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Old 06-06-2012, 07:27 AM
 
369 posts, read 803,070 times
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Singapore has done quite well in certain international rankings such as education and liveable Asian cities recently, and has increasingly become the place to be for investments and employment opportunities for expats the world over.

That said, what is your experience with Singapore and their people? And what do you think of them?

As good as it is as a land of abundant economic opportunities, i personally could not see myself living here my entire life.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I was born in Singapore although came here (Australia) when I was an infant. I have, however, returned on numerous occasions since then, and have a generally positive view of the place. The stereotypes are generally true: it's very clean, modern, the government has very little tolerance those who do not abide by the law. However, I disagree with those who claim it's 'sterile': Singapore has the authenticity, vibrancy and charm of any of the other great Asian metropolises, but is just a bit cleaner and well-ordered going about it.

I have to admit, even though my mother is Singaporean and I have relatives and some friends there, I would have the say Singaporeans are among the least warm/friendly people in Asia. Maybe it's the highly stressful, competitive, business-orientated environment, but I just find they aren't engaging, as reserved as Western Europeans, but also come across as kind of cold, impersonal, grumpy, impatient and short-tempered. Like anywhere, however, you'll meet lots of really friendly Singaporeans who are really hospitable.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
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Spent a lot of time with family there, nice place to visit, with great food and lots to do but I wouldn't really consider living there either. I think the people are fine on a one on one level, but the society as a whole is overly materialistic and strangely paranoid. This makes sense in that it's an insecure society given its small size and the fact that while the society may look to be wealthy on one level it has never come to them easy, many people work 12-15 hour days, there's little social security and no minimum wage which adds further pressure on people. It's a rather unforgiving place if you fall through the cracks.

I felt sorry for my cousins being forced to do 2-3 hours of homework a day right through school, we only ever had to do that here in our last few years, not when we were young kids. Not the type of environment that's great for kids, and most Singaporeans would probably agree.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
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I heard its economy is booming and it's an amazing place to be.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:00 AM
 
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I would say Singaporeans are more reserved with a far lesser social conscious than Western Europeans not to say far less interesting.
Very materialistic and self centered. I used to meet a number of Singaporeans who would have loved to live elsewhere and were disappointed the way the country was going. That was back in the eighties but I have seen little to endear to the country in recent visits besides being a nice enough place to pass a few days.

A number of Australians look to Singapore as an example of a well run country in cleanliness and law and order with little awareness of their human rights record.
Still a lot of expats earn well there as one would need to considering the cost of living....
I much prefer it across the causeway though....
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:23 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,549,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
Spent a lot of time with family there, nice place to visit, with great food and lots to do but I wouldn't really consider living there either. I think the people are fine on a one on one level, but the society as a whole is overly materialistic and strangely paranoid. This makes sense in that it's an insecure society given its small size and the fact that while the society may look to be wealthy on one level it has never come to them easy, many people work 12-15 hour days, there's little social security and no minimum wage which adds further pressure on people. It's a rather unforgiving place if you fall through the cracks.

I felt sorry for my cousins being forced to do 2-3 hours of homework a day right through school, we only ever had to do that here in our last few years, not when we were young kids. Not the type of environment that's great for kids, and most Singaporeans would probably agree.
Many Singaporeans are aware and not afraid to criticize this notion that Singapore is some kind of first world Utopia where everyone lives in harmony, where an underclass does not exist, everyone just loves the government (although not communist it's a one party state in practice, political opposition is quickly shut down). There is something disturbingly 1984 about it: while I wouldn't go as far as to say the government's policies are repressive, there is a surprisingly little leeway given to true freedom of speech for what is supposed to be a first world democracy.

On the plus side corruption is low, there isn't any real violent dissent, and Singaporeans do on the whole get on together. The stereotypical Singaporean is materialistic, spends most of their time eating at the hawker centre or shopping for bargains in one of the many air-conditioned shopping malls, and is also work-obsessed. If you live food - of almost any type - Singapore is hard to beat...that's when you get the time...No, it's not fun being either a kid or an adult in Singapore, which is in part why Singapore is experiences a bit of a 'brain drain' as many of it's brightest and most talented minds move elsewhere for opportunities and a bit more freedom from both the stifling tropical humidity and the stifling and restrictive social atmosphere.

A big issue I have with the Singaporean government is the 'meritocratic' system which rewards people on merit. It sounds fair on paper, but like you say social welfare is poor, no doubt stemming from the attitude that those who don't work quite literally don't eat. If you're old, you shouldn't be a drain on the collective wealth of the nation and you should rely on the increasingly tenuous familial ties that bound your children and relatives to you. Also, it's a bit too 'free trade' and allows hoards of foreigners to take over jobs which native Singaporeans can be. Especially if these jobs are seen as being 'beneath' what is predominantly a Middle class country. Of course, few Singaporeans complain too loudly, even now as a third of people living in Singaporeans aren't even permanent residents let alone citizens.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:31 AM
 
369 posts, read 803,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I was born in Singapore although came here (Australia) when I was an infant. I have, however, returned on numerous occasions since then, and have a generally positive view of the place. The stereotypes are generally true: it's very clean, modern, the government has very little tolerance those who do not abide by the law. However, I disagree with those who claim it's 'sterile': Singapore has the authenticity, vibrancy and charm of any of the other great Asian metropolises, but is just a bit cleaner and well-ordered going about it.

I have to admit, even though my mother is Singaporean and I have relatives and some friends there, I would have the say Singaporeans are among the least warm/friendly people in Asia. Maybe it's the highly stressful, competitive, business-orientated environment, but I just find they aren't engaging, as reserved as Western Europeans, but also come across as kind of cold, impersonal, grumpy, impatient and short-tempered. Like anywhere, however, you'll meet lots of really friendly Singaporeans who are really hospitable.
You moved to Australia? Good for you

People here are too materialistic, realistic, self-centred, socially awkward and not to mention that its way overcrowded here. Everything here is way too stifling, be it the social atmosphere, education, jobs and whatnot. Weather here is also unbearable; give me cold, harsh winter over hot, humid weather anyday!

If you are someone who cares about nothing but making money, then Singapore is for you.


I totally can't imagine myself living here.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:38 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,549,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fellowjoe View Post
You moved to Australia? Good for you

People here are too materialistic, realistic, self-centred, socially awkward and not to mention that its way overcrowded here. Everything here is way too stifling, be it the social atmosphere, education, jobs and whatnot. Weather here is also unbearable; give me cold, harsh winter over hot, humid weather anyday!

If you are someone who cares about nothing but making money, then Singapore is for you.


I totally can't imagine myself living here.
So you're living there? Are you Singaporean? If not what brought you to the Lion City?

Yes, I mean it's great if you want that lifestyle: it's safe, stable, quite predictable, convenient, lots of shopping, everything is well organized...but for some people especially the drawbacks are many. I, too, cannot imagine ever living in Singapore. I'm became an Australian citizen at a young age so when I was 21 I had to renounce my Singaporean citizenship (of course I had little intention of going back there, since I'm Australian, although I do acknowledge that part of my history).

Yes, the monotony of the perpetual tropical heat and humidity would get to me. I like to have seasons, and hate feeling constantly sticky/dirty all the time.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:53 AM
 
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I've been to Singapore a couple of times, and know a few people there fairly well. The above posers are correct that it is rather socially stilted, and not a very relaxed or casual society. This may be due to the fact that it is juggling two very large diverse cultures, as well as a few smaller ones.

However, I can't find fault with the country's national philosophy of human rights or social order. Not all countries can be all things to all people, and Singapore has erred on the side of social order. It is the philosophy that people have a right to live in a well-ordered community, and that the freedoms of other people will not impose a burden on those who seek only to live a comfortable and peaceful life.

If I want the right to a peaceful lifestyle in my quiet home, and you want the right to drive up and down my street playing loud music in your car, Singapore gives my right the priority. That may be good or bad, but it is the condition of living in Singapore, and they don't seem to be bothering anybody else.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,264,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fellowjoe View Post
Singapore has done quite well in certain international rankings such as education and liveable Asian cities recently, and has increasingly become the place to be for investments and employment opportunities for expats the world over.

That said, what is your experience with Singapore and their people? And what do you think of them?

As good as it is as a land of abundant economic opportunities, i personally could not see myself living here my entire life.
I love Singapore and I love that English is commonly spoken, and I think the city looks pretty cool too.

People-wise, mostly Chinese, some Indian, some Malay, etc. Very non-descript. I can't say anything memorable, either in a positive or negative way. But I like all the food choices in Singapore and the colonial architecture.
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