Monday, April 16, 2007

Time to renew PR

I went to meet a customer last month. He called when I was in Pudong airport, checked in, enjoying my lunch at my favorite café, having my ice cream coffee. Yummy…

When we met the following week, he was surprised to find that I am from Malaysia. Normally, people would assume I am a Singaporean, until they ask where I graduated from. Then I would have to explain, I am from KL, studied in Penang, and worked all my life in Singapore. Sometimes, I am lucky if they do not ask why such “messy life”.

I would start with, I was lucky to make it into one of the local uni, and it was USM. And my results were not that good to land me into some famous or well sought after courses like engineering, so, I did Physics. Hahaha… Then came another question, why chose to work in Singapore?

Well, I came to Singapore because of the currency of course. Many people back at home would not understand what so good about Singapore, especially the currency. Because many of them chose to believe the cost of living in Singapore is extremely high. So, it’s not worthy to stay far from home to gain “nothing”.

I had difficulty reasoning with those people who do not like Singapore. Now, all I do is just give an example. Let’s say a fresh grad in Singapore taking a starting pay of SGD 2.5K. He/she travels to work by public bus that takes up let’s say the max, SGD 3 to and from work, taking into accounts, the SGD 0.25 rebate if you manage to change bus within 45 minutes from your first bus. (The most I paid to go to work, when I stayed in the West and traveled to the East was SGD 1.90 for an hour ride. Now, I am paying SGD 0.65 to work)

Then again, there is a fresh grad in KL, taking a starting pay of RM 2.5K. He/she travels to work by public bus. Well, I am quite sure fresh grads nowadays do not take public transport. Hahaha… because they would purchase a car the first thing they get their pay check. Anyway, just for discussion, let’s say this guy/gal takes a public bus to work. I supposed the fare he/she needs to pay is RM1.70 the moment they board the bus. To and from work, RM 3.40 the least. This provided if they take direct bus to work, what if they need to change buses or LRT?

Talking about MRT or LRT. I am paying RM 2.40 from Plaza Rakyat (better known as Puduraya Bus Terminal) to Ampang each time I go home. In Singapore, one pay less than SGD 2 for a ride equivalent far. Please do not tell me SGD 2 is equivalent to RM 4, because we have the same basic pay!

How about Mc’Donalds meals that cost about SGD 6+ here but cost about RM 8+ in Malaysia? Some instant noodle that cost about SGD 1.80+ but cost about RM 6+ in Malaysia? Not to mention the EPF…

I can’t say I would have as much savings I could have saved if I am working in KL. I do not think many would understand. I am not saying everyone should come to Singapore to work, but all I am saying is, do not criticize something you are not too sure about.

Anyway, let’s get back to the purpose of writing this blog is, that customer of mine asked how long have I been in Singapore, and when is it time to renew my PR. I was dumbfounded. Errr… renew PR? I actually didn’t know that I have to renew my PR. So, its 5 years now, and I am supposed to renew my PR this year, to be precise, by 2nd Aug.

Wow…. Time flies… I have been a PR for 5 years now and I am told that this time, I can renew the PR for another 10 years time. All I have to do is bring the 3 years income tax and company letter that I am still employed. And poof… I am a renewed PR, for another 10 years.

Then he went on to he has been in Singapore for 15 years, and he has long forgotten how a salty char koay teow taste like. Just in case you wonder why he said that, it’s because char koay teow in Singapore are sweet. They added sweet sauce into it. :-( I told him that I do not have this problem because each time I order my char koay teow, I will tell them “salty char koay teow” please. :-p Wanton noodle with chili sauce in the noodle, green chili in the same plate not so appetizing, but we can order wanton noodle without chili sauce, also ok. :-p We can’t change the way things are, but we can make it our way.

So, at the end of the meeting, my customer still talking about Singapore and Malaysia and that he has married a Singaporean wife and his kids are Singaporean but he is not going to give up Malaysian citizenship. Well, I am not sure how long he will hang on there, but three quarter of his family are Singaporean now, what difference does it make if he is a Malaysian or Singaporean?

He asked if I am willing to give up my Malaysian citizenship, without thinking, I said no. He said 5 years is a bit too short to decide, wait till another 10 years down the road, I may think differently. Well, why scratch if it’s not itchy. I am fine being a Malaysian, working in Singapore as a PR. Though I know that the government has been working on stripping some of the tiny privilege we have so that most of us will convert the citizenship and hopefully, contribute in growing the population.

July 14'07 : Anyway, my PR is renewed :-) Wanna know the procedures? Check this out...

1 lil' thoughts:

Leopold said...

It won't work in actual fact, that's exactly what I suppose.
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