Saturday, 11 August 2007


Singapore's population is a little over 4million, with somewhere over 2m as citizens. The difference is foreign workers, cleaners, maids, factory workers, programmers, and so on. Plus many daily commuters from across the straits in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

This imported labour seemingly places Singapore at the top of the food chain for workers: they consume but no one consumes them. The Singapore lion king of the labour jungle. Certainly the labour and immigration ministries have big buildings processing hundreds of people daily through slick processes.

Or does it? There's a rumour that many Singaporean citizens are leaving for foreign jobs and livestyle, but it's hard to substantiate as it's a touchy subject.

I'm pretty sanguine about such expatriation as it's an inevitable coming-of-age for Singapore where the flow of talent becomes bidirectional. The Government probably views such emigration as apostacy, but it's just the force of osmosis - a difference of concentration across a permeable membrane causes an exchange of molecules.

I was introduced to a collegue at work and she asked about my circumstances in Singapore. I explained we came over here from England and quite by reflex, she just blurted out "Why?". I hear of colleagues trying to get jobs in England and I might ask the same question.

That's osmosis.