Strong wings and deep roots

Chok Tong is worried that we are losing some of our top students who went overseas for their studies. This is a drain on our small talent pool and it is important to bring them home to roost. In a way they are a consequence of our success, giving them strong wings to fly high and far, but not deep enough roots to stay put back home. Chok Tong is asking the schools to inculcate emotional values or bonds in the hope of keeping them with us. How much is emotional bonds anyway? The brighter and smarter the students, the clearer they see and understand the ethos of our society. It is all about how much, and not about emotions, sentiments or silly values like giving back to your country or serving the people. Everything is calculated in monetary terms here. There is no room for ties or intangibles. No free lunch, there is a price for everything, except compulsory National Service. Now who have been passing such values to the young? But what is the problem? What we lost we can easily be replaced with talents from China, India and neighbouring countries. And they are not only better talents, they are also more appreciative of what of the goodness of our country. They may be new here, with no emotional ties, no family ties, and short roots. But we know that they will develop all these that Singaporeans born and brought up here, with family ties, cannot. Singaporeans are ungrateful and unappreciative of what the govt have done for them. The migrants will be grateful and appreciative and will not go away for greener pastures. Is there any contradictions or any hypocrisies? Haven't we been very successful in buying foreign talents here? Now, why are Singaporeans running away? In numerical terms, for every Singaporeans that went away, we can bring in 100 or more. In hard cold numbers, in our calculative ways, we are net gainers. Where got problem? Soon we will have a strong migrant population in the majority, and bringing our country to a higher level of material success. PS. More pics of the Singapore River Festival in the blog link.


Anonymous said...

< The migrants will be grateful and appreciative and will not go away for greener pastures.>

I wouldn't count on migrant either, they have the history of leaving for greener pastures...

Wally Buffet said...

The talents from China and India will replace true blue sons of the soil, lost, you say?

They wouldn't have lamented if they were so sure that those imported REAL talents will stay. Those who WILL stay will be ordinary worker bees such as the study mamas, the food court assistants, the bus drivers etc. in short those who are really down at the bottom of the value chain.

Truth be told, it is common knowledge that the new immigrants are just using this Tiny Red Dot as a transit station and in their own words, "a jumping board" to get used to the ways of the western world before they pack up their bags and leave for good.

Not only are we suckers in the investment game. In the game of wooing real talents, we are not much better.

Anonymous said...

It is apparent to me that the Local Talents that left and leaving SIN are those that are either disenchanted or are pissed with the Local Administrators. Of course, there are also reasons that there are much better places than us lah.

BUT, on the other hand, we were/are reminded time and again by all our Prime Ministers that they will take good care of locals to imbue a sense of belongings to this country. WHY THE OUTFLOW CONTINUES AND ARE PICKING UP MOMENTUM ??

Lee Kuan Yew proclaimed that he will turn and rise from the grave if he has to do so, when he also claimed to have run his country with Top Talents and First Class Administrators to provide the best for his people. So, if Lee Kuan Yew has to rise from his grave, will it not be for the Reason of his own doing ? Or does he meant he will still want to better SIN even if he died ?

Can we also say that our leaders have failed to convince their citizens, especially the better educated and more intellectual one? Or, have the Latters failed to see and or disbelieved the sincerities and abilities of their leaders in SIN ? Or the Said People who emigrated and planning to emigrate simply do not trust the Leaders.

I think the SIN Leaders really got to find out the True Reason(s) themselves.



Wally Buffet said...


One of the biggest reasons for the local talents to leave recently is because the floodgates to foreign talents have been thrown too wide open.

Look around you. Every other person you meet is a foreigner. Expressed as a percentage of the indigenous population, foreigners make up about 30+ % which is amongst the highest in the world. Our identities as true blue Singaporeans are inundated to the extent that we don't really know whether we belong or who we really are.

The off repeated mantra that we have to import population to compete in the global economy and to build up critical mass is really getting quite jaded because you don't see much of REAL talent. You see the rejects that China, India, Myanmar, Philippines et al send off with gusto.

Anonymous said...

I think we have gone astray in defining 'foreign talents'. I would not call them 'foreign talents' if they are just here to help at foodcourts, manmed the checkout counters at supermarkets, set up hawker stalls themselves or make up the numbers in our services sector.

These foreign workers are just here to earn a living like the Malaysians in earlier days, and will return home sooner or later. Little red dot is just like a hotel, these foreign workers are like the hotel guests. They come, they stay for a while and they leave. There is no strong sense of belonging nor will they have stong roots here.

Lost Citizen

Wally Buffet said...

"These foreign workers are just here to earn a living like the Malaysians in earlier days, and will return home sooner or later."

Not quite. Even for the Malaysians and because of the lax criteria in giving citizenship lots of them has become naturalized Singaporeans. The smarter ones only want to become PRs and retain Malaysian citizenship. Same with the PRCs and the Indians. Ask any PRCs whether they want to be Singaporeans and it will be a resounding "yes" and most of them already are, if not PRs. They may be the low wage earners here but back home in some remote provincial villages, they are looked upon as having made good in a foreign land.

Anonymous said...


Your Points noted, thank You for the interaction.

However, I wondered and wonder why despite the Great Loves from our three Prime Ministers, citizens are not buying their(PMs) words ?
Their words feel so empty and impotent ! And it is so disappointing to note such !


Wally Buffet said...

Oh, by the way. In Singapore, when we talk about "foreign talents" or FTs., the "T" you can define according to your mood of the day, we mean to include mostly:

bus conductors, hawker stall assistants, masseuses, ktv hostesses, waitresses, supermarket cashiers, nurses, clerks, salesgirls, cleaners, construction workers, eating house owners in Geylang, niteclub singers, criminally inclined subcontractors etc.

in addition to the occassional:

software programmer, stem cell researcher, university don, Ph.d student, entrepreneur, biochemists, nanotechnologists, production engineer, etc.

Hope my convoluted definition helps. :-)

Wally Buffet said...


You're welcome.

Think of politicians as used car salesmen.

Now where is Beanie? Probably at the golf course on a Sunday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

'.....lots of them have become naturalised Singaporeans......the smarter ones only want to become PRS and retain Malaysian Citizenship. Same with the PRCs and the Indians'

That says a lot about the situation. The smarter ones do not want to have permanent roots here, And all the talk about the country up north being unsafe and all that stuff. Why? So, we are in fact getting the quantity but not really the quality that we want in the first place.

The most common answer that those PRs from Malaysia gave was that they are here to make money and will still want to retire comfortably in Malaysia.

If I am a Malaysian, I would do the same.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

the malaysians really have the best of both worlds. they can ignore the discriminating policies back home, come here and be treated as equals, make the money and return home to live thru their golden years in a sprawling house...and ignore their govt policies, no need to depend on their govt.

Wally Buffet said...

The days of wine and roses are slowly ebbing away. In come, the more hardworking PRCs and Indians and at a lower pay.

Unless you are a real talent, it's best for the malaysians to stay away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wally;

the Malaysians at least got a country with lots of resources that they can return to. It is the Locals(Singaporeans) that have to worry about their survivals here.

Liked what You said in another thread, sell a HDB Unit will get a Singaporean a farm in Oz. I find very few Singaporeans with the guts to venture out of our shore.

Our empty-handed forefathers came here, survived and some prospered. Their offsprings are largely educated and comparatively(with other nationals) better off, but sadly, lack gut to venture. They bear with their circumstances and wallow in self-pity. Not easy to understand my fellow countrymen.


Wally Buffet said...

The young of today fear to venture out of their comfort zone. Even with the explosive influx of foreign workers, Singapore is still relatively easy to live in. That's one of the reasons why we will never have great and innovative entrepreneurs to power up and keep our economy robustly relevant. We are just eating off our fat which we have accumulated when my peers and I slaved to make this Dot what it is today. I may have contributed by earning 1 dollar but I was really pissed to see billions of our hard earned money blown away,

Blame it on our education system. Blame it on our mollycoddling nanny government. The past formula of keeping the populace well fed for political survivor must now undergo a revamp to ensure its continuity. I have a sneaky feeling that maybe, just maybe, by importing these hungry foreign workers, they are trying to reverse the excesses of the past and make the younger Singaporeans a leaner, meaner person that will hunt and forage for his needs instead of being spoonfed.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Chok Tong is asking the schools to inculcate emotional values or bonds in the hope of keeping them with us. <

And I am going to fuck him up by continually telling the kids to use their reason, think for themselves and be wary of some politician who lives off tax-money telling them how they should feel and think.

ALL attachment is EMOTIONAL. But to be empowered is to know what and how your emotions work and what values "stimulate" them.

The lack of personal freedom is a BIG ISSUE and Chok Tong is being dishonest when he conveniently neglects to address this issue.

I encourage everyone to look at their options — not to the opinions or suggestions of a member of the elite ruling class who lives off the backs of the hard working private citizens. You own your own life, and your mind. You have no need of a wannabe central planner and tax expropriator telling you what to do or how to direct your own emotions — which are none of his fucking business anyway.

Singapore is not the center of the planet — it does have its good points, but it is not the "be all and end all" of human civilization.

Human being are adaptive. And they are NOMADIC — if they are free. At least S'poreans are still free to choose where they want to live, and I encourage everyone to think about that.

My personal opinion is to get the fuck out, and get yourselves dual citizenship status.

There are no such things as "society" or "societies values". These are simply words used to reflect a group of individuals and the small context in where they might agree.

If you are really good at what you do, IMO you owe it to yourself not to cheat yourself of the one life you have, which means not listening to an idiot like Goh who really has no interest in you — he is only interested in keeping you in S'pore and beholden to a political machine which is way out of control. You have lived your lives being told what to do, what you can read or see, what you can say, what topics you cannot discuss... and worst still for the guys — CONSCRIPTION i.e. being FORCED to die for your country at the whim of the politicians against your expressed consent.

Fuck it. Head over to "embassy row" in Tanglin and research your options. The world is your oyster — and there are many "pearls" other than Singapore, and as jesus says: "Cast not your pearls amongst the swine". (or you will lose your pearls and end up with swine flu)

Wally Buffet said...

Hehe Matilah,

You will make a good poster boy for Aussie Immigration!

But I am too old to go. Besides, I like my char kway teow and my 3 room HDB too much to leave. Oh, and not forgetting Sim Lim Square and the four PC shows a year.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey Wally

1. You're never too old

2. The char kway teow is better here — more "stuff" and the produce is fresher since we grow most of the goodies here

3. Rent out your 3 room, preferably to a graduate foreigner working for a GLC (they tend to be responsible tenants) — it will cover the lease on a modest (but better) unit here — which I can rent to you :)

4. Fly back to S'pore for your PC shows, Sim Lim visits (although you can get cheap tech here), excusions to Pinang or makan-makan at GeyLand. Air Asia, Jet Star and Tiger very cheap flights.

5. You can still day-trade/invest over the net with your S'pore/US broker.

Matilah_Singapura said...

SCIENCE! 60 secs report

Living abroad may increase your creativity

Anonymous said...

Is there a way for me to downgrade from Spore citizen to PR? I want to be Malaysian citizen and Spore PR too...

I am an engineer. Over the past year, I have been squeezed out of my job by cheaper Chinese, Malaysian and Indian engineers. To them, $2000 is much when they remit back home. To me, I can’t even afford a HDB, as frugal as I try to be, because the foreigners keeps driving home prices up on a daily basis. To add insult to injury, more of the foreign graduates replacing me had their university fees paid by our very own Ministry of Education. These graduates were not only given free college education, they were even given a month allowance of few hundred dollars each. While I had to work part time to support my education in NUS, and I still remain in debt to my student loan. (BITTER LAUGH!!!!).

I spent 2.5 years of my precious youth serving the SAF, during which I lost my first girlfriend during training. These foreigners were given PRs and citizenship in less than 2.5 years and they don’t even need to serve. If war breaks out, I have to protect 1/3 of the population fuilled with these people?? (Assuming they dun run away at the 1st sign of trouble??!!) SAF even sent me a letter threatening to fine me for going overseas without telling them…to attend a funeral of my uncle…(BITTER LAUGH!!!!). Hey, here’s an idea, why don’t I migrate to another country before migrating back. That will save me more time!

I am working in odds jobs now 7 days a week. I am now almost 30 already. Inflation exceed my savings rate, and I find a home, marriage, kids and happy future beyond me. A simple illness or a year of unemployment could wipe me out. Yet the government is wondering why there are less marriages and births….(BITTER LAUGH!!!!)

I bear no love to my country now. My country does not need to be attacked, it has already be invaded and taken over. Thanks PAP!

redbean said...

hi anonymous, if more and more singaporeans were to feel this way, that the govt has done them wrong, their support for the govt will diminish. the govt can say what they want, claim what they want. ultimately it is the people's voice that counts.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The day S'poreans start getting suspicious of their govt, and that becomes the "default" — whether times are good or bad — is the day the people will own their country once again.

This is a classic problem: one has a personal experience of a person calamity, searches for quick answers, and then concludes that it is the government's fault.

BITTER LAUGH!! has my sympathies for loosing his gigs to cheaper labour. But he is not the only person on this planet to have ever lost a gig. Although his emotion is quite understandable, there is the other side of the coin: the "cheap" labour are now happily employed. They get to increase their standard of living.

And blaming the govt for your "lot" is a bit wimpy.