A week ago, an ex-Singaporean had asked me this question over dinner gathering in Melbourne. I responded, without a second's hesitation:
Finally, I will give some examples of things that I am proud of, and why.
Good things about Singapore
|Let's attribute this spate to coincidence. Besides, crime stats are usually given by per 100k population, and we all know how much Singapore's population has grown in recent times. (more people = more murders, nothing to worry about)|
|The Formidable-class Stealth Frigate RSS-Tenacious. Yield to None!|
Bad things about Singapore (and this section is certainly nothing to be proud of)
Here in Australia, there are TONS of graffiti. Now, I don't even like most of it, and I would not like ANY of it on my property - should we own property in future. But among the graffiti, there are gems. I'm not very artistic, so condemn me for poor taste if you wish, but I kinda like this one. I might not mind that on the wall of our place, come to think of it. Though one does not simply commission graffiti artists to do one's bidding, methinks.
3. Things in SG are bloody expensive, and the average salary has not increased to match. I don't think this needs much elaboration. I hear you guys had another fare hike yesterday right? Suck it up! Then again, I'm sure they will put the money to good use and improve on the reliability of the trains... =D
4. Narrowly-defined measures of success. Doctor, lawyer or banker. That's about it. I believe the shine of being an engineer has been abraded by the constant influx of cheap foreign "talents". I'm not sure how the dynamic will further evolve further down the road, but it's always been about the money and assets one has, in SG. It's not as if there's very much to do anyway, besides making and spending money. I know a few of you guys might define happiness or success by your relationships with others or investing in your kids holistic upbringing but trust me, I count very few among those that I know who subscribe to such thinking.
5. The media is muzzled and misleads. I've elaborated here before, no point repeating myself.
6. Singapore IS boring. According to me, anyway.
7. Singapore is tiny, yet it takes a long time to get anywhere meaningful. Bad on two counts.
Good things about Singaporeans1. We work among the longest hours in the world. Somebody has to pay, and contrary to what you might have thought, it won't be your employer.
2. We are mostly bilingual. Ok I can't say that with a straight face. But I know we are set up to be, and I think the education system does a fair job to that end.
3. We are efficient. Ok I've seen articles screaming the contrary, but I can go with the oft-held perception and count efficiency as a plus.
4. We suck it up at work. Yes, we take a lot more shit than employees in Western countries. I don't have figures, but anecdotes abound.
5. We are good at academic benchmarks. No ifs or buts.
6. Competitive. Aka kiasu. We want to win, and that can be good.
Bad things about Singaporeans (again, don't be offended if these don't apply to you. Not all the good things apply to everyone anyway)
What I am proud of, and why?
|Practicing for the grand opening to Outdoor Week. A is seen abseiling. Picture taken at the old Raffles JC campus|