I've received personal emails through this blog asking me why I have not followed the bulk of my Asean scholar peers in growing my roots in Singapore. Many have perceived that I would be more than welcome in Singapore, based on my credentials. Some 70-80% of my cohort of Asean scholars have set up families in Singapore. My best mate, a pediatrician who has just joined the private sector in Singapore, married a Singaporean and has a daughter 6 weeks younger than my own.
One of the many reasons was highlighted by Seah Chiang Nee in the Star today.
The bout of high-level unemployment in the past decade has brought out some bad features of Singapore’s pampered generation that lingers even today.Seah rightly highlighted that the group of graduates with such an attitude is currently still confined to a small minority. However, I am certain that he, and many others will agree that it is definitely a growing trend today. I have met and known many friends and acquaintances in Singapore, whose kids that are still in primary school. And I dare say that it's more the norm whereby they are spoilt brats with a terrible attitude, than otherwise. I shiver to think of the type of grown ups they are going to be.
There are two parts of the same problem. First is an over-dependence on parents or living off them after graduation and secondly, a general reluctance or inability to hold on to a job for the flimsiest of reasons.
“They often use excuses like the job’s too tiring, salary too low, long working hours, workplace too far, or simply it’s not interesting enough... Why should I work when my parents can support me?”
Critics place part of the blame on over-indulgent parents who believe that supporting their jobless children is helping them and is part of their parental duty. “They have more money than sense. Far from helping, they’re ruining their lives,” a businessman friend said.
No, besides a plethora of other reasons, I certainly would prefer if my daughther (and any other kid(s) I'm going to have) not have middle-class peers who are just going to show them how to be spoilt and materialistic.
And would I send her to school in Singapore? Quite definitely not in her primary school years. While not many will argue with the fact that the Singapore education system is "academically" superior, she'll definitely have a richer experience in Malaysia in a multiracial and less affluent environment despite all its obvious shortcomings. :-)