Recently, I received this email from a reader, which I thought to be quite thought-provoking. I have reproduced the letter in its entirety here for your perusal. Remember that it is one person's experience, but a telling one nonetheless. - mb
You are free to publish this letter in your web site if you find it interesting. What you have written about Singapore prompts me to write this letter. Your comments bring back so many of the ill-feelings I have for Singapore.
I was from Singapore once, but I have emigrated to Canada. All this talk about attracting foreign talent is a load of BS, because the government wastes whatever local talent is available. In principle, I believe Singapore needs foreign talents, but to treat them exceptionally well at the expense of the locals is wrong.
I was a nobody in Singapore, until I saved enough to put myself through a university here in Canada. I took 2 jobs to support myself through my undergraduate days. In Singapore, my teachers always had negative things to say about us, telling us we would not amount to much. My mathematics teacher told me I had no talents for computers. Well now, I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science, two cars, and a two-storey house. What does he have? Damn if I am leaving my research position here, to go back to a country where I have to take the bus, live in a pigeon hole, and suffer reservist abuse. Where was the government when I was a student? Did they recognize my upcoming talent? Did they nurture my talent?
I once went for an interview in Vancouver with some MINDEF officials; they were looking to attract foreign talent. When they saw I was from Singapore, they verbally abused me and laughed at me, even with my qualifications. I can compare their treatment because 2 of my Canadian friends were with me in other interview slots, and they were treated with respect and consideration.
Singapore is a great country. But I think the government will ultimately bring down what my parents sweated for all these years. After that, they will blame the people for whatever bad that happens.
From what I read about Singapore, I am glad I left!