Letter: Living abroad will let Singaporeans better value what they have here

Vlogger Nuseir Yassin's comments about many people in Singapore lacking perspective struck a chord with me (Too many in Singapore lack perspective, says vlogger; Sept 21).

The issue is really about the references against which people compare their circumstances.

Of course, cars are costly in Singapore, there are still MRT breakdowns and there are long queues in polyclinics and government hospitals, among other things. But Singapore has progressed, and we are benefiting from the improvements.

Is Mr Yassin wrong to say that we are an "almost perfect country" after 53 years? Which country are we referencing if we say that Singapore is not good enough?

Only people who have lived abroad for some time will really value what we have in Singapore because their point of reference is where they lived. This does not include only neighbouring countries, but also other First World countries.

Are the countries safe? Do they have our food and kampung culture? Does the average citizen own a house?

It is really sad to see Singaporeans reacting ungraciously to a non-Singaporean who is able to see our country for what it is by referencing what the world out there is like.

Of course, cars are costly in Singapore, there are still MRT breakdowns and there are long queues in polyclinics and government hospitals, among other things. But Singapore has progressed, and we are benefiting from the improvements.

Singaporeans who complain should really spend a good period of time living abroad because only then will they have the perspective to make comparisons.

And if there are people who conclude that there is a country out there that is perfect, then perhaps Singapore is the wrong place for them to call home.

Nicholas Lim Chye Khiang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'Living abroad will let S'poreans better value what they have here'. Print Edition | Subscribe