The bizarre behaviours of Singaporeans

44 years of economic and material success have spawned some very strange behaviors among Singaporeans. We spent so much to buy a house or flat, furnished it up like a palace, but spent our time outside, most of the time at work. And the maids are the ones enjoying the million dollar or multi million dollar assets. Then we paid so much, the highest in the world, for a car only to park at home. Too expensive to drive, too many ERPs and car park charges to pay. And we are encouraged to park the car at home and take public transport, cheaper and more convenient. And when Singaporeans travelled, instead of seeing the places, they went shopping. The best part is that they would head for the cheapest bargains, buying stuff that they could get in Chinatown or pasar malam, at even cheaper prices. And they are happy that they got a bargain. And while the heartlanders are busy trying to make a life here, being told to bust off if they are not happy, which they could not, the rich and presumably very happy and contented citizens are buying up properties overseas just in case they need to make that escape from paradise. While many Singaporeans are thinking of jumping ship, or preparing to jump ship, hoards of new immigrants are rushing in to take their place in this paradise. And to top it all up, they keep complaining about the govt and all the policies that they found unpalatable, come every election, they will vote and return the govt to power. Strange Singaporean behaviours.


Anonymous said...

Strange, very strange and mind boggling.


Anonymous said...

The most enjoyable piece I've read.

Jaunty Jabber said...


You have wrote most of what the typical behaviour of many Singaporeans.

Besides slogging to pay for house and cars, they also spent alot of money on their children's private tuition fees, standard school curriculum is insufficient to meet their expectation.

And then, every June & December school holidays, die-hard must go for a overseas trip. No matter if the vacation is paid using instalments and left their bank account with no savings, many Singaporean continue with this routine, because they feel very rich looking at their CPF statement and feel very safe when they imagine how their HDB unit is going to appreciate in value in very few years to come.

Lost4ever said...

Everyone wants to be a winner, society's fault....

So in the end all win peanuts only lah.

My boss always wants to pay peanuts to get the best, but the best will become monkey, at best Orang Utan.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Singaporean are willing to sacrifice their hard earned savings to upgrade from bigger HDB flats to million $$ private condo cubicle of a smaller space because everybody are doing so and taking a huge loan that pay for almost entire lifes and they are happy.

Anonymous said...

I think there is just a simple explanation to all the funny phenomenons prevailing in this tiny society.

Singaporeans appreciate 'face' value. 'Ta zhong lian pi zuan pang zi' meaning act rich, affluent and impressive although not such. Some simply described it as 'kiasu'.

Well, if it makes Singaporeans to feel happy in this way, let it be lah. Life is short, so, if Singaporeans can act and maintain that happiness and die with it although it is a false front, let them have a self deceiving existences. At least they won't open their eyes when they stopped breathing.

It is their successors' problem and ultimately the wrong inculcations the leaders have made on their people.


redbean said...

many singaporeans are very comfortable and paying a 20 year mortgage is not a problem. the problem only comes when they lose their jobs.

it is all leverage or borrowing. spend first, pay later, assuming that one can afford to pay later.

Anonymous said...

Redbean, what you said is the truth, but sadly, those who did the things that you mentioned failed to see the folly of their ways.

Die die they must follow their friends or neighbours, otherwise loose face lah! In other words they would rather be in debt than to loose face hor.

Jaunty Jabber said...

And they feel sense of satisfaction when they managed to collect a full series of McDonald's Hello Kitty.

Someone may still pin a hope that those mouth-less stuffed toy cats will one day bring them some good money from open market bidding, that will never happen.

redbean said...

the world is a big con job. someone will do the conning and someone will become the sucker.

Anonymous said...

I felt that local very materialistic n always want to achive the 5 C just to show off their symbol, some of them can bafely afford n yet they die2 want to buy the material thing.

Jimmy Ng said...

what 5 C, U outdated liao lor.

it is 4B, lesser better lah.

Whats 4B ?

Let me explain:

B: BMW, not a cheap chenna made car orh.

B: Bangalow, condo is so last decade.

B: Boat. Not content with a weekend drive anymore, die die must own a boat. Park there also good. Own suntan berth.

B: Holiday in Bahamas. Or high end resorts Bali @ Jimbaran.

then garmen steeped in and tell you that 1 more B is missing.

thats B : Baby.

or bailout of this lifestyle as credit line are maxed out.

redbean said...

hi Jimmy, welcome to the blog.

the Bs and Cs are ok, i think. but the last B, babies, is a dangerous thing. mothers want babies but no time to look after them, leaving them to maids or other caregivers. mothers who cannot afford want babies without caring how the babies will turn out.

people asking mothers to have babies to increase the workforce. some calling mothers to have babies because it is a social responsibility. soon it will be national service.

anyone think or care for the babies?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to my friend for forwarding this to me... A well written piece... These are just a few reasons why I left Singapore... Yes, there are MORE reasons why I left... I'm MUCH happier where I am now...

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