Friday, May 24, 2019

Is Singapore a bad place to live

  1. High Cost of Living
  2. Income Inequality
  3. Weather is hot and humid
  4. Rude People
I loved Singapore for the general effectiveness of policies, low corruption and drugs, and also safe from natural disaster and fear of gun fires. However, still decide to look at the negative side (from online) just for neutrality and pen my thoughts.

  • High Cost of Living
"If you earn very well, life is excellent. Shopping, holidays, condo, car, investments etc. But if you’re just someone who works paycheck to paycheck at a low income you are still ok. You still have CPF savings. No one’s complaining anyway. Food and transportation is super cheap still (compared to Sydney)"

This is probably the biggest negative to everyone. If you just want slow and stable life till the end of your life, forget it. Things are competitive here in Singapore. In one way, the cost of high living forces people to work hard. The good thing is there is some kind of meritocracy implemented so you are not disadvantaged if you are capable enough. The bad thing is for people who might have some disability or wants to slow down or burn out. 

Want a car? Delay your retirement by maybe 10 years.
Call ride sharing Grab instead? Delay your retirement by maybe 5 years.

Nevertheless, the high cost will continue to stay this way and there are no natural resources (little moat except our skilled people) and the heavy reliance on investments (which mean companies will work hard to make money too)
  • Income inequality 
"I SEE OLD PEOPLE - working in low paying jobs. Some older people are taking it hard. Can’t afford to pay their home mortgages, probably from low income and/or bad finances previously so they have to keep on working. But it’s ok, as they seem happy."

This is always a tricky problem. It is definitely real. There are really poor people with poor living environment. Meritocracy would means these people would be left behind.

I don't study economic but I recalled people calling GST regressive tax. Poor people are worse off and GST is going to increase gradually too. 

Luckily for local elderly, there is Pioneer and Merdeka Generation. However, this create an expectation towards welfare state. A welfare state is at the expense of the younger generation. 

I recalled hearing recent DPM Heng mentioned that the SDIC (the one whereby government guaranteed your money back if the banks go down) costs the government several billions, much more than the stimulation boost during the economic crisis. It requires a drawdown from the reserve and SDIC was not a good idea actually but every one in the region was doing it. Nevertheless, Singapore still created SDIC to ensure trust from the public. Guess it is a tough balance. 
  • Weather is hot and humid
"The heat and humidity are simply constant and you can get sweaty by just standing still and breathing!"

Anyone who lived in Singapore knows it is hot and humidity. This is due to the location, amount of concrete building trapping heat and also global warming. Nevertheless, it is easily avoided by staying indoor with aircon. 

  • Rude People
"Sometimes though, I’d come across some rude folks. I was reading my book at a cafe and enjoying my awesome iced latte for another 30 minutes or so before packing up to leave. At this point, both my wife and I heard the mother telling her 7-or-8-year-old daughter “Oh, finally.

There is definitely some eye-catching news of people acting rudely and being videotaped at train, at coffee shop or even shops . There is also people doxing, shaming others online. Not sure if this is happening in other countries but there is growing 


These are just some quick thoughts and not meant to be comprehensive. Singapore is definitely not the worse place and the merits probably outweigh the negatives, therefore people are still coming in for the opportunities.