The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


It’s All A Matter Of Perspective …
March 12, 2009, 6:48 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes, that’s really a Police road sign appealing for witnesses to a car robbery.

Please note a car ‘robbery’, not even a car theft.

And that ladies and gentlemen is the difference between down town Singapore and down town Nottingham … a place where car crime is so common that you don’t even get a visit from a copper, let alone a road side sign.

The reason I write this is because we’ve just been doing some work to understand the attitudes of the World’s “yoof” – most specifically interms of what they’re most afraid of – and when I look at the initial feedback from Singapore and the UK, the good and bad of both countries is laid bare.

In short, one of the worries for a typical 17 year old in Blighty is crime – most specifically physical crime.

Whilst the number of knife attacks have dropped from the madness of last year, it’s still made enough of an impression to be one of the major concerns going through kids heads.

So what do you think is one of the biggest issues for a Singaporean yoof?

Crime?

Nope.

Health?

Nope.

Sex?

Nope.

It’s exam grades and starting salary.

Yep, there’s a big group of Singaporean kids whose biggest worry in life is whether they can live the lifestyle of a 1980’s clichéd yuppie..

Even with the recession, a time where many people are getting a sense of perspective as regards what is/isn’t important, this attitude is still prevalent … to the point where many students are embarking on additional qualifications – not because they have a curiosity that craves to be satisfied, or even to extend their [alleged] “get drunk/get laid” lifestyle – but because they feel the jobs that are available in these financially trying times are beneath them … certainly interms of starting salary, because having gone to Uni they think they’ve ‘paid their dues’ and should be commanding the sort of monthly income it took their parents 30 years to achieve.

Hell, it’s got to the point where some students speak out against their Universities offering places to foreign students because they believe it is encouraging unnecessary competition!!!

I said it a while back – both here on this blog and to the Education Department of Singapore – the best thing for this countries continued prosperity is stop national service and start enforcing international backpacking because then they might start to realize how fucking lucky they are and how success today has little to do with finishing your studies, but doing something with it that makes a real difference.

For a country like Singapore that is fantastic at thinking ahead [which is a byproduct of a Government that knows it is still going to be in power 20 years from now because of its democratic dictatorship rule] I find it amazing they can’t see the implications of their current [and past] policies and philosophies on their countries health, stability and prospects and act accordingly.

Maybe it’s because they know alot of their countries power came from attracting foreign companies to their shores and getting them to invest in their people and infrastructure so their attitude is that as long as they can ensure that keeps happening, their over-indulged, smart and hard-working youth will always have a job.

However this financial crisis has seen ex-pats leaving foreign soil in their tens of thousands, so maybe it’s time for the Singaporean Government to invest in ‘Plan B’, because if ever there was a time [and need] to nurture, inspire, encourage and support the potential young entrepeneurs of tomorrow [which lets be honest, could be anyone] the time is now.


17 Comments

Wow, that’s just sad. Rob have you ever looked at suicide rates and stuff in Singapore and similar cultures? With all that pressure being instilled unto themselves I think it would make for an interesting insight…

Comment by Age

youth suicide rates are worse in your country age. maybe different pressures but same fucking intensities.

nice point about the singapore government being able to future plan because the fuckers know theyre still going to be there. are you saying they care more about keeping western business happy than their people or they keep western business happy because of their people? answer carefully your pr status fucking depends on it

Comment by andy@cynic

where did “being harrassed by old western fuckers/dodds” come on the singapore youth fear chart campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

Maybe Andy, I wouldn’t know… innocent question for a curious mind.

Comment by Age

Hello folks – I’m back in the land of living – just to answer Age/Andy’s question, Singapore has a relatively low suicide rate which has more to do with culturual and religious reasons than the fact the youth are generally happy.

I do some work with the depression council and the figures are frightening but like most governments who are obsessed with maintaining a positive image, this is generally swept under the carpet, despite claiming they are more open and helpful to people suffering from this debilitating disease.

Infact certain research say’s Singapore has the most unhappy people in the World – and whilst research can be made to say anything [as their recent “Most Innovative Country In The World” goes to show] it is quite telling that for all the material and lifestyle success they have, they are not satisfied – both because they always think/want ‘more’ and/or they realise that there is a point where the simple pleasures in life [fulfilment, contentment, love, family and personal expression] are more desirable and yet ever more out-of-reach.

Here endeth the lesson – I’m off to see what’s been going on while I’ve been away. I don’t hold out much hope for a positive experience, ha!

Comment by Rob

I don’t think Singapore will ever go backwards because it is too well managed/controlled for that to happen but I think for its amazing journey of success to continue the Government need to adopt greater control in the appreciation of “fundamental human values” and less in creative expression.

But as the old saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and even if the leadership of the country was given to a 20 year old, you can be sure it would be a member of the Lee family which means more of the same. No one changes a winning formula and no one will admit they’re wrong so Singapore is stuck in a rut where if there is any change, it will be slower than a catapillar with a broken leg. 🙂

What do your friends in accademia say about this or have you been disowned?

Comment by Pete

Hello Pete … what’s happened to you, you’ve become all Andylike. OK, not Andylike, but certainly much more aggresive. I think we have to get you away from the bad influence before Sarah kills me 🙂

Excellent points about the dynasty of the Lee family … they’re already grooming younger members to keep things going as they have deemed ‘the right way’ … but whether they can fight the power of technological influence and communication is the big one, because dictatorship is easier when you can keep the masses in the dark about what is going on in the wider World.

It’s hard because there’s so many things I love and admire about Singapore, things that the rest of the World could really benefit from looking at, understanding and doing – however the straight jacket of expression and the nurturing of elitism and entitlement is terrible and despite the country changing its values/ideals/philosophies at at an alarmingly slow rate, they may be forced to act at some point in the near future, because these 2 elements may cause change regardless of how much control and influence they try and extend.

Comment by Rob

they (the lee’s) could do like the medici clan and actually be the catalyst for all the change.

bit cynical, but when change happens at an alarming rate, people tend to look for guidance. so by speeding up the pace they could actually enhance their positions..

power through diversity and dynamics instead of centralized thinking. much like rommel had his units set up.

not that I support dictatorships, not the bad ones anyway..

Comment by niko

There’s an interesting post on the blog of WK London on that topic. The recession generation. Sounds pretty interesting.

http://wklondon.typepad.com/welcome_to_optimism/2009/03/the-recession-generation.html

Comment by Seb

Rob I hate to correct you but you DO get a visit from the police if something is stolen from your car in Nottinghamshire. Well at least I did. But in saying that of course I am admitting that something was stolen from my car recently so know doubt that adds fuel to your Nottingham is the shittiest place on earth campaign ;-). How are you? Oh and the reason you come up first on opinionated sod google search is that for some really irritating reason your blog has a really decent page rank. For those like me running a commercial site its dead annoying that someone talking a load of bollocks most of the time gets ranked really high! How are you my old matey? x

Comment by BTBB

But did you get a road sign asking people for information about your robbery?

Comment by Pete

the only reason this blog has a high page ranking (whatever the fuck that is) is because campbell sold his soul to the owners of the internet not because lots of people come to this heaving pile of shit.

sell your company to the happy folk in san fran and you too can enjoy being given number 1 status in a category most people would run a fucking mile from

Comment by andy@cynic

Hello Nikki, how are you? I hope all is well – or as well as can be expected after the circumstances of last year.

I think if you read Pete and Andy’s comments, you get my response to your questions, hahaha!

Come back soon, it’s nice having more female influence on this blog, even if it’s about as macho as Barbie, ha!

Comment by Rob

Pete of course I didn’t and Andy actually his ranking has slipped a bit since he sold his soul so maybe thats what they think of him! Rob I am OK thanks but as you would expect and as you know for yourself life is not the same anymore. Watched your first public speech the other day, a certain wedding video, its actually very good but the hairstyle is really very sad indeed 🙂 !

Comment by BTBB

It can’t be as sad as having no hair for a hairstyle.

Comment by Bazza

Rather bald than 3″ tall Baz 😉

Comment by Rob

I wouldn’t be surprised, I find that many countries still want the ‘Help I am corporate’ lifestyle which is both sad but understandable sometimes…

Comment by Andrea




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