Completing a cycle of change
The poor peasant Chinese were pouring out of China about a hundred years ago. They were driven out of their motherland to seek work to feed themselves. Staying back in China was not an option. Jobs were scarce and earning a living was tough going.
By mid 1950s onwards, they were still poor. Poverty and going hungry were the normal then. Things started to improve in the 70s onwards. Life was more bearable and food was not so scarce. The common mode of transportation was the bicycle.
For the Chinese that headed out to Singapore, the 70s and 80s were times of rapid growth. They were getting richer and faster and living was less of a challenge. Buying a home and a car were the norms. Bicycles were discarded for the four wheels with a roof, a prestigious symbol of success.
Fast forward to the present, some Chinese are returning home as jobs were in abundance and livelihood is no longer such a big challenge. Singaporeans too are marching back to China when job opportunities were more challenging in the island.
In China, the Chinese are building homes like Singapore did in the 60s and 70s and buying properties, and property speculation became a national past time. Bicycles were swopped for the four wheel status symbols. More people are getting rich faster.
Singaporeans are downsizing and buying smaller and smaller homes with more money to pay. Cars are getting out of reach and more Singaporeans are taking to public transport and bicycles. The story will come full circle when Chinese Singaporeans start to return to China in hoards, to seek jobs and better living conditions, to buy bigger homes and be car owners once again.
PS. The super rich are having a good laugh at such articles. Get out of my elite and uncaring face.