Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

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Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby autumnbronze » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:19 pm

The article on yahoo.com:

“Dear Singapore, I’m sorry, but I’m leaving you. I’ve fallen in love with somewhere else, and you wouldn’t like her,” wrote a contributor to a Singapore website.

In an undated post on stories.sg titled “Letter to Singapore”, author Zing then waxed nostalgic for London’s raw underground culture and juxtaposed it against the “jaded” feeling he (or she) felt for Singapore while growing up.

“I’m 20 years old and I don’t want to be jaded, but you’re already feeding me defeatism and banality as a lifestyle choice,” the writer observed, adding that the office drone and money-chasing lifestyle that most Singaporeans led felt trivial to him/her.

“I looked into your dreams one night and they were full of dollar signs. They were full of people getting by on their Mercedes, their two maids, their country club membership. Getting by and not living. Getting but not achieving. Buying and selling but not giving,” the contributor added.

Zing also wrote of the freedom one could feel in London. “In London, I can be a saint or sinner… I can be posh, poor, upmarket, downmarket, chav, toff, hippie, indie. I can be gay or straight, man or woman. I can make myself up, make myself down. And London will still embrace me, and I will always find somewhere that will take me in.”

“[But], I’m not sure you could ever do that Singapore,” Zing wrote, as he/she explained that although the city-state claims it celebrates diversity, we only “grudgingly tolerate it”.

Nonetheless, the author stressed that he/she doesn’t want to “make [Singapore] something you’re not… I’m just trying to make you see that you’re more than dollar signs.”

“You’re more than people just scrapping by, dreaming of money and five-star hotels. You’re a hell of a lot more than just a good air-conditioning system…. You like to hold on to this idea of being this clean, perfectly efficient city, when really it’s the dirt that makes you who you are,” the letter-writer said.

By Friday afternoon, after the article was reposted on 2 September on another local blog called “You don’t have to agree”, the letter attracted over 130 comments on the site.

Wrote Aussiefied, “It takes a Singaporean who has been overseas for a substantial period of time immersed in a different culture to see where you’re coming from. Well written, I share many of your thoughts. Singapore does not owe me a living, do I owe her one?”

Another commenter Citutt wrote, “I do feel for [the writer]. I love my country but not the way [it’s being] run. We are born just to chase for that dollar sign and it’s a non-stop process till we are 7ft underneath. Unfortunately age is not on my side. I just have to stay put here, chasing for that dollar sign to survive in this competitive country.”

However, on the other end of the spectrum, several others disagreed with Zing and aggressively defended their motherland.

A commenter who addressed himself as Eddie wrote, “Fundamentally, it’s about choice. Nobody forced you to be an office drone. Different people choose to live their lives differently… The youths nowadays want everything but only at their own convenience. And when it doesn’t go your way, you
whine.”

“The power of change lies in your hand. Singapore need less whiners, it needs more do-ers… Singapore is not a one-size-fits-all, it just doesn’t suit you (now). You’re only twenty. You are in a position to choose -- whether to bring positive change or just leave. If you truly love this country, then you should know what is the choice to make,” he added.

Another commenter See Tow said, “Our country does not owe you a duty to change just at your whim and fancy… You, with all of your 20 years of life experience, have been living a sheltered life, shielded by generations of blood and sweat of our fellow Singaporeans.”

“I would like to urge you to love your country, Singapore. Granted, Singapore has many flaws and many things could be improved on… [But], just know this – when the day of reckoning comes, I will have a country and a motherland that I can truly call my home, because I have given her my heart and soul and loved her unconditionally,” he added.

“Will you have a place to truly call home? A land that loves you as unconditionally as you love her?”

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The link below provides the complete gist of Zing's letter.

http://youdonthavetoagree.wordpress.com ... singapore/



Any thoughts to share after the read?

autumnbronze
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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby pirate » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:51 am

Zing claims to be 20 years old. This means:
(1) Zing is still a student and thus has no idea what it takes to actually make a living in London;
(2) Zing is a spoilt rich brat whose parents are still financially supporting his/her lifestyle in London;
(3) Zing has at least one British or EU parent; or
(4) It is a work of fiction.

Just go to the UK Immigration Office website and see what is actually needed to get residency in UK. Unless Zing is a prodigy who managed to get a top degree before 20, he/she cannot qualify on his/her own merit. Does Zing look like he/she can get 50 points? Unless he/she happens to be a nurse... but seriously? :rotflmao:

It's a bluff. :rotflmao: I have actually lived in London. It is a DAMN EXPENSIVE city. The only freedom Zing can find in London that he/she cannot find in Singapore is probably freedom from his/her parents... except for their chequebook.

As usual, a whole bunch of unthinking netizens will lap it all up.

pirate
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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby Mychildren » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:36 pm

As long as she/he is happy, I've no say.
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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby winchester » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am

pirate wrote:Zing claims to be 20 years old. This means:
(1) Zing is still a student and thus has no idea what it takes to actually make a living in London;
(2) Zing is a spoilt rich brat whose parents are still financially supporting his/her lifestyle in London;
(3) Zing has at least one British or EU parent; or
(4) It is a work of fiction.

Just go to the UK Immigration Office website and see what is actually needed to get residency in UK. Unless Zing is a prodigy who managed to get a top degree before 20, he/she cannot qualify on his/her own merit. Does Zing look like he/she can get 50 points? Unless he/she happens to be a nurse... but seriously? :rotflmao:

It's a bluff. :rotflmao: I have actually lived in London. It is a DAMN EXPENSIVE city. The only freedom Zing can find in London that he/she cannot find in Singapore is probably freedom from his/her parents... except for their chequebook.

As usual, a whole bunch of unthinking netizens will lap it all up.


well said! fiction to stir things up or if true somehow, spoilt 20-year old brat who is elitist enough to spend time abroad long enough to think that uk is better. yeah right. grass is always greener. wait till need to use nhs and pay taxes.

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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby pirate » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:11 pm

On the other side of the coin, London is a good place to spread one's wings if one is in the top 1-2% of one's cohort. It's just that the contents of the letter does not suggest that the writer is one of those. That's why I called the bluff.

pirate
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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby Irrelevant » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:05 pm

pirate wrote:As usual, a whole bunch of unthinking netizens will lap it all up.


Agree 100% with you.

My interpretation of Zing's complaints is that he sounds more like someone who craves independence from his parents than anything else. Instead of blaming his $$$ face parents, it's easier to blame the country.

Meanwhile, in the former empire, we have:

2.56 million unemployed

and

Many bankers looking to re-locate to Singapore

Irrelevant
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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby nms1 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:26 am

The naivety of youth............

I grew up in the UK and am now bringing my children up in Singapore. Whatever we may say about life here, I believe that this is a better place for them to grow up. My mother rarely gets to see her grandchildren as a result but she never fails to say that she's so much happier that they are not growing up in the UK.

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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby Way2GO » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:13 am

nms1 wrote:The naivety of youth............

I grew up in the UK and am now bringing my children up in Singapore. Whatever we may say about life here, I believe that this is a better place for them to grow up. My mother rarely gets to see her grandchildren as a result but she never fails to say that she's so much happier that they are not growing up in the UK.


I presumed u r not Angmo?
Just tap ur views for discussion since u hv lived long enuf in both countries.
Why if SG is so gud dat not more British citizens hv uprooted n moved to SG permanently?
It is such a rarity dat any such migration is worthy of being highlighted in MSM.

Way2GO
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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby pirate » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:03 pm

Oh, that's easy. Because South East Asia is considered out in the boondocks, in the middle of the tropical jungle. Not to mention that it is not exactly Anglo-Saxon in culture. Then again, the angmo migrating to Singapore is not as rare as you might think. You need to live in a nice non-shoebox condo to see them.

PS. We do realize that the letter was posted in a website called stories.sg, :laugh: right?

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Re: Letter about leaving S'pore strikes chord in readers

Postby nms1 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:14 pm

Way2GO wrote:
nms1 wrote:The naivety of youth............

I grew up in the UK and am now bringing my children up in Singapore. Whatever we may say about life here, I believe that this is a better place for them to grow up. My mother rarely gets to see her grandchildren as a result but she never fails to say that she's so much happier that they are not growing up in the UK.


I presumed u r not Angmo?
Just tap ur views for discussion since u hv lived long enuf in both countries.
Why if SG is so gud dat not more British citizens hv uprooted n moved to SG permanently?
It is such a rarity dat any such migration is worthy of being highlighted in MSM.


I am "ang moh" but I didn't migrate here as such. I came to Singapore for work (yes, "foreign talent"), met my husband, married and settled down here. He did have a job opportunity in the UK around the time that we met but I didn't want to go back especially not to the area that he would be working.

This is a gross generalisation but many Western Europeans still regard their countries as places everyone else wants to move to, not the other way around. If people from the UK migrate it is more likely to be a lifestyle choice than for work as is more common in Asia - they move to places like Spain or Australia where the weather is better!

Many younger people want to come to this part of the world but it's very hard when you don't have work experience or aren't transferred by your company. Although some Singaporeans feel overwhelmed by foreigners it's not easy for them to move as they are priced out of the market when they need to pay for housing, insurance etc which are much lower costs for single young Singaporeans. I was lucky to come at a time when rental was much cheaper but I wouldn't want to do it now.

Reading some of the expat forums I have seen views start to change over the years. People do still criticize the education system and way of life for being too regimented but there are now dissenting voices which say that the system gives children a good foundation, that it's a safe place to bring up children etc.

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