the government is not even protecting their interests but more concerned about stimulating the GDP.
You also mentioned that the MPs bonuses are linked to GDP.
That is so very wrong. Putting business profit before the population.
However, as much as that really irritates me (hello! We are a puritanical country! Let's build a casino! But only for foreigners you understand ...), I wonder how much of that attitude was needed to bring Singapore to where it is today. Textiles, Finance, Biotechnology. Whole country pushed into a set direction purely based on profit. It's a very interesting topic. But must mess with people's minds.
Last edited by adrianlondon; 01.11.2011 at 15:50.
Reason: Typo - as always
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This is a big difference in the education of Asians versus Europeans (stereotyping, of course). I've no idea about the American education system. I assume the latter is four years of dope, shit whiskey and toga parties based on films I've seen.
Europe educates people to think, invent and improve.
Asia educates people to do what is already done quickly, efficiently and without errors.
I think society needs both sets of people. I also believe this is a big driver behind most international trade/outsourcing at the moment.
oo - heavy.
Yeah because a large share of most major inventions in the world in the last 150 years did not come out of the U.S. Or better from many immigrant European and Asian scientist who could not get funding or an audience in their home nations coming to the U.S., who eventually revolutionize the world and win noble prizes.
We lived in Singapore for more than four years and really miss it. We're in Geneva now and actually think that are a lot of similarities between the two places. Both are clean, safe (mostly), efficient, expensive and a bit boring, and both afford fantastic travel opportunities to other countries in the region. Yes, it can be infuriating (especially for a working journalist!) but it's just such an easy place to live. Okay, we were expats so there's no denying we enjoyed a much more comfortable existence than the average Singaporean (and there's no denying that the gap between the richest and poorest is widening at an alarming rate, which was borne out in this year's elections). If you're on an expat package with your rent, school fees, etc paid for, then you could really couldn't wish for a better lifestyle. If you're not on an expat package (as I wasn't), then it's a slightly different proposition. Salaries are high and tax is low, but rent is ridiculously expensive and prone to increasing dramatically, and the fees for the international schools are just crazy. In the end one of the reasons we decided to leave was that we thought we wouldn't be able to afford the school fees when our children reached that age, and didn't much fancy sending them to a local school. That coincided with an opportunity to live and work in Switzerland which just seemed to good to pass up. So here we are, but we do think we'd like to return to the little red dot one day if it's possible.
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I live in both Singapore and Switzerland intermittently for about in totals 8 and 5 years respectively.
Differences CH vs SG:
1. In Switzerland I get to hear different opinions, the french-speaking swiss and the german speaking swiss look very similar but think very differently.
In Singapore the newspapers of different languages (English, Chinese, Malay, etc) usually have the same headlines and major news with the words of the same tone supported with similar choice of information. I sometimes joked with my friends that I don't have to know the language to understand the news reported in Tamil while I was in Singapore. The Chinese, Malay or Indian Singaporeans look very different from the outside but when I talked to them they could have very similar mindsets.
2. In Switzerland the people tell the government which direction to go via direct balloting. In SIngapore the government decides for the people which directions to go, not only through mainstream media (newspaper etc) but also in the softer media (imparting mindsets through game shows, local drama series etc).
3. Because of the strong and powerful control that Singapore government has, policies could change rather swiftly, compared to Switzerland. Therefore if one would like to get advice from forums, I could imagine that some advice could still work for a long time in swiss forum, but for the case of singapore, it is better to check the latest trends carefully (immigration policies, ease of getting certain permit, purchase of property, job market, rent/COL etc)
4. It is relatively easy to get permanent residency (PR) in Singapore but there is still a huge gap between entitlements of citizens and PRs.
It is much more difficult to get C permit in Switzerland but the difference between C-permit holders and citizens is small compared to the case in Singapore.
5. I might get a bashing for this -- the xenophobic locals in Singapore complain or even look down to foreigners selectively, ie, usually those from some third world origins, and could still adore the foreigners from OECD at the same time. The xenophobic Swiss just blame anyone or anything who is not swiss when things are not working properly.
6. Both countries are clean and tidy, and to some extent, manicured. The difference is, in Switzerland the common people do more work in preserving the environment, taking care of their gardens, decorating the external look of their houses etc. While in Singapore the government hire workers to clean the streets, toilets, parks rubbish bins, etc
I realize that if I continue the list, I might get more and more groans... so better stop here.
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7. The head of state of Singapore is very dominant in people's life there. Most of the people I met in Singapore had at least one or two words about the Lees (father & son). However, in Switzerland, given that a different member of the seven representatives takes to the "throne" each year, I am not too surprised if a swiss cannot answer with confidence who the current head of state is.
8. In the sports, the swiss has some national heroes in tennis, skiing etc and they do feel proud of their achievement... in Singapore the people are not as proud with their olympic gold medalists because they were born in other countries, even though they were trained and nurtured in Singapore
9. The swiss german is very different from the standard german, but the swiss would not conform to the standard version even if the german neighbour cannot understand them. The singaporeans are urged to learn proper american english (by lee) and ditch their singapore english (singlish), as the british and/or americans could only understand them as much as a german understands the swiss german.
10. Both countries have very different healthcare systems. In Singapore, though not compulsory, one better get their health insurance when they are young and healthy and stick to the policy year after year because they could be denied health insurance when they are older and sick, ie, at the time when they need the insurance. In Switzerland the compulsory basic health insurance have to be offered regardless of any pre-existing conditions. In other words, the singapore insurance agencies keep the cost down by denying those who would be likely to use the insurance and coerce loyalty of their customer by denying portability, while in switzerland the cost are brought down by competition as one could compare and switch the basic health insurance provider regardless of their health conditions. And the basic coverage in Switzerland is actually very comprehensive, could probably be compared to those offered at non-subsidised or private level of healthcare in Singapore, therefore, the insurance premium in Switzerland is really high.
those points above may not be 100% accurate, so if you think otherwise please do comment so that the readers (or even myself) would not be misguided...
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Wow..thats a nice summary. I am still adjusting and learning the ways of Singapore. But here are some of the differences in the day to day life I have seen
- English speaking! yay!
- I live in an HDB and there is a 24X7 Fairprice (supermarket) not very far from my place - and it is crowded even at midnight on weekends! Never heard of that in CH.
- I can get someone to do the cooking/cleaning etc without having to pay an entire month's salary!
- So many restaurants and such a huge variety of food - and Indian restaurants actually do know how to make indian dishes . And it doesn't cost an arm and a leg again.
- The weather. Now that can be a plus and a minus. It is the same old hot and humid weather all year. But like a friend who moved here from CH said - she has 4 kids and she doesn't have to spend 2 hours to get everyone ready when going out in the winters. I, on the other hand, am missing the snow and a white Christmas.
And it is clean and a safe place - too crowded though. I havent yet visited the cheap....as in 'inexpensive' salons and massage / wellness places. Do need to pamper myself while I am here.
Oh and there is brown sugar here! . And self raising flour, vanilla extract, Nestle tollhouse chocolate chips, cream of tartar, jars of baking powder....but...there is no oven in my kitchen
I think these points have been covered before..but just sharing my experiences so far. This is a tropical country though - and that means I have seen lizards in house! I hate those creepy crawly things
Last edited by Nina123; 02.01.2012 at 17:02.
Reason: Added the brown sugar bit :)
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What I don't like about Singapore is the weather extremes , sometimes when the sun is shining , it feels like it will burn your head off.
Sometimes , when it rains, you can' t see the other side of the street.
Sometimes the humiditiy is so high , you will sweat without doing anything.
And a few people are really annoying with their " tailormade suits" at the orchard road.
The rest is quiet ok, but i would prefer Melbourne or Vancouver If I got the choice (Hong Kong is quiet ok as well) for a place to live.
For a brief visit on the way to Australia Singapore is worth a visit, too.
Hi all, It looks like that my boyfriend and I might have to move to Singapore due to his work. I guess some people here have made the same move or the other way around? I'm curious to know about the positive and negative things when comparing these two countries(we are from Sweden originally). Thanks in advance!