To Be Or Not To Be Singaporeans

Update 1 Oct 2019: Singapore: A 1st World country with 3rd World citizens

Veteran diplomat Tommy Koh laments that Singapore is a First World country with Third World people. Many Singaporeans lack the civic-mindedness that citizens of an advanced country should have, he said on Tuesday (Oct 1).

"I am more critical of Singaporeans than of the Government. Many of our people don't give a damn for the environment when they should. Many of our people are selfish and unkind. Just look at the way they drive," Prof Koh said, drawing laughter from his audience.

He was speaking at the Singapore Bicentennial Conference, organised by the Institute of Policy Studies. It was held at Raffles City Convention Centre and ended on Tuesday.

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Singapore Citizenship – Benefits and Drawbacks

There are several benefits of becoming a Singapore Citizen – the ease of travelling with a Singapore passport and benefits in education, health-care, housing and employment. There are certain disadvantages as well, like denouncing your home country citizenship and mandatory National Service for two years in certain cases.

Singapore is considered as one of the best cities in Asia to live in. It is safe, environment friendly and westernised. It ranks high in most of the World Rankings and reports and is said to have a high quality of living. These factors among others attract many of us to Singapore, often on a long term basis. Consequently, many of us toy with the question of whether or not to secure Singapore Citizenship. This guide compares the pros and cons of becoming a Singapore citizen.

Advantages of Singapore Citizenship - Singapore Passport Travel Freedom: Singapore Passport holders have very few travel restrictions around the world. A Singapore Passport holder enjoys liberal visa requirements especially while travelling to destinations like the USA. It is a known fact that immigration often tends to clear Singapore passport holders more quickly. According to the Henley Visa Restrictions Index, 2006 – a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom (visa free access) their citizens enjoy – Singapore ranked 8th in the study, proving the high degree of travel freedom its citizens enjoy.

Singapore Immigration Services
Singapore Taxes

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Lately there has been an ongoing trend of Singaporeans lashing out at the government, voicing out unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We saw a article of how we are ranked in the top most expensive cities, we had Roy Ngerng causing a huge stir about the CPF system, we had photo comparisons of what a 3-room flat in Bishan can be like a bungalow in Pennsylvania. Many people are saying that our ministers are getting paid too high and there is a large widening gap between the rich and the poor.

To make things worse, the recent boom in foreigners has caused upset amongst Singaporeans, citing that “Singapore has less Singaporeans than foreigners”. We love comparing to successful first-world countries. “Oh, look at how great Germany is doing. Look at how wonderful it is to live in the Scandinavian countries. It will be so much better to migrate to the UK or Australia”. What I can tell you is that if you are someone who follows world news, global economics and politics closely, you will realize that every country has their own problems as well.

Population Control A.K.A. “Why are there so many foreigners in Singapore?” No, Singapore is NOT the only country that is facing an immigration issue. The United Kingdoms, Germany, Australia, United States of America, Canada is also facing the same issue. Ironically, these are the countries that Singaporeans want to migrate to because they believe they can enjoy a better lifestyle there. Before you start to tell everyone about your dreams to migrate, have you considered that when you ‘migrate’ to a foreign country, you automatically become one of those “foreign immigrants” which Singaporeans are so upset about?

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Lucky to be Singaporean

PASSIONS are running high as Singaporeans celebrate the nation's 49th year of independence today.

Being born and bred in Singapore, I have witnessed the tremendous changes that have taken place here.

I rejoice at the tremendous pace at which our country has prospered. I take pride in the fact that Singapore has emerged as one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Nobody could have anticipated such prosperity when the nation became independent on Aug 9, 1965.

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Singaporean women do enjoy equal opportunities

I do not agree with Dr Jaclyn Toh’s views in her letter “Change laws only after women are truly equal” (Aug 7).

She said women earn, on average, 20 per cent less than their male colleagues, that Members of Parliament are three times more likely to be men and that there are only two women versus 16 men on the Supreme Court bench.

Democracy by ratios of representation may not satisfy the principle of meritocracy, which emphasises that whoever is more capable or suitable for a post should be engaged for it.

A short reflection on the symbolism of a national flag, on Singapore’s 49th National Day (9 August)

A flag is just a piece of cloth flown from a mast or pole. Yet, every country in the world has its own flag. This is because a flag is a powerful symbol of a country, its people and most importantly of national pride and patriotism. On Singapore’s National Day, let us give some thought to our national flag.

The moon in the Singapore flag represents the youthful nation on the rise. The five stars stand for the nation’s ideals: equality, justice, peace, progress and democracy. The red stands for brotherhood (red = the color of blood) and white stands for purity and virtue. The flag symbolizes these high ideals and expectations. We are called to treat our flag with great respect. People who are proud of their country, and what their country stands for, will display their flag conscientiously and with sincere pride.

The flag is an expression of people’s national identity and national pride. The flag brings to mind memories of past achievements and gives inspiration towards further success.

I was thinking hard on what I should write about based on so many readers’ comments in recent articles that fewer citizens are now flying the Singapore flag. I recall that more then 20 years ago, my little boy used to remind me to put up a flag pole and fly the colours whenever National Day was approaching. We would then, father and son together, proudly and dutifully erect the pole and raise the flag.

Questions are being asked if Singaporeans have lost their enthusiasm and loyalty to their country. This has prompted the govt to very quickly give some cockamamie explanations which, as you probably would guess, detract from the real reasons. Laughable or not, the govt may actually be sinking in its own quicksand of denial.These days you just don’t see the splash of red and white decorating HDB blocks anymore. You even don’t see many flags hanging on the fences of landed homes.

Instead, I shall try to offer what I feel are the true reasons why Singaporeans are not flying the flag. (Mind you, I am no less a loyal Singaporean and I love my country and my flag.) Let’s remind ourselves what the symbols on our flag represent

Singapore flags felled in Ang Mo Kio
A town council worker puts up new flags after several were felled today (Aug 10). Photo: Channel NewsAsia

An act of mischief ruined National Day decorations at an HDB estate in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 today (Aug 10).

Town council workers had put up Singapore flags in the build-up to the celebrations. On Sunday morning, it was discovered that several flags had been felled.

Police officers were seen clearing up the damage when our reporter got to the scene at about 2pm. Town council workers were also seen putting up new flags. They said the flag poles were broken but there was no damage to the flags.

Police investigating toppled Singapore flags

Oh dear God, there’s a flagpole chopper on the loose! Quick apprehend the vandals before more Singapore flags are felled. Our 49th birthday post-NDP celebrations depend on it! This foul deed is as despicable as someone peeing all over our Cenotaph, or decapitating Sir Stamford Raffles’ statue.

Since we’re doing the policing and stuff, we should also round up anyone who has the audacity to allow the Singapore flag to touch the filthy ground. Like the perpetrators behind this brutal act of flag dumping below, leaving a sad pile of bleeding flag corpses, innards wrenched and spilled, outside a disgusting rubbish chute. I can’t get this ghastly image out of my head. The horror!

Even the hand-held flags are not spared. Look at how these two innocent flags are tossed among random filth near a lift. It’s as heartbreaking as seeing children laying broken and lifeless in a corner after a gangrape. I don’t want to live on this earth anymore.


I just want to bring to your attention that there is a large group of PRs living in Singapore with their Singapore family. I am one of them. I married my wonderful Singaporean wife and have been living here since the late 80s, way before the so called ‘FT’ issue came into being.

We have 2 wonderful sons and in case you think they are skipping NS, one finished his and is currently studying in a local university. The other will be serving his next year. All are singaporeans except myself.

Now, before you accuse me of treason, I just want to tell you why I’m not yet a singaporean. Given the crap social welfare policies practised by the Singapore government, why should I swap my citizenship to get a worse deal? I’ve noticed that the government has recently announced a series of social measures but it remains to be seen if they sincerely want to upgrade singapore’s social policies to fall in line with those in the west

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Lest the attack dogs of the internet brigades begin judging me, I must say that I write these words with a heavy heart and tears of sadness. I too did my time in NS. I worked my butt off for three degrees overseas (two postgraduate degrees), in the expectation that I would return to make a difference, for the better, to Singapore. I was prepared to compromise on many things about Singapore that I did not like, such as the cost of housing. I acknowledge the great accomplishments in nation-building during the 1970s and 1980s. I have nothing against foreigners – my brother-in-law and girlfriend are both foreigners.

But things have developed to the point that I can no longer feel any remaining shred of pride in being Singaporean. The absurdity behind the FTs policy has increased to the extent that I do not see a long-term future for myself and for those whom I love. The cost of living continues to increase, even whilst wages remain stagnant. Job stability in Singapore is now a chimera. The healthcare sector is first-class – but only for the elites who have the money. The number of destitute senior citizens– either homeless on the streets, or engaged in break-backing labour – is testimony to what Singapore has become – a heartless, soulless, uncaring society where the only denominator is money.

Meanwhile, the materialistic obsession with bling takes place at the expense of spiritual harmony and genuine happiness. What heritage we ever had has gone the way of Bukit Brown. Let’s face it, Singapore is promoting itself as a collective prostitute to the world. Pay money, and Singapore will spread her legs. Equally unacceptable is the behavior of the pro-government internet brigade. Too many times have I seen attempts at constructive criticism by concerned Singaporeans result in explicit cyber-harassment and bullying by a bunch of arrogant, socially ungracious Neanderthals who mindlessly chant ‘government is good, government is good’. Will you mindless fools say the same thing when it is your turn to be jobless and your elderly relatives are on the streets?

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Singapore: Best Place to Live and Work
Plight Of The Tissue Peddlers
Have you ever Spoken to a Cardboard Uncle or Aunty?
Singapore’s Story: What comes next
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore Good Old Times
The Poor & Homeless in Singapore
Support for the Needy and Elderly
The Singapore Story
Other Side of The Singapore Story

ChasingThe Singapore Dream
To Be Or Not To Be Singaporeans
Longing for the good old days
Singapore: A Sampan or a Cruise ship?
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore is ‘World’s Costliest City To Live In’
Coping with Inflation & Cost Of Living
COL goes Up, Up, Up!
Singapore “Swiss” Standard of Living
Tackling poverty the 'kuih lapis' way
Callings for a Poverty Line
Setting a poverty line may not be helpful
A minimum wage for Singapore?

No homeless,destitute starving people in S'pore:Poverty has been eradicated
Growing Up With Less
National Day 2014