Why Choose to Live in Singapore? It’s an issue that many would-be expatriates weigh when they are offered a position, or asked to relocate, to Singapore. How is this country like? Is it a glorified jail where you are caned for even the smallest offences? Is it as sterile as a lab and boring as hell?
In this article, I want to share with you the pros and cons of relocating in Singapore. I hope my views are as objective as it gets, and that it will help you decide whether a move to Singapore is right for you.
Singapore is a great place to live. If you are accustomed to places that are clean and modern, you will feel right at home here. It’s a country you would feel safe to walk anywhere at night – the same cannot be said for some streets in New York City or Los Angeles.
Yes, it is an orderly place. Everything appears like they have been arranged with care. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring. There’s a lot of culture and nightlife here just waiting for you to discover. To experience boring, take a trip north of Singapore, and spend the night in a small town on the East Coast of Malaysia. Then you’d know boring. In Singapore, you are at the throbbing heart of Asia.
Singapore offers expatriates job opportunities that are not available anywhere else in Asia. Although the salary might not be as high as what you might command back home, the taxes are low.
The weather is quite uniform throughout the year in Singapore. While it does rain quite frequently, there’s no snow, hailstorms, hurricanes (apart from the occasional thunderstorm), and very little to worry in terms of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Sheltered on one side by the Malay peninsula and on the other by Sumatra and the Batam archipelago, Singapore is also unlikely to be hit by a tsunami.
Despite the joke that Singapore is a “fine place”, where you would be fined for even the smallest offences, you won’t meet many people who have actually been fined. The rules are in place to deal with those who misbehaves, and at the same time takes care of the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Finally, compared to other cities in Singapore, if you speak English, you will get by easier here than any other city. More people speak English fluently than they do in any other city in Asia. Yes, the locals may enjoy using Singlish among themselves, but when they have to, they will switch to proper English. The fact that these people speak Singlish at all, shows that they are anything but boring.
Competition is stiff in this small island nation; it is ingrained in the people that that is the only way for them to survive. Unless you are high up in the career ladder, life can get quite stressful in Singapore.
The fact that there’s so many ways to spend your money in Singapore means there’s few ways to save. As a result, many expatriates find, at the end of their tour of duty here, that they have not been able to put aside any funds for themselves.
You need to have a specialized skill, and be very good at what you do, to command a high salary. There is always someone somewhere who can do your job, and they come from all over Asia because if there’s a vacancy for their qualification, it’s most likely in Singapore.
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