Mr Robin Low, co-founder of Relief 2.0 says that Singaporeans are overseas working because they cannot find work in Singapore and not that they wish to do so.
The Boston-based Singaporean said this during in an interview after Democratic Progressive Party’s walkabout on last Sunday.
Mr Low also owns Greenyarn LLC, a nanotechnology company based in Boston which manufactures sustainable socks, fabric and apparel for environmentally conscious consumers.
The lack of alternatives
It is not that things are better overseas, whether is it in the United States or in China, says Mr Low, “It is not that it is better, but it seems that you have more options.”
Giving an example of how one could save more overseas, “In China, even if you have a same paying job as Singapore, it depends on where you stay. You have options to stay frugally or options to eat frugally or live the same lifestyle as you have.”, the same goes to London. The option just seems to be missing for Singaporeans in Singapore, lamented Mr Low.
Referring to the cost of everyday stuff, “Why is everything so expensive?” asked Mr Low.
Changes need to be made
Citing examples of how perverse the social welfare system seems and the issues that Singapore face with low-income earners, Mr Low expresses his wish to come back to Singapore to help improve the system, especially the social welfare system.
“I am just back to basically understand the whole system and not even sure would I be here long term or not. Because if I don’t see any opportunity or if I don’t think things are fair. Maybe I would work in the capacity of me being overseas, make my money, come back for six months and try to fix things here with what I have made, because if I stay here and make money here, I don’t think I can have any sabbatical. Because whatever you make here, you spend, and that cost so much more even compared to New York.”
Mr Low pointed out that the issue of stereotyping people to their income stems from the unaddressed issue of income gap in Singapore, which is made worse with national leaders’ pay being pegged to the high-income earners.
“And in the end, it is actually made worse because even the MPs, the Ministers are getting that kind of pegged to high income, because of what they called dignity.” said Mr Low
“I think your deed speaks a lot louder than how much you have.” “Anyone selling drugs can have multi-million, can drive a Ferrari, anyone who is related to Chinese Communist Party, being an investor… Do I trust people like that? Do you think they have more dignity than us? than the average Singaporean, just because they have the money?”
Mr Low also noted that the leaders changes and mold the mindsets of everybody else So instead of complaining about the issues, Mr Low says that he is back to see if he can take any action to make some change.
Mr Robin Low is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, and has been introduced as a potential candidate for the Singapore People’s Party and DPP joint alliance which would be contesting at Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in the upcoming election.