A self-alleged Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) by the name of Lawrence Cheong wrote a short article on Quora.com to explain why he decided to immigrate to Australia and eventually become an Australian citizen there.
He said that he landed in Sydney in August 2010 with “literally nothing” but the clothes on his back. He explained that it was his IT skills that have helped him obtain the skilled migrant permanent residency (PR) in Australia.
“Count your lucky stars that IT is one of the few transferable skills across national borders, in extreme contrast to protectionism-laden fields such as law and medicine,” he said.
“It was a choice between Singapore, Canada and Australia. Canadian PR came through when I was a Singaporean PR.”
He then went on to say that he could have chosen to go to Canada if it wasn’t for the slow PR processing by Canadian immigration.
“Look, I love Canadians but their immigration system (back then) needs real IT upgrades. From the point of application fee payment to ‘Congratulations’ it was a grand SIX YEARS. Why not add another Olympics to the tally and make it a grand total of a decade?” He quipped sarcastically.
“And you do realize best life expectancy for males is around 80? Minus growing up (1–20) and winding down (70–80), how is it reasonable to take six years of the prime of my life for PR processing?”
So, while waiting for Canada to response to his PR application, he also applied for Australian PR. All these were done when he was a Singapore PR, working in Singapore.
He said, “So while in Singapore I applied for Aussie PR and (are you ready for the irony) it took SIX MONTHS.”
He wrote that he has never been in Australia before he landed there. For the first six months, he took up hourly database consultancy jobs for small IT companies.
“The independence was exhilarating, after a lifetime of being a salaryman,” he shared.
He then decided to switch career, “Fast-forward to 2013, when I finally self-diagnosed (hehe) myself as being done with IT as a career. Went back to Uni full-time on Centrelink Austudy and HECS-HELP (hey, as a single man I paid tons of taxes beforehand) and graduated with distinction in 2016.”
“Now I am off to a Chinese medical school (accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC)) in a few months,” he added.
Finally, he became a “proud” Australian.
He explained, “Australian values may be idealistic to some, but where will we as a species be without aspirations? I am still proud of the oath I took when I became Australian. I made the conscious decision when I applied, and defied the ‘accident of birth’, as Obama said.”
“Here the rule of law is as real as other advanced democracies. That counts as a huge positive, does it not? And if you are coming from a third world country, what do you have to lose?” he asked.
“Come here and grab your chance of a fair go, mate!”
Thus, one can only surmise that the Singapore PR, likely to be a Malaysian given the family name Cheong, rejected the Singapore citizenship because he did not feel that the “rule of law” is real in Singapore?