Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emigrating to Canada - My personal experience.

Many Singaporeans have written to me seeking advice on how to emigrate to Canada. Please understand that I am not an emigration consultant and I do not pretend to be one. However I can share my personal experience with those who are interested in emigrating to Canada. I have no experience about emigration to New Zealand, Australia or any other countries.

Emigration is an important decision that should not be taken lightly especially out of spite. It does not only affect that individual but his/her family and generations that follow. Failure would be costly and painful. It is not a bed of roses if you are not adaptable to changes and prepared to work hard to make it a success. Nothing comes easy but the reward is priceless.

The actual application for emigration to Canada is not difficult. You can go online or to the Canadian High Commission and fill up the relevant forms and answer all the questions honestly and fulfill all other requirements, i.e. notarized documents, good conduct certificate from police,etc.

You do not have to engage the services of an emigration consultant if you can read and write English. The success of your application is based primarily on points system and the availability of the jobs and criteria you are seeking.

The current quota for new immigrants to Canada is 250,000 people worldwide annually. You will have to compete with all other applications from people of all nations for a place in this quota.

According to Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 3 to 4 % of the top 30% of the population of Singapore emigrate to other developed countries every year. We are looking at between 40,000 to 60,000 Singaporeans* vying to get out of the country each year. The competition is fierce. Twenty years ago, it is possible for an application to be approved within three months. Now we are looking at three to five years of processing and waiting time.

Another important note is that Singaporeans have a higher ratio of failures compared with other immigrants from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Malaysia. I estimate that it is about 10% for Singaporeans vs less than 5% for others . This is largely due to our comparatively lack of fighting spirit, ignorance and arrogance cultivated from decades of government propaganda. We were brought up believing that Singapore is world No. One in almost everything - education, healthcare, welfare, housing, law and order, cleanliness, no homeless or poor people, etc.

We have developed a self centred and selfish culture known as “kiasi and kiasu”. Most of us believe that we are the best and should easily brush aside those competitors from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. If we do not get the jobs we wanted, most would cry foul or racial discrimination. Please understand that just because you held a top management job in Singapore, you cannot expect a similar position in Canada upon arrival. You need to have Canadian experience and that means you start from the bottom of the ladder.

Singaporeans are less likely to take risk and not as street smart as they thought. Most Singaporeans do not think out of box and will act only upon instructions or when all the safety measures are in place. Sadly, with such a mentality, most opportunities are snatched away by Taiwanese, Hongkees, Mainland Chinese or Malaysians.

An example is a Taiwanese friend of mine who was asked during an interview for local courier service if he has a fleet of delivery vans. Without hesitation and a straight face he said he had 10 vans when he has only one. When an inspection date was arranged to view the vans, he gathered 9 of his Taiwanese friends and together they bought a van each making a total of 10 vans. With that they got the contract for the business and jobs for each of them.

Given the very same opportunity, it is unlikely Singapore immigrants could get that business. Singaporeans with their kaisi and kaisu attitudes are less likely to share the business or have the entrepreneur ability to gather enough Singaporeans to participate. If they do managed to gather enough participants they would spend weeks drawing up business plans to cover all contingencies and put in place all safety measures. The most irritating statement by Singaporeans when a job or business proposal was offered to them was to ask, “Got guarantee or not?”

Most immigrants from other countries have a “do or die” mentality whereas Singaporeans have a “do and try” mentality. These “failure not an option” immigrants are more willing to venture into entrepreneurship or willing to accept any jobs, white or blue collars, without hesitation. Singapore immigrants tend to be much more choosy and expect to be employed in middle or top management positions with the naive assumption that their credentials back home would guarantee them any position they wish. I have known Singapore immigrants waiting more than a year for their dream jobs. Their excuse is that they cannot downgrade otherwise they would “lose face” back in Singapore. Some even reject job offers that they considered below their qualifications and dignity.

Singaporeans have to learn that most Canadians pick careers that interest them – money and status are secondary. Success is not measured by how many millions you amassed or whether you are a CEO or how many directorships you hold. In Singapore, most people work 12 hours or more a day with hardly any time for family. In Canada, family bonding, happiness, freedom, a safe home to live, enough food on the table, and be with good friends are more important. Let children play when young and develop naturally is top priority. This is in direct opposition to Singaporeans’ life style of forcing children to study 24/7 with little or no time to play for the sake of academic excellence.

From my observation, Singaporean immigrants who succeed in Canada are those who have the same mentality as those from other Asian countries. You must have the” to do or die and not to complain why” attitude. Ironically, those in the late forties or early fifties with tertiary education and have middle or top management experience are most likely to fail. These are Singaporeans that have great difficulties adjusting to the new culture and environment. Exceptions are those who come with lots of money and assets.

Canada is a big country but yet most Singaporeans concentrate on mainly Vancouver or Toronto. By doing so, Singaporeans are limiting their chances of success because jobs are  more competitive in these big cities. Be prepared to be adventurous and explore other cities and try other professions.

I have friends who were doctors and yet took on production jobs while re-taking their medical degrees or engineers working as carpenters, plumbers, electricians instead of sitting and complaining at home. It is important to note that Canada does not recognize degrees outside of Canada. 

Following are several stories of the failures and successful immigrants:

Success stories:

1. Mr. Lui, who was the head of IBM research department in Taiwan, started off as a junior technician in IT department of a local bank in Vancouver. It was a humbling experience as he was downgraded and paid minimum wage as a junior technician. Two years later, when the computer system at the bank went down and nobody knew how to repair the system, Mr. Lui stepped in to the rescue. That incident was made known to the CEO that a low ranking employee was responsible in saving the computer system, Mr. Lui was promoted to section chief.

2. Mr X (Singaporean whom I have not ask his permission to disclose his name) was a Colombo Plan scholar renounced his Singapore citizenship. He paid off his bond and left for Canada. Upon his arrival, he realized that his university degree and Colombo Plan Scholarship was not recognized. Instead of complaining he took on a job as an electrician with Alberta Hydro. Fast forward 20+ years, he has no regrets. He has a happy family, a modest house, three cars, one Recreational Vehicle (like an home on wheels), several boats, retiring with great health.

3. Mr. Bernard Chan - Singaporean graduated from Cambridge University (same university as LKY) was rejected based on his qualifications. He took a crash course in plumbing and was accepted as a plumber when he re-applied. He is happily working at home doing foreign exchange for the past 15 years. His testimony is in my FB notes.

4. Mr X2 - A decorated ASP and national sports celebrity immigrated to Canada and took on a trade of house renovation. He did not feel embarrassed wearing an overall with dirty paint spots and holding a tool box. He lead a successful career and happy life style without the stress of a 24 hours stand-by job as a senior police officer.

5. Mr. X3 - A Singapore teacher immigrated to Canada and got a job as a postman delivering parcels and letters. Fast forward twenty years, he has a happy family, seven children, modest house (freehold and not 99 years like HDB) and a good retirement plan. In Singapore, he may not have the luxury of going fishing, vacations every year, maintaining a big family without working 12 hours a day and all stressed out.

The list would go on and on. The point is that their success were due to their abilities to adapt and willing to change their mindset from being materialistic focus to quality life style focus.

Failures -

1. Mr DYL - a Singaporean, was a CEO of an international company. He immigrated to Canada after he was laid off and he sold his house for S$3 million. He could not get his dream job of being a CEO in Vancouver and idled around. A typical show-off Singaporean, he built himself a huge expensive house in the most reputable district in Vancouver. Next he bought himself a top of the line BMW 7series and a Lexus although he was the only one driving. Within two years he spent more than $2 million of the $3 million he brought with him. His wife constantly complaint about having no maids even though they have part-time house cleaners. His children were in expensive private schools to keep up with his image. They constantly travel back to Singapore on business class. Without an income, his money drained off rapidly as he has no knowledge about financial planning. He actually thought $3 million could last him forever. When he realized that his money was depleting so fast, he panicked and became paranoid. He started to accuse everyone around him of cheating on him. Soon, all his friends kept away from him. Eventually without friends he sold his house, cars at a loss and moved back to Singapore, blaming Canadians for cheating his money.
To be honest, Mr.DYL could have live happily with the$3 million he has without having to work IF he had conducted a more modest life style.

2. Mr M - a Singaporean and early retired military officer. He is typical of those who refused to downgrade and accept a junior position. He was offered many jobs such as manager of a security firm, a manager in the fast-food restaurant, etc. He worked a few months in each of these jobs and left saying that it is demeaning for an officer to work in such low class jobs. Interesting enough, the Singapore friend who recommended him the job was himself working at the same kind of job for more than 10 years. He has no complains. He has a modest home, car and above all a happy family with quality life style.
It is more than 4 years now and this military officer is still waiting for his dream job.

The list could go on and on but I do not want to depress you with stories of failures. The bottom line is that to be successful you must throw away the self-destructive mentality of arrogance and show off when few cares what house you live in or what cars you drive. You must live within your means.

I drive a small economic Honda Civic and in our mid-sixties, we do all our house chores - cleaning, cooking, laundry, repairs, fishing, tending to vegetables and general work with no maids or outside help. In addition I do volunteer work at hospital helping out by serving coffee, tea, cookies to patients and talking to them or taking them to boat paddling. I also give free tai-chi lessons.

Do not be jealous of others that have successfully settled in Canada. Please remember we were here for more than twenty years. The first few years were not easy unless you have lots and lots of money. It is like having children, the first few years are tough. They cry all day, need attention around the clock but in the end it is all worth it. Just be patient and before you know it, you have already cross the line.

I hope this article will help you to decide if you are willing to take the plunge.

Good luck and God Bless.

Wing Lee Cheong

Note: I will update this article when I have permission to write about the experiences of other immigrants. Many of the stories are touching and motivational.

Reason why I emigrate:

Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear -- kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor -- with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.

A Soldier Speaks: Public Papers and Speeches of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur


  1. I do have a question regarding this statement of yours:

    "This is largely due to our comparatively lack of fighting spirit, ignorance and arrogance cultivated from decades of government propaganda."

    You seem to be asserting that all the character flaws of Singaporeans are attributable to a single source: the government and its propaganda. Do you not think that this absolves individuals of their own bad choices in life?

    The most interesting thing I find about the main thrust of your post, living within ones means (which I totally agree with), is that any person who lives according to this dictum would be successful any where, regardless of whether it is Canada/Australia and yes, even including Singapore.

    So wouldn't you say, if a person is able to live a happy and comfortable life being prudent in Canada, that person would be able to do the same living a prudent life in Singapore? Wouldn't you say the converse is also true, if a person failed overseas because they did not live within ones means, then they would also fail too in Singapore?

  2. I have to agree with the author on the attitude and money management issue with Singaporeans. Even though it is the universal principle, it is much more prevalent in Singapore due to government propaganda and group thinking tendency of Singaporeans.
    If the whole society is chasing money and material gain, it is very hard for a person to fit into that society with different values and belief. So I think it is important for a person to live in the right place to grow the right value and lifestyle which is suitable for that person.

  3. It seems that migrating to Canada leads to underemployment/under-utilization of skills. No wonder the more ambitious Canadians tend to go south to look for work.

    Canada seems like a nice place to retire when I am 60 but not a place for someone in their 20s.

    Ex-Singaporean living in the USA

  4. There is a saying , "there are no bad children, only bad parents". Similarly in a country, "there are no bad citizens but bad leadership." Of course this is a generalization and there are exceptions to the rule.
    Our country's leaders and industries icons are our mentors and if these leaders are greedy taking millions in salaries, irresponsible and with no transparencies, these culture, over time, will inevitably cultivated to its citizens. Most citizens' decisions in life are based largely on what they learn from their leaders as they were not exposed to other cultures. Singaporeans are definitely more materialistic than Canadians no matter how prudent they want to be.
    It is not true that a successful person who is prudent in Canada will also be successful in Singapore if he/she is prudent.
    There are so many hidden taxes that a prudent couple in Singapore would have to spend more than his/her Canadian counterpart if both are to have the same life style - a house, two cars, annual vacations and have enough food for the family. A young couple, in their early thirties in Canada making C$50,000 a year each (equivalent to S$65,000) a year would be able to purchase a C$700,000 by themselves without the financial help from his parents or others. They paid the down payment and service the monthly mortgage, and paid fully for two cars. Please bear in mind the house is freehold as opposed to 99 years in Singapore.
    Another difference is that in Canada, most people are handy vs most Singaporeans who are not handy. For example, the young bought a 70 years old house but did all the repairs themselves, i.e. replaced the roof, clean the plumbing systems,etc. In Singapore, the couple would have to cough out another several thousands of dollars for renovation.
    I could go on and on but it would be too much for you to understand or believe. You are a typical Singaporean who based their decisions on straight line projection without considerations for all the variables.

    1. Gday from down under!

      I have to agree with almost every point covered in your article.

      And good effort writing it up!

      In regards to this comment, I do agree that it is the upbringing that defines culture, perspective, way of life, and even the individual's character in general.

      I'm no MIW fan. However, that being said, I do have to agree with the way they have been running the country till date.

      In my opinion, it really depends on the primary objective. What would your primary objective be as a leader of a country?

      Wouldn't it be prosperity, and ultimately sustainability?

      Is SG not doing very well in these two areas?

      The aspirations and way of life which most Singaporeans are leading is no doubt the good work of the leaders in my point of view. They are well educated, great workers, and most of the population is in the middle class. - Leaving the imported "foreign talents" to fuel the primary industry and the "other" foreign talents to head the major corporations.

      My above point could attribute to the general population being relatively comfortable. Employed, roof over their heads and able to feed a family and put their children through school.

      To conclude this, (once again, in my opinion)the country is enjoying great success with credits going to the extremely foresighted leaders. But if we place citizens' happiness and satisfaction as a priority, the leaders might have some room for improvement.

      All that being said, I'm still a happy migrant living in Australia. Thanks to the parents for pulling me into the lucky 3-4% category =)


    2. Thanks to All of you sharing your precious experience and opinions.

      But I just would liek to mentioned that the author has an extreme view of Singaporeans and most probably you have to few singaporeans friends and your social circle are to small a smaple to make a convincing conlcusion of most singaporeans.

      While you said singaporeans go formaterialistic gains ??? You yourself expect to drive 2 cars and big landed property in canada ? Aren't that a materialistic gain but at a cheaper and easier or lesser effort ?

      I myself would like to live in Canada to experience a different life than Singapore but the intention is to live a different life and not a luxrious life.

      Personally I love to see the changes in the season weather and also learn how to live independently in a large country.

      Also one thing that Canada government are lucky they have sand oil and other rich resources, and if you take all these resources out, I think most Canadians will live like Singaporeans liao or worst.

      I believe the author is a singaporeans who benefited from our Government and without such system, I think he will be probably live like our neighbours.

      ANd of cos I am proud to be a Singaporean but not arrogant way as my job has allowed me to travel and meet so many different citizens in the world that I know how small we are.

      As I said again Canada are full of resources so they can live what they are living now, take the resource out of the equation, you will know what I mean.

  5. As a Singaporean fresh graduate, I have to agree with the author. But I feel that such a situation arises due to the environment Singapore is in. Most parents like mine, expects graduates to get a high paying management positions in big companies. This in turn, breeds the mentality in most of us to pursue such careers. Most of my friends do anyways. To them, getting a high-paying job is of utmost importance as stressed similarly by the govt, irregardless of the passion they hold for the job they do. Some of us, on the other hand, especially me, treasures passion over pay. In fact, I would accept as low as 1000 per month just to do what I like as a profession. But in Singapore, such professions are deemed as 'low-class' and unworthy of a graduate. To those who do not understand these professions, you will never know that such professions are noble in their own ways and skills are required in those 'low-class' jobs.

  6. @ Singapore fresh graduate - My respect to you. You are one of the very few Singaporeans who think out of the box. My eldest son was promoted to senior bank manager with Royal Bank of Canada at age 30 years old. Three years later he decided to quit and pursue his own dream. He may earn less but spiritually at peace and happy. My Singapore relatives thought I was crazy and inconsiderate to screw up my son's bright future in the banking industries.
    My daughter took a full year off university studies to backpack in Australia. She bought a used car and drove all over the country. She worked for a couple of weeks when she ran out of money and then carried on.
    My kids are not exceptional, most Canadian kids took time off to travel around the world during their universities days.
    For Singapore parents, this is something they will never permit their children to do. Their emphasis must be study, study and more study.. As,As and more straight As. With that kind of mentality, they killed the happiness of a child wonderful and fun childhood. Is it worth it???

  7. I am a Singaporean in my 40s, single and have been living in Canada for over 4 years. I used to work very long hours (10-12 hrs a day) in Singapore. The pay was great, but my life was just work and the only time I got to enjoy spending what I earned was my once a year vacation trip overseas.

    I am one of the lucky few who found a job within 2 months of arrival in Canada. And yes, I had to start from the bottom (to gain Canadian experience) and the pay was not as good. But I work 7.5 hrs a day and have the rest of the time to myself. And I get paid for working overtime, my very first overtime pay in my 14 year career in the accounting profession! After 2.5 years gaining Canadian work experience, I found a managerial job. Outside of work, I track, camp and cycle in summer, and ski and skate in winter.

    You've mentioned several times in your blog that most successful migrants own a home and at least 1 car if not 2, and that the houses and cars in Canada are much cheaper than that in Singapore. That's comparing apples to oranges. In terms of land area, Singapore is smaller than Toronto (including GTA). Its more of a supply and demand situation. Scarce land = higher prices. Singapore's public transport is very efficient. I used to take the MRT to work. And late at night, there are always taxis. Despite all the complaints about taxi prices, it is still cheaper to take taxis in Singapore than in Canada. Car in Singapore becomes a status symbol. Canada's public transport is not as efficient as that of Singapore’s. So car is viewed more as a transport necessity rather than a status symbol.

    I left Singapore in search of work life balance and found it in Canada. Yes, I don’t earn as much as I used to, but at least I can still afford a roof over my head and get to do all the things that I enjoy.

    Immigration is not for everyone. But if you know what you’re getting into, adjust your expectations accordingly, keep an open mind, moving to and living in another country can be a very exciting and valuable personal experience!

  8. I don't get it. You have already left the country for good, and severed all ties. So why the hell are you wasting precious time continously bickering and bitching about your old country when you can use that time resourcefully to contribute to your new one? It's like some colleagues in my company who take pleasure to condemn their former workplace non-stop whenever they have the chance to, but when it comes to real work, they are just average.

  9. maybe this "bickering and bitching" about the old country is a form of "contribution" or "resource" that old-country-men might appreciate? would save precious time for the few if it help bring about some form of realization to come earlier enough?

  10. @ I don't get it.
    Yes we have left the country for good and enjoying our wonderful lives but your SM Goh Chok Tong started to call us names like, "quitters", and accused us of taking our money away to another country and being ungrateful, etc., etc. So when we hit back with the truth you guys don't like it? If you can't take the heat, don't start the fight.
    You should be grateful that we quitters are opening the door to the truth for you to see. Your leaders are not as white as they claimed. Talking about real work, you can't even come close to what we quitters can do. Keep dreaming and suck up to your MIW masters.

  11. i can't agree more with this article! :(

  12. Thanks for sharing. You are right in your observation about Singaporeans and the situation they are in.

    Unfortunately, most Singaporeans will only realize it too late when they are older in their 40s or 50s. By then, it will be difficult to emigrate even if they are willing to humble themselves for a more balanced lifestyle in Canada or any other countries.

  13. Dear Mr Cheong,

    I'm currently a undergraduate in a local university (SG). I've been looking forward to this article and I'd like to thank you for your advice.

    I was brought up the way you have described: Straight As, As, As. Oh, and money. Nothing else matters. I remembered as a secondary school student I considered suicide and longed for a freer life. My mum used to hit me with a belt whenever I did badly. If she spots a grade out of place she will nag constantly about it. Anyway, I ended up conforming to the system of pursuing grades and realised now that it was really all a faux.

    I've made a firm resolution that all that must end with me. Of course, there are also many things that I have not described that make me want to migrate, so I have been harbouring thoughts of migration, especially when I read whatever you have wrote. I understand that I must put away some of the deeply in-grained Singaporean mindsets and also that my degree will likely not be recognised if I were to migrate to Canada.

    Thank you very much for your information and advice which is really helpful. I hope if you don't mind if I'll ask specific questions with regards to Canada in the future.

  14. @tearsunderstars - please contact me at email address: Do not write your personal infor on my blog. It is open to public.

  15. The blog is spot on. I am one of very few Malay that when to university in Canada in the mid 70. I did not server NS because of the subtle discrimination at that time. I then graduated with 2 degrees (Computer Science and Business Admin) in 1980 and when back to Singapore to look for work. Since I did not server NS it was difficult to land a job. Interviewing with SIA and some other private companies in Singapore tells me that I will not be able to go far in Singapore despite the claim "meritocracy". I saw foreign graduates from Malaysia were accepted with open arm in Singapore yet a qualified native was subtly discriminated. This experience open my eye that I should not bring my Canadian Chinese girlfriend (now my wife for 30 years) to Singapore because of its "subtle racist" policy. When I migrated to Canada in early 80 I was able to get a job in IBM lab developing operating system and compilers without much problem. I have never regretted leaving Singapore. I still visit Singapore to see my mom and some relatives. Singapore may have done very well materialistically but it still does not have a soul. The Singapore I used to know in the 60s and early 70s where I can hang around with my Malay, Chinese, Indian friend, the Kampong spirit is not there now. Now with the influx of FT, new citizen life in Singapore will get tougher for the true blue Singapore. Canada is not all roses but at least the laws and charters are there to protect every one from discrimination.

  16. I stayed in Vancouver while I was studying for my Post graduate and I had a good 5 years of experience. I had to go back to Singapore to complete my bond. Singapore is doing very well despite of its lack of resources. Although there is quite a fair bit of flaming here on the govt. I genuinely think most of the MIW do want to serve the people. On this part I respectfully disagree with Mr Cheong. Most govt decieve their own people to garner control, so I dont really trust govt fully for that matter.

    After serving my bond, I will want to move back to Canada, the reason is because a change in lifestyle and to experience more out of life. I believe the most important thing is to be able to accomodate different type of lifestyles - be it more slow or fast paced. To adjust yourself the pace and expectations.

    There is no wrong in Singapore's govt way of managing people and there is no right way as well. Singaporeans are protected in a way and therefore is a lot more obedient and their survability mentality weaker than their Asian counterparts.
    As for other Asian countries, because of the bad governance, vicious environment, people are more 'flexible' or survivability mentality is stronger. It is really not a very nice place to live as compared to law and order Singapore.

    In order to survive well in any environment, the important thing is to remember to change yourself to learn and accomodate. Be humble and make friends and move on. There is a lot the world can offer besides what is available in Singapore. Despite of a lot of good things Singapore can offer. Perhaps one of the greatest driving factor out of Singapore for me is the terrible heat in Singapore.

    A rat race is very normal in society where there are a concentration of people. In such an environment it is important to remember the values rather than to be caught up. I have no problem working in a competitive environment in Singapore. However, I feel life is much more than that. I love nature as well so spending next part of my life in Canada would really be nice. Besides I love the friendly and much fresher environment in Vancouver.

    1. Neo is right. We as Singaporeans have truly been protected to realize what's out there. Because other Asian countries have more freedom, they become more flexible.

    2. Here's another angle from a Singaporean abroad. I have lived and worked in Australia as well as Canada, while it is true that the will to succeed is paramount, and perhaps more important than qualifications, I can say that jobs that match your qualifications are more easily found in Oz than Canada. Also there is less bureaucratic nonsense in Australia than here in Canada, and Australia respects your non Australian degree far more than most Canadian employers. That said my children like it here, and Canadians are in general friendlier than Aussies. For these reasons I am staying put eve though I am underemployed.

  17. @neo,
    It is easy for you to say the MIV are doing a great job and life is good because you are a scholar. It is common knowledge that all scholars are set for life by the government - good salary and secured job. You do not have to struggle and compete for a living like the common citizens.
    Until you do walk the path of the common citizens, I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the MIV.
    Would you have the same opinion if a member of your family was imprisoned for 30+ years for doing no wrong except to disagree with MIV?

  18. MIW not MIV (Men in White).
    Let me clarify a bit. I worked for a decade before taking the scholarship. My scholarship does not lead me to high office but rather to aid in my professional work in the technical field. So it is quite different from those selected ones planned for higher offices. I only got promoted once after working another 5 years, so it is quite different from those who are going straight to the top. I am just a regular guy working to finish his bond contractually and to serve the nation as best as I could during this period. I do have to work hard, wait for opportunities, struggle and crack my brains to make things happen.

    I know those youngsters drawing pay 30k a month as Admin. Services before they hit 35. Unfortunately my pay haven't even reached 5 digits, probably never will, unless because of inflation. I am already in my mid 40. I am not jealous of those people. It is important that you know I am just speaking from my own assessment. I am grateful to be given a scholarship and glad the nation gave me an opportunity to serve.

    As for the imprisonment of 'political dissidents', it is a topic I do not have enough information to assess and perhaps I do not have any right to make any stand. You have to be there to be able to know some of the stories first hand and this is an emotional topic not easily comprehended by people outside of the circle. I watched enough documentaries to not take everything in the mainstream. I try to see things from different perspectives. I always find it difficult to assess the situation to make a very strong stand either way. The gulf of Tonkin, 911 was it internal or external threat, the appointment of Ben Bernarke as Fed Chairman...the stories usually are deeper.

    For the assessment of the govt., my stand is that most of the MIW are trying their best, given the situation. Anyway governed people cannot be given all the truth, most of them cannot take the whole truth. (Trying explaining fiat money is debt) There are mistakes and goof up along the way. But overall they still do very well. Singapore is spoilt in spending tax and revenue money but they are spending money in the right places. For every goof up, I am sure you can find that they have done something right elsewhere. Those countries whose govt are really messed up are the ones struggling now. Canada just looks better because there are lot of countries who are more goof up.

    Alas, I still wish to leave Singapore because there is a lot more outside Singapore.
    The hot humid weather is one of the biggest push factor + global warming.

    It is probably quite difficult to convince anyone who already has a bad impression of the Singapore govt. that they are governing quite well. At the very least here, I want your readers to know that I am NOT one of the scholars who are going up up up the ladder very quickly to very high post. If my pay was that high, why bother to leave the country?

    "I work and upgrade myself to stay relevant in my workplace" - that sums up who I am, I am just a nobody.

    Maybe one day we may meet and chat it over a nice cuppa. :)
    Your profile is very interesting indeed.

  19. Why do ppl always say sporeans are pampered, do we have free medical, free retirement funds,free education, free we don't, we do everything by ourselves, please don't start about CPF. This glorified mentality instilled by dumb hollywood movies that Ang MOHs are most romantic, smartest, suave the list goes's all bullshit. Why don't we try to instil this culture in spore, tell the govt to listen. I've been to Canada,USA, Australia, Germany, France and most of the time I get a car driving by and someone shouts....get lost you chinks..and I'm not Chinese...I don't know if they are dumb racists or trying to act cool in front of their pregnant 16 yr old white girlfriend..thanks but no thanks...I better problem lah bruiser..bit I relax here better...

  20. Aptly named blog...SG you will quit your race...then your language...and finally your culture...all for what for a little bit of slang and Ang mohness...they won't accept you, they never will...
    I dare you to publish this..

  21. Thanks for sharing this article. Really enjoy seeing your perspective. I had applied once and got rejected due to filled quota.I will apply again.

  22. Great articles on showing our "pampered culture" by our society! We are Singaporeans migrated to Canada and although we are not actively looking for jobs but we do understand the real society's mentality.

    We have been working for more than 12 - 16 hours daily back in Singapore and currently slowing down our pace to enjoy the great environment and people in Canada. We have a few opportunities to start our own business and still working to put it in place when all logistics are settled down. We can't say we are working fine but at least we are doing investment here and enriching our knowledge where we do not have the luxury time to do that back in Singapore.

  23. Can u share more abt what ill need to emigrate? U say degree outside canada not recognized...then what is their selection criteria? And what is cost of living?
    U can email me .. thx

  24. Dear All,

    The following website will provide you an idea of what to expect and do to immigrate to British Columbia.

    I am sorry that I am unable to deal with each and everyone of you on how to immigrate to Canada as there are too many interested parties. Most of the information can be obtained in the internet on Canadian Government websites.

    If you still have questions after reading through all the website, please write to me with specific question. I will not answer to those with no names or history of themselves as it is not possible to help you without know who you are. Besides there are hundreds of cyber warriors employed by the PAP to disrupt my site.

    Wing Lee

  25. Hi,

    I total agree that in Singapore we have been brainwashed to believe we are the best at everything. This is totally not true. When I arrived in Vancouver, I saw that this beautiful city was built by Taiwan and Hong Kong people. I came to the realization that PAP has been lying to us all along. When all other Asian groups have established a significant presence through their blessed dual citizenship, we have been once again left behind.

    In Vancouver, it is of utmost importance to integrate ourselves to the culture of the Taiwan and Hong Kong because they are the majority. We are a minority and must learn to throw away our empty arrogance. We are not the best, just brainwashed to believe so.

    Good luck.

  26. Very inspiring and shows the true nature of what is expected out there.

  27. Very interesting thoughts and stories. I have many students studying for the IELTS to get to Canada. I wonder how their lives would be in future.

    I've noticed most of your stories are of people who tried (successfully or not) to migrate many years ago. I'm wondering if the situation is the same today!

  28. I love this topic. Writer has made some solid in his article. I will surely research to verify them.

  29. The content was really very interesting. I am really thankful to you for providing this unique information. Please keep sharing more and more information Relocation Services Canada