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Thread: Working overseas to escape Stifling Singapore

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gymrat76
    Ya, many local companies even the HUGE ones think that way. The big MNC's usually provide better pay and employee benefits than local companies
    Actually this is about our mindset and how we are trained... e.g. in army, sergeant/officers usually cannot tahan when they see their men doing nothing... so they will ask the men to do stupid things like carry chairs, clean cookhouse/canteen... sweep drains...... then men learn to act busy and take their own sweet time to do every task..... After they ORD, some of those LCP/CLPs became managers, but somehow in their brain damage is done liao... so they cannot tolerate their subordinates doing nothing even though their subordinates really have nothing to do. As for the officers and sergeants in the army... well, needless to say they continue their trend of supervising people if they are giving supervisory roles in a cooperation... Just like we kena tekan by SAF, so we think that giving pple good benefits is pampering them and they will not work hard for you.... Another reason is that since majority of us are chinese, we have the traditional chinese culture of being stingy with employees....

    Anyways, this is just my point of view and it applies to some pple....

  2. #42

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    Wow very interesting discussion...

    First and foremost, I have to comment that yes, it's true: Not everyone can make it good overseas. As many have said, "the grass in greener on the other side". However, I think at the end of the day, it really depends on your specialty, demand and sometimes timing is important too.

    Eg: If you are a teacher and wants to work overseas, I think it's a tough one. Usually the institutions there wont employ foreigners to teach their kids bcos of language issues and even accents. Nevermind you scored an A1 for your GP, you dun talk like a native speaker so OUT. But if you are pretty good in say engineering, IT, banking, science, etc, there are many job opportunities. Better still if u're in certain jobs which are in demand.

    I don't know about the rest, but so far, ALL of my ex-colleagues and friends or friends' friends (amounting to about 10) who are in the US, australia or Canada are satisfied with their lives there... To the point they DUN want to come back. At least not so soon. Maybe they are 'fortunate' in that the jobs and studies they do are in demand overseas.

    When u leave spore, I believe you must embrace the new experience and culture there. If someone still misses local TV programs or constantly thinks about the local foods, then that person misses the whole point about moving out of spore. It helps if you are more westernised.

    For me, a -ve point is the weather here. So humid, sometimes wanna go out to shoot also no mood. :P

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by David
    The post related on salaries in CS and the recent NKF saga set me thinking... How many of you have gone overseas to work after being dismayed with Singapore or know of people who do that?

    I work in the healthcare industry and prospects are stifling. The common excuse (yes that's the word I find suits well) is budget is low, so, sorry, you got to work long hours and there's a limit as to how much you can earn. Training wise, sorry, money will go to doctors first and high end research that will put s'pore on the international map. All else, just improvise and make do. It' not about $, it's about job satisfaction.

    then now, the NKF thingy appears... IT pains me.. How come some jokers can generate so much $ and here we are slogging so hard to pay off bills. $ is not put to good use.

    It's very sickening. Many of my colleagues have left their jobs to go to Australia, US or Canada to work. The turn over is high and it happens every year. Foreigners who come here definitely will leave once their contracts are up. From what I hear about my ex-colleagues' situation, not one regretted the decision to leave spore. If you earn say S$2k here, you can possibly earn S$3-3.5k overseas after tax deductions. If you are more ambitious or capable, sometimes the pay can shoot as high as >S$5k. Not to mention cars and big houses are darn cheap there. Also more interesting (in terms of places to explore) than s'pore. Of those friends of mine who are doing post-grad studies overseas now, all of them lead very interesting lives... Nice homes, a car, confortable jobs. Maybe the only quirk is culture is diff but that can be gotten used to after a while.

    Over here, degrees are no longer a gem. Many are literally buying degrees (You pay, we give u the degree, never mind you dun have the prerequisites to study) even from established institutions like NUS and NTU. Bachelors degrees are ABC now. A fresh grad excitedly earns his or her first pay... Only to realize it's a ratrace out there. What's a S$3k pay here anyway? You live the next 40 years finishing paying for your home loan when you are 60+. and there are car loans, children's education, expensive foods, etc.

    What are your views?

    I've worked in Australia, the UK, Malaysia and Singapore.... just wanted to say - if you are considering a stint overseas, take the plunge and give it a go. Who knows, you might find a fantastic opportunity somewhere else or you might find that things weren't so bad back home.

    People can say living in a certain place is great or not so, but that is their own experience, yours could be entirely different. You won't really know until you actually experience it for yourself.

    I always tell people who have only lived in one place all their lives - if you have the oppotunity work overseas, take it if you can. You could already be living in the best place for you, but you won't really know until you have something else to compare it to. Or you could come across great place that you would never have known about if you stayed.

    Whatever the outcome, you will be enriched from the experience.

    If you do decide to give it a go, do go with an open mind. Don't just try and look at the money aspect of things. Be open to new cultures, new opportunities and don't be afraid to take a chance.

  4. #44
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    Default money isnt everything in life

    just gonna make a quick point.
    based on the first entry.. i must say that money is not everything in life.
    there are quite alot of people who want to stay in Singapore because of the environment.
    safety, security, clean, children growing up with good values..etc.
    you dont want to be worried that a bomb will go off in a subway etc.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by haagen_dazs
    just gonna make a quick point.
    based on the first entry.. i must say that money is not everything in life.
    there are quite alot of people who want to stay in Singapore because of the environment.
    safety, security, clean, children growing up with good values..etc.
    you dont want to be worried that a bomb will go off in a subway etc.
    oh i really have to add this for those who dont know...

    even with a large chunk of mothly salary.
    you cannot really save in USA (at least for the first few years out of college)
    i know becuase i am here working.
    first off, entery level. i say again. Entry Level tax is like 25% ++ (after federal and state tax)
    example
    so if you earn 5000 USD/mth.
    take home is 3500USD
    rent is 1000USD or more (in the big cities.. that is about 1/3 your salary gone.
    and on and on it goes...

    note that the HIGHEST tax bracket in Singapore is 29% (correct me if i am wrong)
    only the top 2 to 5% of singapore earners pay that.

    in USA, the freaking entry level tax is already 25%.....

  6. #46
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    In the end, it's all about what you want to do with your life and whether you are willing to live with the conditions that come with it.

    If you want to move abroad, do not huddle in a clique, but rather integrate with the locals and embrace their lifestyle or else why bother .
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

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    Quote Originally Posted by haagen_dazs

    note that the HIGHEST tax bracket in Singapore is 29% (correct me if i am wrong)
    only the top 2 to 5% of singapore earners pay that.

    in USA, the freaking entry level tax is already 25%.....
    Highest personal tax bracket in S'pore is 22% only. GST here is 5%, compared to state+local taxes in US which can add up to well over 12%. Add to USD 5 McDonald's meals, USD 50 cab rides and USD 1000 rentals for small apartments, and they think they can come out ahead working in the US? Nah!

  8. #48

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    In the end it's not just about the money. It's also the way of life. I would migrate because I enjoy the open road, driving around on road trips and such. In Singapore, it's kinda limited.

    However, Singapore is still a really good place to be in. There's no denying that. Not perfect, but pretty good.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by gooseberry
    I've worked in Australia, the UK, Malaysia and Singapore.... just wanted to say - if you are considering a stint overseas, take the plunge and give it a go. Who knows, you might find a fantastic opportunity somewhere else or you might find that things weren't so bad back home.

    People can say living in a certain place is great or not so, but that is their own experience, yours could be entirely different. You won't really know until you actually experience it for yourself.

    I always tell people who have only lived in one place all their lives - if you have the oppotunity work overseas, take it if you can. You could already be living in the best place for you, but you won't really know until you have something else to compare it to. Or you could come across great place that you would never have known about if you stayed.

    Whatever the outcome, you will be enriched from the experience.

    If you do decide to give it a go, do go with an open mind. Don't just try and look at the money aspect of things. Be open to new cultures, new opportunities and don't be afraid to take a chance.

    Good advice... I've "worked" overseas for a few months... It's an attachment and in my dealings with the pple there, and lots of stories with my friends living there, I kinda like it... Will consider hard on this issue.

    Yeah, tax may be high.... But the pay is really a lot more. I dun know about u guys.. But for my job, if I'm paid like 3k here, I can earn about 8-9k in the US. Even after tax, that's a lot left! As for expensive Mc's and food... U got a choice not to eat such stuffs really. They are not healthy anyway. Most Westerners love cooking and they do bring their own foods to work. More variety and of cos cheaper. If they do dine out, it's for special reasons. Here, bcos there are so limited things to do and the stressful long working hours, it's just movies and eating out. We are lucky here that we can just buy hawker foods at S$3-4. (It's not much of a serving anyway. For me, to satisfy my huge appetite, I usually have to order 2 servings of dishes, which add up to S$8 or so for lunch!) But then again, are they really that nutritious and tasty? Not for me.

    As for high rents in big cities... No middle-income earners would really live there! Most if not all of my pals live in the suburbs which is like 25-35 minutes drive into town. They are so much more affordable. When I was in Canada, I had the chance to visit my friend's friend home. Gosh, so cosy. He had a 2 car garage, a reasonably large basement (not the largrest I've seen though), and 2 levels. It's bigger than some semi-Ds I know here. They paid S$200,000+ only! Over here, I hazard a guess it'll be at least S$4 million???

    Anyway, assuming a typical Spore couple in their 20's who just got married. Combined income S$7,000. Most would go for a $60,000 jap saloon car. And put their kids in one of those $600-800 a month top-end childcare centre. Additional classes also. And paying off their $300,000 HDB loans. You minus away all other bills and stuffs like that, I really doubt their savings would be any more than another working in say, the US. Of course, over here, working hours tend to be longer too. And much fewer interesting places to visit within the country.

    As for the money issue... I will unashamedly say to me, Money is ALMOST everything. Sure, we often here people say Money can't buy love, happiness, health etc etc. Of course that's a known thing. Stating the obvious I think. But I find it hard to believe for anyone who yearns for a good life, money is not almost everything. I've recently been disappointed with a good pal who philosophized how we should lead simple life blah blah blah.. money not everything. But when there is a money opportunity, it's amazing what people will do. We've seen top CEOs, scholars, lawyers all into corruption even though their basic pay already is high by most standards. And now, the NKF saga.

    To cut a long story short, I had a quarrel with my pal. All those philosophizing by her are just Bulls***. Money IS important. Unless maybe u are the happy go lucky sort who doen't mind extending your retirement after 65 yrs, and be an obedient servant to the nation working and working and working and...

    Well, I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. Spore has its good points...safe, clean etc. I'm just weighing the pros and cons... Some can be successful overseas.. some not. It depends on your profession and interests/objectives in life. Just that too bad, Spore is so tiny. We cant quite help not having COEs and expensive houses. It's the situation and environment really which force pple to sometimes move out. And not all are quitters!

  10. #50

    Lightbulb

    another perspective from me of a predicament faced by most of us who are in our late 30's to 50's.

    i am sure you paid hefty income taxes to the country during those years when you were making '5 figure salary'. now that one makes about 30% of what you used to earn, how did the state help you?

    in short, in good times, the state shared in one's gain. in bad times, the state said to you, 'you take care of yourselves'.


    Quote Originally Posted by chngpe01
    Dismay? I am not.

    I am not a graduate and armed with only an 'A' level, I managed to work to a 5 figure salary.

    As the saying goes all good things must come to an end. I no more earn the same amount and now I pay myself 30% of what I was paid, and putting in much more hours in my work, in order to run a cost effective and viable business.

    But I am still satisfied and happy to be here in Singapore. Nobody nor country owes me a living nor oblige to pay me high, I believe in honest hard work and charting your own course in life. And I am always thankful that I was given the opportunity to develop and grow here.

  11. #51
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    I don't know about US, but I had been studying and working in UK before, the people there are friendly, working environment is better than Singapore. The pay were higher & better respected, longer paid leave, but the tax is even higher than US, up to 33% for midrange earner plus, VAT of 17.5% (like 5% GST) here. But I think I still can live quite a good life there.
    BUT, I just can seem to mix into their society, may be due to cultural and racial differences, I did make some friends, but not like the good friend or best friend type. So I feel quite lonely over there. And I am afraid of cold, so in the end I was asked by a friend to come and join him working in Singapore. So here I am, although there definitely are things that I don't like in Singapore, but I still prefer to stay here over UK.
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gymrat76
    Ya, many local companies even the HUGE ones think that way. The big MNC's usually provide better pay and employee benefits than local companies
    Not necessary.. My wife works in an UK MNC, top 5 in the industry worldwide. She works almost as many years as me but my salary is 80% more than her...and he is getting about at least 20-30% lower than market rate... believe it or not.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by gooseberry
    I've worked in Australia, the UK, Malaysia and Singapore.... just wanted to say - if you are considering a stint overseas, take the plunge and give it a go. Who knows, you might find a fantastic opportunity somewhere else or you might find that things weren't so bad back home.

    People can say living in a certain place is great or not so, but that is their own experience, yours could be entirely different. You won't really know until you actually experience it for yourself.

    I always tell people who have only lived in one place all their lives - if you have the oppotunity work overseas, take it if you can. You could already be living in the best place for you, but you won't really know until you have something else to compare it to. Or you could come across great place that you would never have known about if you stayed.

    Whatever the outcome, you will be enriched from the experience.

    If you do decide to give it a go, do go with an open mind. Don't just try and look at the money aspect of things. Be open to new cultures, new opportunities and don't be afraid to take a chance.
    My sentiments exactly as stated in my previous post.

    I am strongly in favour of a cosmopolitan and global outlook in life. We are the citizens of the world, esp those of us holding Singapore passports, go, live, work. The world is very big. You don't have to be cooped up in a small place forever.

  14. #54
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    Hi,
    first of all, i'd like to admit that im still very immature in the real life working world as sadly, i've nv worked before (not counting industrial attachment during my poly time which was hell enough). I'm frm the bigger neighbor of SG juz down south.

    honestly the condition here is worse comparable to SG in terms of money earned. BUT!! the standard and cost of living here is still possible for the pay that ALL of us would think of it as, low. i know the rough estimation of workers wrking in factories. those doing the hardworks, are paid frm a few hundred thousands to almost 1 million RUPIAHs (not S$ ok) tat is equivalent to somewhere frm S$150-190++ per mth. n they're happy n still could survive on that small amt. for a fresh graduate of local U, is abt Rp.1.1million-maybe 1.3 million (thats like S$200+). for higher position i know of a person who is working for his dad (note: he doesnt work properly, slack ard, demanding pays. yes this do happen many times. i'm sure many of you woulda heard this kinda cases somewhere sometime) who paid him initially fr 6m (abt S$1100) and he demanded more! so last update was 10m ( roughly S$1.8k). his position? a slacking DIRECTOR.

    another case, recently i went back to my hometown to get some driving lesson. the instructor was very kind n taught me a great deal (im a green horn in driving despite my age). he also told me stuff abt the school (its juz a small driving sch sited on a shophouse near my house). he told me that his pay is juz Rp.60k per week, totals up to abt Rp.240k per mth. minus the tips he gets frm every student. if everyday he gets 9 students who tipped him at least Rp.7k, he gets Rp,378k pr week. 1.5M per mth frm tips. total, ard 1.7-1.8M (abt S$320-330) per mth. BUT thats minus off the stuff he got to take care of like, broken car parts, paying up fr accidents (yah they do happen when the traffic in my hometown is MUCH MUCH worse compared to SG, n to think that we swear n curse to some drivers here). n he is still grateful over that amt n the stingy boss.

    so, if you think of the numbers, be glad that you could earn 2k per mth. its enough to spend. i know naturally if you are capable, you'd demand more pay n such. but how high can you get here in SG.

    naturally ppl would wanna go SOMEWHERE else where they see the grass is greener. but you gain some, you lose some. those that you lose if you go overseas, u know the list, you can make your own. u might earn more money but you will miss your hometown. as fr me, i only missed it abit =P. i've already used to living here n i do prefer living here as compared to my hometown. the biggest difference fr me is in transport and edu system. i can still get on bus or mrt or taxi n still feeling safe. in my hometown, you muz possess the 6th sense to tell you of danger. sometimes its good to raise your awareness of your surrounding. so, be grateful that we haf much much less crime problem here and easier transport means (despite ppl complaining abt d increase of cost n d govt think that its necessary. i disagree with that though. they want to decrease the number of private owned vehicles, n yet they increase the cost of public transport, doesnt this contradict each other?). ahh education, i miss my secondary school days when i was still a newbie in this foreign country. i do agree that sometimes the education here is VERY stressful. i dun need an earful to tell me how stressful it is. i've been there, done that n STILL doing it. anyway, sg has one of the best edu system that ASIA or maybe even the world has to offer. that is y you see ppl frm many places come rite? I myself am very grateful to b able to b educated here despite my brain n grade isnt as good as many others.

    nkf thing? yes it does pain me even though i do not contribute. im very skeptical abt any charity organization. my feelings might b wrong, but nkf proved otherwise (hey, im not saying that all charity organizations are not worth the donation, but its juz me being skeptic. n im not saying that i want nkf to prove that there is something going wrong somewhere. but this is bound to happen in any organization or company as long as money is involved)

    putting money into good use comes frm urself. maybe i've no rights to say this cos of the reason i mentioned earlier. but this is juz my opinion.

    so, peace!

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    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    another perspective from me of a predicament faced by most of us who are in our late 30's to 50's.

    i am sure you paid hefty income taxes to the country during those years when you were making '5 figure salary'. now that one makes about 30% of what you used to earn, how did the state help you?

    in short, in good times, the state shared in one's gain. in bad times, the state said to you, 'you take care of yourselves'.
    Yes my income tax used to be in excess of $15k. Now I paying very very much lesser. The state have help me enough to provide a safe, clean etc etc environment. I do not have a clutch mentality, hence I rely on myself to help myself. If you do not want to help yourself do you expect others to help you? If you expect the state to help you then be prepared to pay even high taxes for the state pay and subsidise some ppl who always have to look up to the state for help.

  16. #56

    Lightbulb

    my view is that the relationship(in this respect) between the state and individuals could have been more fairer.

    when people have to work to feed themselves from hand to mouth, the state of the physical environment does not featured high in their list of priorities.


    Quote Originally Posted by chngpe01
    Yes my income tax used to be in excess of $15k. Now I paying very very much lesser. The state have help me enough to provide a safe, clean etc etc environment. I do not have a clutch mentality, hence I rely on myself to help myself. If you do not want to help yourself do you expect others to help you? If you expect the state to help you then be prepared to pay even high taxes for the state pay and subsidise some ppl who always have to look up to the state for help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reachme2003
    my view is that the relationship(in this respect) between the state and individuals could have been more fairer.

    when people have to work to feed themselves from hand to mouth, the state of the physical environment does not featured high in their list of priorities.
    ok thanks for the clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by David
    As for the money issue... I will unashamedly say to me, Money is ALMOST everything. Sure, we often here people say Money can't buy love, happiness, health etc etc. Of course that's a known thing. Stating the obvious I think. But I find it hard to believe for anyone who yearns for a good life, money is not almost everything. I've recently been disappointed with a good pal who philosophized how we should lead simple life blah blah blah.. money not everything. But when there is a money opportunity, it's amazing what people will do. We've seen top CEOs, scholars, lawyers all into corruption even though their basic pay already is high by most standards. And now, the NKF saga.

    To cut a long story short, I had a quarrel with my pal. All those philosophizing by her are just Bulls***. Money IS important. Unless maybe u are the happy go lucky sort who doen't mind extending your retirement after 65 yrs, and be an obedient servant to the nation working and working and working and...
    David, as long as you doing it with both eyes open, then its fine. I don't think anyone is begrudging you your wish to try an overseas work stint, but I think some of us found your criticisms of Singapore in your original post to be unfair and off-base.

    As for money, there is some wisdom to your friend's words. As you have stated, even highly paid individuals succumb to corruption for even MORE money, i.e. it will never be enough if it is all that matters to you. So if you take the philosophy that money is HIGHLY important, then you will NEVER be satisfied as there is ALWAYS more to be made. You don't have to be a happy-go-lucky to forget about money, but if want to have some peace and satisfaction and happiness out of life, then maybe you should look around you and derive some pleasure from the people and things in your immediate environment.

    Cheers,

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    Singapore is one of the world's most dynamic, cleanest, well-educated, safe and advanced city states. You call that stifling?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sion
    Singapore is one of the world's most dynamic, cleanest, well-educated, safe and advanced city states. You call that stifling?
    Precisely, after all we gonna have our own Casino soon! Two some more!

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