Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Singapore Citizen

10:52 PM By Barry Smyth 2 comments

At 11:15am on the 3rd of July 2013, I became a Singapore Citizen. I have spent 17 years of my life on this small island and have fallen in love with the place many times over during those years. It's a city that never really sleeps, that is always changing, growing, and becoming something more as it continues to evolve.

The people here are truly amazing and I count among them many good friends and acquaintances whom my life would no longer be complete without. They have become in many ways my extended family and involved me in their lives to such an extent that I considered myself Singaporean many years ago.

I have been called "SingMoh" a phrase cobbled together by my friends (a combination of Ang Moh and Singaporean) as I have proudly told to many taxi drivers over the years. For those who ever hear that phrase repeated in conversation well now you know where it came from, almost 14 years ago if memory servers. And with my newly acquired citizenship I have finally completed the transition from AngMoh to SingMoh to Singaporean. And I really can't imagine myself living anywhere else ever again.

Many people have asked me why I have given up my Irish citizenship as Singapore does not allow dual citizenship. But after being here for so long for me it's logical progression. I have lived here too long and absorbed so much of asian culture that I don't think I can ever return to the west. And while some people here in Singapore might want to do just that (for the grass is always greener) for me I think of it as a step backwards.

Singaporeans say what they mean and mean what they say. And while many could say that their own cultures do the same, in reality the practise of that simply phrase tends more towards plastic in many other countries.

Singaporeans have an honesty and strength of character that is uniquely Singaporean. I can leave my bag on a table and go and order some food and it will still be there when I get back. In other countries if I tried the same it would only be a matter of time (in Ireland probably measurable in seconds) before someone did a runner with it.

And while I'm not saying there is no crime in Singapore, the level of crime is still far below anything else I've witnessed in many other countries I've travelled too. I guess it has something to do with the way people respect each other here even strangers, a respect that can be a double edged sword if you fall the wrong side of it.

So I've learnt to be more tolerant as a result, to listen more, to understand that my own view of life, my own perspective is just that and everyone has their own view and is entitled to it. I've learnt to respect those views more and more over the years and let them shape and change my own as a result. And I like to think that Singapore has made me a better person for that.

For me Singapore is less of a country and more of a community, and while I will always be proud of my Irish heritage I have to admit that I am equally as proud to be called a Singapore Citizen.

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  1. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Congratulations, Mr. Smyth! And I do mean it. Giving up one's citizenship for another is a decision never hastily made. I wish you all the best for your future as a new Singaporean.

    From a fellow Singaporean

  2. Yes, we all know about Singapore that how beautiful it is and it's very much truth that it's a city that never sleeps and that's why lot of people wanna stay here permanently. So whatever the information you provided that will help them a lot to stay here for long time:)