U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-05-2010, 05:33 AM
 
787 posts, read 1,546,998 times
Reputation: 476

Advertisements

My father has been working in Singapore for several years now as an ex-pat and I've visited him a few times. Most of the western ex-pats he knows are middle-aged, no-nonsense management types.

Singapore's culture is partly a result of being a small, island-city-state:
-it has no natural resources so it relies on being a hard-working, knowledge based economy. Things like financing, electrical manufacturing, chemical refining, biotechnology, nanotechnology - industries that rely more on human capital are the sort of industry promoted by the government.
-it has excellent infrastructure and public transport. When I went there a few years ago, their news was constantly reporting and discussing the power going out for a few minutes - this was huge news that worried the government about the 'inefficiency' of its infrastructure
-it has essentially a one-party government that has been in power since it's inception. You wont find much media criticizing the government. That said, the lack of criticism may also be in part because the government is incredibly efficient and has low levels of corruption (one of the lowest in the world, apparently).
-it has harsh laws and a police force that doesn't tolerate much. You can be hanged for drug possession and there are the notorious fines for spitting and such. Some argue that it's a police state. That said, the city is incredibly clean and has so little crime.
-Singaporeans work long hours. Can't remember what holidays they have, but I don't think they have many. Apparently, they have one of the highest rates of unhappy marriages in Asia. A few of the Singaporeans I've met at university here in Australia seem keen to leave because Singapore's life can be stressful at times (the typical Asian culture for them to do well in school, work hard, etc).
-I should point out though, that a lot of Asian cultures, including Singapore's are very family-orientated so raising children in Singapore would probably be better than most western cultures for numerous reasons.
-it has a lot of social engineering. There are signs like "make sure you keep to the left on the escalator as it's the polite thing to do." On the flip side again, the people are very polite, especially towards elders. I've never seen any bratty-type kids or smart-ass teenager types. The first time I arrived there with my wife, my father met us and we caught the train. All three of us were standing on the train, yet despite there being plenty of seats around, one of the teenage Singaporeans insisted my father take his seat. That said, I don't know how many would invite you into their house for the night if they have just met you.
-a lot of the culture is a mix of predominantly Malay (as it is on the tip of Malaysia) and Chinese and Indian with a bit of British'ness (it's parliamentary and justice systems are British Westminister types). It's food and architecture reflect this. You can easily get those greasy asian (and often spicy) meals or Indian meals for about $3 to 5. Then again, you can go to the fancy Orchard area and pay several hundred for a meal.
-there are some bits that seem artificial. Sentosa Island springs to mind - it's a beach resort-type area that kind of made me think it belongs in Disneyland.
-I should also point out that there isn't a lot to do in Singapore itself. Singapore is more famous for its shopping than anything else. They've also recently opened up a Casino after a huge discussion. However, if you want to explore south-east Asia, Singapore is perfect. Malaysia and Indonesia are right on its doorstep, and there are cheap flights to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia all the time. Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, the south of India and the Maldives, the Philippines and the very north of Australia are all within 4 to 5 hours flight.
-Also, Singapore is practically on the equator. The weather is also a tropical hot and humid-year round. It gets 85 inches of rain each year at a fairly even rate year round.
-Oh and another good thing about Singapore is that English is one of the official languages, so finding someone that doesn't speak English would be unusual.

Can't think of what else to write at the moment. Don't take anything I say as gospel, but more generalizations. Your impressions and experiences might be vastly different. The city is however, the most westernized in south-east Asia. Essentially, if you're generally a conservative type who doesn't break the law, nor go around getting drunk, high or making a menace of yourself, it would be pretty good. If you're a liberal, pot-smoking type hippy that is outraged at the idea of corporal punishment and other such things against personal freedoms, you'll hate it. As for actually living there for some time, you'll probably get bored in the city/country itself, but if you love travelling it'll be awesome.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-05-2010, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Europe, in the Land of the mean
950 posts, read 1,541,528 times
Reputation: 651
Uhm, I think Spindle has given a good overview of things . Though I wouldn't agree that much about unhappy marriages part. It's nothing compared to some other countries in the ''more developed'' countries in Europe . Hehe, any bratty- kids -type would be worn down by social disapproval.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-05-2010, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Tha 6th Bourough
3,633 posts, read 5,030,562 times
Reputation: 1752
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spindle View Post
My father has been working in Singapore for several years now as an ex-pat and I've visited him a few times. Most of the western ex-pats he knows are middle-aged, no-nonsense management types.

Singapore's culture is partly a result of being a small, island-city-state:
-it has no natural resources so it relies on being a hard-working, knowledge based economy. Things like financing, electrical manufacturing, chemical refining, biotechnology, nanotechnology - industries that rely more on human capital are the sort of industry promoted by the government.
-it has excellent infrastructure and public transport. When I went there a few years ago, their news was constantly reporting and discussing the power going out for a few minutes - this was huge news that worried the government about the 'inefficiency' of its infrastructure
-it has essentially a one-party government that has been in power since it's inception. You wont find much media criticizing the government. That said, the lack of criticism may also be in part because the government is incredibly efficient and has low levels of corruption (one of the lowest in the world, apparently).
-it has harsh laws and a police force that doesn't tolerate much. You can be hanged for drug possession and there are the notorious fines for spitting and such. Some argue that it's a police state. That said, the city is incredibly clean and has so little crime.
-Singaporeans work long hours. Can't remember what holidays they have, but I don't think they have many. Apparently, they have one of the highest rates of unhappy marriages in Asia. A few of the Singaporeans I've met at university here in Australia seem keen to leave because Singapore's life can be stressful at times (the typical Asian culture for them to do well in school, work hard, etc).
-I should point out though, that a lot of Asian cultures, including Singapore's are very family-orientated so raising children in Singapore would probably be better than most western cultures for numerous reasons.
-it has a lot of social engineering. There are signs like "make sure you keep to the left on the escalator as it's the polite thing to do." On the flip side again, the people are very polite, especially towards elders. I've never seen any bratty-type kids or smart-ass teenager types. The first time I arrived there with my wife, my father met us and we caught the train. All three of us were standing on the train, yet despite there being plenty of seats around, one of the teenage Singaporeans insisted my father take his seat. That said, I don't know how many would invite you into their house for the night if they have just met you.
-a lot of the culture is a mix of predominantly Malay (as it is on the tip of Malaysia) and Chinese and Indian with a bit of British'ness (it's parliamentary and justice systems are British Westminister types). It's food and architecture reflect this. You can easily get those greasy asian (and often spicy) meals or Indian meals for about $3 to 5. Then again, you can go to the fancy Orchard area and pay several hundred for a meal.
-there are some bits that seem artificial. Sentosa Island springs to mind - it's a beach resort-type area that kind of made me think it belongs in Disneyland.
-I should also point out that there isn't a lot to do in Singapore itself. Singapore is more famous for its shopping than anything else. They've also recently opened up a Casino after a huge discussion. However, if you want to explore south-east Asia, Singapore is perfect. Malaysia and Indonesia are right on its doorstep, and there are cheap flights to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia all the time. Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, the south of India and the Maldives, the Philippines and the very north of Australia are all within 4 to 5 hours flight.
-Also, Singapore is practically on the equator. The weather is also a tropical hot and humid-year round. It gets 85 inches of rain each year at a fairly even rate year round.
-Oh and another good thing about Singapore is that English is one of the official languages, so finding someone that doesn't speak English would be unusual.

Can't think of what else to write at the moment. Don't take anything I say as gospel, but more generalizations. Your impressions and experiences might be vastly different. The city is however, the most westernized in south-east Asia. Essentially, if you're generally a conservative type who doesn't break the law, nor go around getting drunk, high or making a menace of yourself, it would be pretty good. If you're a liberal, pot-smoking type hippy that is outraged at the idea of corporal punishment and other such things against personal freedoms, you'll hate it. As for actually living there for some time, you'll probably get bored in the city/country itself, but if you love travelling it'll be awesome.

WOW, Good job with the info. That was like a history lesson...lol

That was a cool story about that kid giving up his seat for your father on the train. I kind of checked out some websites last night and read basically all of the stats you just pointed out about government and weather ect..I think I will be planning a trip there in the next year or 2 sometime after I graduate college after this summer. It just seems like a cool place to me and your post confirmed what I thought about Singapore as well. Thank you for taking your time to write that whole post. i read it all so don't worry..lol
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-08-2010, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Miami
46 posts, read 79,275 times
Reputation: 26
Yes, Singapore is great. I visited there in 1999 and loved it. I'm from Eastern Europe and visiting Singapore was my dream of 5 years. At the time I visited there, it cost my family lots of money and many back home can't even dream about going there.

Spindle gave a great review. All I will add is that the transportation system there is great (it's called MRT and there is a video on youtube about the way they built it -- apparently new stops become available but they only open them after 7 years -- this is how efficient Singapore is, every 400 m, there is a train stop). I added this as it caught my attention the conversation at the beginning of the thread and the statement that the OP will be fine "if" there is good public transportation.

This aside, I am wondering if anyone know if I have a chance getting a job in Singapore with a PhD in Psychology. I just completed my Masters. Within the next 3 years, I hope to get my PhD.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top