A response to “The Expats will rule singapore”

I’m not a business analyst or an economist so a lot of my view and opinions are probably naive, skewed and ignorant.  Please bear with me and educate me through your comments, i’d really appreciate that!

Whilst i do tend to agree with the author about the gist of his message i think it’s an incomplete view of the whole situation

I do not believe that kids these days are any less motivated than their predecessors.  People are generally lazy, so given a choice between working hard and expecting things to be done for them I’d think the large majority would choose the latter.  Circumstances make a big difference though, so when our forefathers first came to singapore to make their fortune they were the ones who selflessly/selfishly decided they would like to leave their country and work hard for their fortune.

We hardly hear about the others who were content with their lot and decided to stay back in their home countries and not do anything about it.

True, Singaporeans are born of this industrious stock and therefore are generally hardworking but when the key driving force or motivator is absent (e.g. the presence of overwhelming poverty and the desire to make a better life for oneself) what is to make people strive harder?

If our forefathers were living comfortably in their palaces back in China/India/Arabia/Malaya/wherever, why would they have bothered to come to Singapore in the first place?

The current generation of Singaporeans are faced with a new economy.  That’s true, but the new economy is becoming increasingly fragmented into smaller and smaller niche businesses.  That’s because most of the core services are already up, running and established by big corporations that also started as small businesses in the past.

No longer can a man decide to start a commodity company and become the top dog in Asia supplying to the masses. Those jobs have been filled out years ago and the families that control them are still wealthy today.  Yes, there is still room for people to become ‘big’ but they have to rely more on their smarts rather than sheer grit alone.  It’s possible to identify an emerging trend, invest in it and still make your millions (as Mr Adam Khoo has clearly done) but working like a horse by determination alone (the old school method) is not necessarily the way to do it.

Having said all that it’s a dangerous and uncertain market that has emerged.  We’ve all read about internet companies that have quickly sprung up only to, just as quickly, shut down. Neither is it an easy one to get into.  You still have to work hard, maybe even harder than before to promote your business, establish your product and clientele and ensure that you have a plan to sustain it for many more years to come.

And the media tends to gloss over these details, making light of the effort and work that has gone into the shining product at the end.  Hence the torrent of people aiming for that quick dollar, rather than realising that nothing worth gaining is every free in this life.

I believe that is the lie that perpetrates into every persons mind.  That money can be made, it can be made quickly and with little effort and that they can enjoy it happily ever after.

I’m not sure if Mr Adam Khoo is a christian.

As a christian myself i’m not entirely sure i agree with all of his principles or methods.  Yes he has a lot of money, publicity and definitely lots of good ideas and intentions.

But what is all of this if he does not know or realise that this world itself is not permanent, that our very existences in the here and now is only temporal?

I’m not saying it’s wrong to work hard and earn money and be comfortable.  Hardly!  I’m rather going against this whole attitude and mindset that our mission here on earth is to make money and be successful monetarily.  That it’s all about us and our ability to awaken our true skills and therefore master our destinies. That’s what every motivational speaker has been hawking for years and years.

(Sidenote: Remember Tony Robbins? Now that guy had a smile that was just plain creepy…)

It’s not all about us.

One day we will all die, and the huge sums of money we have amassed will go on to our children and our children’s children who never worked as hard as us to earn the damned lot in the first place.  The legacy we leave behind may be remembered for a generation maybe 2, if at all, but then it is forgotten.

Those who follow Christ have a far larger legacy to partake of including, just to name a few, a new body, a new heaven and earth and eternal life.  They also know that the best treasure is to be forgiven, shown the grace of Christ by His death on the cross for our sins and have Him as interceder to our Heavenly Father. Aka, we have direct access to the God who created the heavens and earth.

Hello!  What else can compare to such a priceless gift?

And it puts everything else in perspective.  If my greatest treasure is something that God has done for me and not something that I have achieved on my own, why should I brag about the successes that I have in this world?  Why would my motivation be to live in a 12 bedroom mansion and work my butt off to achieve it when a far grander mansion awaits me in heaven already?

And what work on this earth could I ever strive for that gets me a one way ticket, no strings attached to an eternal life without pain, suffering, sickness, natural disasters, wars, etc?

However, realistically, while i am trapped in this earthly body I am bound to some rules on this earth.  I have to eat, sleep and look after my family and be a responsible member of society.  I can’t bypass this road that the Lord has laid out for me just yet and by His strength i can overcome the trials that come my way.

I am all too aware that the world around me is driven by appearance and greed (read: SIN).  People idolise the guy driving the ferrari and wish they were him and nobody wants to be a servant to another. We long to be masters of our own destiny and take any and every shortcut along the way to get it.  I know that sometimes i do wish i didn’t have to work so hard to buy the things that i wish i had.

But the bottomline is this, my needs are met.  I have food to eat, clean water to drink, clothes to wear and a comfortable bed to sleep in every night with my wife.  I have my health, a wife that loves me, family that supports me and a job that pays me.  do i need a 42″ LED TV, a penthouse apartment, a flashy car and branded clothes? Nopes, not at all, in fact i could survive with far less and still enjoy all the benefits of a full and fulfilling life. These are all the unnecessary things that creep into my need-list and don’t ever get cleaned out till i realise i’m slaving for the $.

I think i’ve strayed just a bit from my initial dissection of Mr Adam Khoo’s blase declaration that Singapore is going to the expats and that we’ll be ruled by them.  That’s just a scare tactic employed to alert us to impending changes to the status quo in Singapore, a country where all of us are transient foreigners anyway.  Not just as citizens of this country but as human beings in this life.  Nothing is final in this life and all will change.  Whether Singapore is run by foreigners and ‘Singaporean’ kids become more and more materialistic, spoilt and unmotivated it doesn’t really matter in the long run.

God holds everything in His far more capable hands and I’m sure He will take care of the needs and futures of those who love and worship Him.

And I gladly count myself a part of that team.


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