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Yorkieabroad Jun 15th 2015 11:34 am

So what's changed Singapore ?
We lived in Singapore from 95-02, and while it was then time for us to move on, we loved pretty much every minute of our time there. Sure, it had its little irritations, but in general, life was good. Very good. One thing that I always remembered was the positivity of the locals about their country, especially from taxi drivers. I don't ever remember taxi drivers criticizing the country, the government, anything. The only time I ever heard such criticism was from old timers, in private, and only then after a few drinks and in very select company.

Scroll forward to now, and we've just spent 3 days in sing en route to Indonesia. In that time, we used 11 taxis, and I was amazed that the drivers of all bar one were very soon as I mentioned that we used to live there, they started complaining that things aren't as they used to be, that we were there at a better time, that there are too many foreigners now, the government isn't looking after them properly, too much was being spent on "pet projects" such as the new national stadium etc etc. This was all the more surprising to me, coming just ahead of the 50 year celebrations when I would have expected a surge of nationalist optimism.

So, back to the original question...what has changed here? is the local mood really so down, so different to how I remember it? And if so, why? or have I just been unlucky with my 10 out of 11 taxi drivers?

bakedbean Jun 16th 2015 9:19 am

Re: So what's changed Singapore ?
I no longer live there. I left in 2007, but I still have local friends there and see what they write on Facebook.

My observation is that Singapore is jolly expensive these days. It must be tough for those locals not earning so much.

I have also heard that the MRT is creaking these days. Breakdowns are frequent and they are jam-packed. Not like the olden days.

I last visited Singapore a couple of years ago and, yes, everybody seemed to be moaning.

Yorkieabroad Jun 17th 2015 3:19 pm

Re: So what's changed Singapore ?
Just had dinner tonight with a few local friends, all of whom are in pretty senior positions and making decent money. The escalating cost of living was certainly a concern, even for them, but the bigger complaint seemed to be about the foreigners....not the number of them, but the "quality". They reckoned that "last time";) it used to be good quality expats, in senior positions, who may like to party and get pissed, but at the end of the day, didn't really cause too many problems and contributed enough to the country to make the minor hassles worthwhile. Now there seems to be a view that the quality has gone down, the hassle factor up, and that a large percentage of the expats are just not worth it any more:(

xizzles Jun 18th 2015 5:53 am

Re: So what's changed Singapore ?
Well, I've been in Singapore for some 20 years, settled down, married an angel of Singaporean girl, count both the usual expatriate suspects as well as a sizeable local mix as good friends, and I can vouch for Yorkieabroad's observations about Singapore.

The general "feel" on the ground is that the types of expats that are coming to Singapore in the last few years are of poorer quality than in the past. There's a nagging suspicion (more so amongst the locals, obviously) that these are the second rate types that couldn't get hold of a job back home & saw Singapore as a way out of the recession in Europe & America.

There's also the unhappiness amongst the locals about how expats will continue to recruit only fellow expats to fill up the positions in the workplace, and the local Singaporean worker ends up doing menial, zero-value-added jobs in the periphery.

Finally, there are recent expats that make me go "DO'H!" and my wife almost embarrassed to be seen in public with her husband. Recipients of the "Expats behaving badly" award include:

1. Idiot of a Banker

2. Moron of a Biker

3. Violent drunkard

4. Road Rage Cyclist

I could go on, but it's already embarrassing enough... sigh. The local friends do understand that, by & large, the vast majority of expatriates do contribute positively to both the economy as well as to the social scene here in Singapore, save for the rotten apples that surface from time to time.

But, when so many of these second-rate economic beggars (their words, not mine) also end up misbehaving, I can fully appreciate the unhappiness and discontent towards expatriates that seem so prevalent in the country at present.

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