Why we left Singapore

Singapore is a place full of memories. Even though it was a very short stay of 1.5 years, so much has happened! 

We moved in and redecorated the house.

We ate all kinds of yummy food and visited a lot of fun places

The east coast was still my favorite since I can ride my scooter freely and enjoy the sea breeze. (Not to mention, we had an incredible view of the sea).

We got married in November

And this year our baby boy was born. 

But now we are leaving, how come? 

The reality is, Singapore is a place that does not want expats there, but they dance around the topic. PR is extremely hard to get, and they are handing out less and less Employment passes. On top of that, if for any reason one of us loses our jobs, you have to return the employment pass immediately and leave the country. Whereas in a place like Hong Kong, you have until the end of your visa expiry date, even right now I can still enter Hong Kong, stay, and look for a job because my work visa is still valid. 

If this is not enough evidence, just look at these numbers:
  • PR status is only valid for 5 years, you need to renew it. And guess what? They can always deny you. 
  • Employment pass is only valid for 2 years, or until the day you get fired. 
  • A Special Pass, which is what an infant gets before they get a dependent pass from a parent holding an employment pass, is only valid for 60 days 
Even some tourists get to stay longer than my son on a tourist visa. What in the world?

There is no way we are risking this kind of instability when we have an infant. Even if you were Single, it is a really f*cked up situation. It is astonishing that a country like Singapore is this controlling and unfriendly to expats. 

And Singaporeans have it too good, if they don't like a job, they can just leave and find another one (someone actually said this word by word to me), because why? All of the Employment Pass expats are getting pushed out of the market. Even if an expat is more qualified and more experienced, they will still hire a local. Whereas if you look at the US job market, it is the other way around. You can hire a foreigner when you cannot find local talent with the criteria you are looking for. 

Perhaps this is the Singapore government trying to secure job for locals, when Singapore's unemployment rate is only 2.1%, one of the lowest in the world. What they are doing is creating a very singular environment, with less variety of talent, ideas, and creativity. Like corn that's been bred down to nearly no genetic variations and easily wiped out by a fungus (citation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwBUfB7hU6A start at 2min 14 sec) 

It is still ironic that Singapore has been voted as one of the best places for expats and for families. But this hidden undercurrent/whirlpool trap will slowly come to light. But before that, unfortunately there will be expat families who get f*cked over out of nowhere and have to pack their bags overnight.  

So we chose to leave.  

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