04 February 2008

Leaving Singapore for pinker shores

Jason was happy to be posted to Singapore, but after just one year, he quit. Here's one MBA and PhD holder in the biotech line that Singapore couldn't convince to stay. Why? Guest essay.


Teck Soon said...

As a foreigner, you are not allowed to interfere in Singapore's domestic affairs. Commentary about Singapore's internal matters is reserved strictly for Singaporeans.

My point is that it's not just the gay issue. If there were freedom of assembly, speech, and protest, I actually believe the gay issue would go away too, just like it has in the world's real democracies. I agree with absolutely everything you said, except for the part about Singapore having a lot going for it. I urge you to publicize your negative feelings about Singapore as far and wide as you can. And make sure that Singapore's leaders are able to see your criticism. Even though you are a foreigner, you are helping us a lot with your commentary, and you deserve our sincerest thanks.

George said...

My two cents worth:

The govt is doing this because in spite of its many advances, it is still relying on the support and manipulation of the heartlanders to return it to power at every election.

Thanks to its own inconsistencies it has just about alienated the great majority of the middle-class and a significant segment of heartlanders.

Paradoxically, instead of changing policies to win back the confidence and trust of Singaporeans born and bred here, it is steadfast in its course to dilute them through a wild scheme of getting foreigners of all levels of fitness to settle here.

If you are indeed sincerely contributing to the greater good of the place, I welcome you. But I don't see the sense when very many of my compatriots who are well qualified having to resort to becoming taxi drivers and other jobs well below their ability and capacity to earn a living. Something is serious wrong with the manner citizens are being treated.

Charles said...

While foreign talents the likes of Jason has the choices to decide where he would like to settle or advance his career, there remains a proportion of gay Singaporeans who do not have that luxury as the freedom of movement of people are often rather strict.

While there might be foreign talent like Jason who would not settle for discrimination, there exists others who are quite happy to look the other way and choose to work in Singapore (even if they are gay themselves) due to other favourable factors.

Given the current situation, it would take a sissyphean effort for any changes to take place in Singapore... ...

Anonymous said...

Aha! Where does one find a diamond? In a dark, dank and smelly place. Tell me Jason, have you considered joining the brotherhood? Darkness 2008.

Anonymous said...

While I am against the government's homopobic policies, I dont see the problem of the writer here. I have always told non-Singaporean gays that although there are certain laws against gay sex, they are largely not enforced. And, the climate is only repressive here for Singaporeans due to the social networks of families and friends which makes such lifestyles rather difficult.

Compared to many foreign workers in the republic, I think that Jason and most Foreign talents are a rather priviledged lot with the luxury and cash to make strong political and ideological stances about things in authoritarian Singapore.

Kai Khiun

Robert L said...

Dear YB

I wonder how our Section 377A would influence our application to host the youth olympics? We will soon know the decision. If Singapore's bid is rejected, I hope YB could seek out the inside info on why we're rejected.

We can imagine what could happen if Olympic diver Greg Louganis learns about Singapore's bid for the junior olympics and our Section 377A. Wouldn't he be concern for the welfare of all the young athletes coming under the threat of our Section 377A? Would Louganis voice out his concern to the IOC? Or have our organising committee given IOC the assurance that 377A would not be applied to the visiting athletes?

Anonymous said...

I am also leaving Singapore for US.. to a top US biomedical graduate school... not coming back. No.. I am not an ASTAR scholar. The US school funds my PhD.

Anonymous said...

Seems the only answer being advocated here is to run away to a more GLBT friendly country. Yes I want to live somewhere where I feel comfortable about my sexuality whilst I make my big bucks. If Cambridge is so good Jason why aren't you living there? Homosexuality was illegal once in England too - did you stay and fight to have the laws repeeled there I bet not? Its so easy to sit back in the armchair and complain - get up of your proverbial backsides and do something about the situation before complaining.