singapore?

not that im saying ur useless or wad.. but some ppl have different strong points.. like they guys fighting in WW2 for Britain and the females working back at home to support them?

i feel some people keep saying they will run when they can.. but in reality they wun because they are just too lazy
ice_melts said…
not meaning to offend anyone or anything...singapore is so much better can?!?!?1
our land smells good
our water is potable
our food is good
we gt nice roads
nt very interesting but wad do u want...
chewing gums on mrt doors
child prostitutes roaming
bank heist everyday
corrupted ministers
three hours traffic jams
rape, suicide, murder, robbery, burglarly, bribery.
if thats wad u call interesting
How much do they pay you say all that?
ANGELINE :D said…
although singapore might be boring.. but hey, at least it is safer than any other country.
at least u dont get robbed of your handbag wherever u walked..
and you dont get raped and then killed even when u r walking on a busy street like orchard road.
you dont accidentally put your hand on or sit on a dried chewing gum.
you dont get robbed of your car and then end up in the hospital when u r driving around.
and you dont have a govt that is NATO (No Action Talk Only) and corrupted.
and SINGAPORE ROCKS (:
Kenny said…
Hehs.You aroused me with nationalism.Me too, love Singapore with all my heart.Though it lacks many other things compare to other countries, in terms of natural resources,land area and military power, it is in this country that we can walk safetly at night and enjoy prosperity under an efficient government.

It also has safe water that can be drank right from the taps, an efficient transport system,great food from different races that are living in Singapore and a world-class law enforcement and education system.What more can Singaporeans ask for?Unlike other countries that suffers from constant wars,riots and disunity among their neighbouring countries and it's own people, Singapore doesnt have that and people of different races live together in peace and harmony.

O yeahs.About the kantangs you are talking about.I too, hate some of them, especially those whom purposely make the kind of english accent, making them American-Singaporean and different from the rest of the population.

Lastly, to those whom claim that Singapore is a boring place, either you are just simply ignorant about our country's culture or you are a Singapore yourself, a shame to the country.Look at both sides of Singapore itself.The country fed, clothe,gave you a place to stay and you turned your back on it.When you decided to migrate to your dream country for some kind of reason,taking if there's a war in SIngapore, do you really think that the host country would have really accept you?YOu have your family and friends, your closest, all living in this tiny island they call home while you resign your fate to another country for your own selfish purposes.That's just plain naive and stupid of many people whom wants to migrate just because they claim that other countries, taking France for an example, has better living standards and more 'freedom' to do their own things whereas they are forbidden to do so in Singapore.

In conclusion, what im trying to say is that, I love Singapore for what it is, no matter how much it changes.Despite the rising costs of almost everything, such as housing and educational costs,Singapore is still considered as a first-class nation that's well respected around the world and nothing's gonna change that.Im gonna wave the Singapore flag proudly not only on this year's Singapore 41st anniversity but would always constantly remind myself, Im a Singaporean and this is where I belong, this is where I call home.

Signing off.
kenny.17teen.
Juanita Gorgona said…
Remove insults they do not help anyone out.
blahblahblah said…
i am proud to be a singaporean and i loveee singapore! rock on, xia xue! =)
JunAn said…
Oh by the way xiaxue you look nice in that green dress.. And i love it when you say "LAO NIANG!" loLZ~
Its a typical you that stands out from the crowd! Nice to know you as a Singaporean! ^^
JunAn said…
Wah.. i took about 2hrs reading the comments wor.. Please dont block my post ar.. Thanks!

First of all, about the kantangs..
ITS AMAZING.. Seriously i dont like kantang either.. Theres a case abt kantang which happens to me and my friend.. Buying water after badminton at 7-11 we happened to see 3 girls standing at the sweets section talking. 1 is holding a candy bar and other 2 were looking surprise.. Happened to hear them saying "OMG OMG.. Look look its says 100% FAT FREE!!!" Twisting and shaking while holding the GODLIKE created candy bar.. Yup! they sure brighten the whole place out with their voices.. Shocking and distubing!!! My friend and i walk up beside them and took the candy bar kneel down and cried " YES!! ITS 100% FAT FREE!!!" Then we threw the candy back into the shelf and went off.. KANTANGS cant love them cant live without them.. LOLZ~!

Secondly.. About the country thing.. Someone mention abt "Day After Tomorrow" Yea nice movie nice ending.. But everyone seems forget something even after mentioning that movie.. ITS showing us the meaning not the country or wadsoever.. Meaning World Spirit..

IF one day the whole world is facing a huge disaster.. No matter what happens, surviving is the first thing that comes to mind.. IF that day were to come no one will bothers about hate this or love that.. Its all about helping each other from different race in different countries in order to keep us all humans alive.. I really hope and wish that upon seeing this post will somehow make both parties arguing about the SG and USA thingy to come to a end..

I stand neutral.. Yes the strawberry and mango story is really good.. LOLZ~ But to me i do have my likes and dislikes fer SG but when i hear the NDP song that Wendy mention.. I remembered when i was a kid on national day, i sat on the basin in the kitchen staring at the fireworks right through my window. It embraces me right into my heart.. That song do make my eyes watery everytime i hear it.. Ive been staying in SG fer 22 years, never get to go any countries not even to JB or Malaysia. Im a low educated guy with a O' levels cert.. What i think of other countries is positive coz im ready to visit them(meaning each and every corner of the world) IF i ever live that long and got that chance... Anyways chill out Guys and girls/Woman and man.. Its the colours of life we enjoy to see not the pitch black of death..

WORLD PEACE!!
This comment might be 4 years too late, but I LOVE Singapore! I'm not Singaporean myself, I'm actually a Chinese Kiwi living in New Zealand, but I can honestly never get enough to visiting the place, and would be eager to be able to live there for a few years maybe. What I think is brilliant about the place is its so vibrant, its so fun and exciting living in a place with so many different backgrounds and cultures, and the food is bloody fantastic! Not to mention shopping!! Although NZ wouldn't be in the least bit restrictive, you'll often find people here who share similar views as those who don't like Singapore, wishing that they could get away from our isolated little island in the Pacific. I have to say, those people, on both our island, simply can't appreciate the great things they've got.

Cheers!
Keyinei said…
I do really think it's impossible to hate the place you were born in, if that's true then I think something must've gone really,really /really/ wrong.

But sometimes your birthplace may not be the place for you. It doesn't always work that way, youknow! ;D
xY said…
Hmm. It's been a year now since this post was commented and debated upon. Since most of the comments were centered around America, just look at what a degraded state the US economy is in now. White supremacy is bullshit. And it can only exist because us Asians (and other racial groups) allow the whites to dominate.
Shermaine, said…
Um.. People?
I have to agree and disagree for this post..
I WAS born in Singapore but I lived in the USA,New York for 16 years so.. I still like home but it's still nice in NY.
Ray said…
Hey people!

I would like to ask, who has the very right to judge how a country is run?

Second, who has the very right to condemn a country good or bad? Be it America, Britain, India or Singapore.

Walking down the streets of orchard you will see different races & ethnic group. This is definitely an evidence that we all can live together peacefully.

Singapore is ruled democratically, we have the right to stay or leave in Singapore. Singapore did not judge the way you look or how academically incline you are when you enter Singapore! So why do you judge if Singapore is a good or bad place?

Definitely the way Singapore is ruled has its pros and cons! One thing for sure is that I am not afraid to walk home alone in the middle of the night. It is really safe over here.

Ultimately Singapore is just another dot on the map. However, it is the people that stays in Singapore makes a different. There is definitely Singaporeans who love the country. Why hurdle abusive words around insulting one another country. We do share a similarity. We do feel really strongly for countries where we are originated from. Scolding each other countries is not a form of love for one country. If you love your countries, proof it. It is the action that counts.

Ultimately it is the historical events that leads to America dominating the world. Not that we allowed it. It is just so the way it is.

regards

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