Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why the Surprise?

A few Singaporeans I know reacted in surprise when they read that an average of 1,000 Singapore gave up their citizenship each year. What surprised them wasn’t the number, but where they emigrated to.

The U.S and Australia, they can understand; but other ASEAN countries? Most of them cannot understand why Singaporeans are going to other Southeast Asian countries when Singapore is the most advanced country in the region.

Yes, there is a little of the Singaporean pride in play here but I don’t understand the surprise? I mean its’ hardly a secret that Singapore Malays had always immigrated to countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. In fact, the joke is that Malaysian Chinese come south in exchange for Singaporean Malays who go north. That’s a joke that is not entirely untrue.

So am I surprised that Singaporeans are going to other Southeast Asian countries? No; I’m just surprised so many Singaporeans are surprised at this.

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