Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A letter from overseas from Manickam Muthu

Hi Gopalan
I stumbled onto your blog quite by accident. Very interesting site.
I like the entry in August about what to do survive in Singapore..
After studying and living in Oz for almost ten years I gave up my Singapore Citizenship mainly because it gave me a sense of belonging to Australia in taking up Citizenship here.
However when I was answering the questions on the Renunciation Form that the Singapore Embassy sent to me - I actually felt very sad - because a lot of the questions evoked good childhood memories - like where you went to school - addresses that you lived in etc.
(Much like your profile description - I remember Winstedt Rd school - they must have converted it to the Foreign Language Centre as I went there German lessons from 1983 to
There was also a lot of pressure from family and relatives - mainly from the older generation who have no idea or refuse to believe that the Singapore they knew had changed so much.
I decided to renounce in secret as funny as it seems and I had to hide my passport from my parents when I visited them after a five year hiatus. That visit sealed the deal for me.. all the reasons that contributed towards my decision to leave the country came back in full force. However holding a foreign passport and the thought of having my own safe home to go back to gave me a sense of security like you wouldn't believe. It reminded me of the past when I felt so oppressed living there and absolutely hated every single day of my life - the national service, NUS, and watching as foreigners got red carpet treatment whilst locals of my age group were struggling to get a foothold in the job market.
Anyway I will look forward to reading your blogs..



redcentredoc said...

I know my email sounds somewhat selfish but I am not ashamed to say that I was looking out for my own. I guess I could have chosen to stay and deal with the pressure or stay and change or opt out. I chose the latter and am happy. I have never criticised anyone else for making their choice and in the same way I will not care for anyone criticising my choice.
It is an irony that whilst in Singapore one is not even given the time of day but when the label changes to Overseas Singaporean, as well as an ongoing brain drain situation, organisations crop out of nowhere to 'help you find your way back'
Yeah right. No thanks.

Gopalan Nair said...

Well said, redcentredoc. I have always wanted to say it. You have put it better than I would have done.

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California