How does it feel like, working in Singapore?

Culturally, things are identical to how things are back home. A Malaysian going over to Singapore to work shouldn’t have much of a problem, communication wise. Although I’m generally quite surprised that Singaporeans do speak Cantonese too, which was very rare many years ago. Singaporeans mainly speak  Mandarin and Hokkien. I do admit that their command of English is generally better than Malaysians. But what made me felt at home was when I was able to speak Malay. It was pleasantly nice to be able to speak to the elderly ones but I felt that the younger generations are slowly losing the ability to speak that language. Which was kind of ironic, where by the younger ones back home were unable to speak any other language except Malay, especially in the rural areas due Malaysia’s current education system. For those who are reading this from other countries apart from Malaysia and Singapore, you may be confused as to what I’m trying to say. Both of these countries, are made up of different races and we communicate with each other through different languages. A Malaysian of Chinese origin may be able to speak in Malay and a Singaporean of Indian origin may be able to speak Mandarin. So don’t be surprised.

Before going over to Singapore, I’ve this impression that working in Singapore is very stressful. Singapore = Stress. That’s how the mentality was. Truth be told, it’s just the same as back home. No more no less. It depends entirely with the people you’re working with. Yes, Singaporeans do like to complaint a lot. They even have ads at the movies claiming that there are known for complaining. It’s so weird I’m not sure whether I should be laughing at it, or not. Now, I have no other experience in other fields, but from the medicine side, things are just as busy as back home. Long queues of patients. Long waiting hours. Frustrated and agitated patients after such long waits. Malfunction lab machines. Network down time, etc. etc. It’s just the matter of how you cope with that stress. Therefore, is Singapore’s working life (in the medical field) more stressful? No.

When it comes to food, nothing beats Malaysian food. Sorry to all Singaporeans out there, Malaysian’s food is still the best! Bak kut teh does not taste like bak kut teh at all in Singapore. It’s closer to lat tong (pepper soup) back home. Well, maybe it’s their own version of bak kut teh, I guess. This is just one example, there’s a whole list of food I can talk about but I’m not going to delve into that.

Staying in Singapore is another whole different ball game. Rental in Singapore is ridiculously expensive. To rent a room here in Singapore which costs $700-$850 per month, I’ll be able to pay for a whole condominium installment back home. Of course eventually it would get easier once you’re earning Singapore dollars but when you just sit down and think about the money you’re spending on rental, you just wish you could use that amount of money on something else instead. Transportation wise, it’s very easy to get around in Singapore, unlike back home, where you need to have a car to reach your destination in comfort. Buses come on time and MRTs are strategically located. Then again, I miss driving!

One thing I’m definitely certain of…


I’m certain I have more time for myself, without the traffic jams since I commune to and fro work everyday by a pair of feet.


3 thoughts on “How does it feel like, working in Singapore?

  1. Hi Doc.

    I’m currently a Year 3 medical student from a private medical institution in KL. (not the same as urs btw :p ) I’ve spent 2.5 hours reading your whole blog and it’s enriching. But this post brings back memories as I’ve spent some time in SG for my secondary education. The time spent to check for the cheapest flights/coaches back home to KL through Airasia/Tiger Air/Jetstar still lingers. My rental was SGD 300. (a few years before this blog entry was posted i guess ! )

    I wasn’t too familiar with the healthcare settings in SG – at most was just the visits I had to Health Promotion Board at Outram or the polyclinic at Hougang.
    I’ve a few queries :
    (i) How was your HO experience like in M’sia ? (it wasn’t mentioned explicitly)
    (ii) Now that you have probably stayed in SG for 2 years (almost) , will you remain in SG still in the future? (though I know it’s just for the completion for the exam)
    (iii) Is it worth leaving home for SG? (if it’s not for the exam’s sake)

    If they are too personal , it’s okay not to answer them. Thank you in advance ! And lastly, stay awesome treating those kiasu aunties and uncles !


    • Hi GJY,

      Thanks for putting in so much of time reading my rants. 😉

      i. I’ll probably share about my HO experience in my next post. Too much to write about in a comment box.

      ii. Yup. You’re right. Almost 2 years now. Am still deciding as to whether I would want to stay on. Just passed the recent exams so that’ll be another 2 more years or so to decide. Albeit similar culture and types of people, there is still a difference between Malaysia and Singapore.

      iii. There’s kinda a number of reasons why I left home for SG, one of them is because I’m married you see. Can’t be staying in with my parents forever. While waiting for my place to be ready, no harm venturing out. There’s a steady inflow of income too. Besides, SG gave us the opportunity for my wife and I to be allocated to the same working area where else our very own MOH decided to separate us into two different states from the very beginning although we’ve both completed our compulsory services gives you an idea why we left.

      • Hah. Glad that I just gave you an inspiration to work on your next blog entry!
        As for number (iii)….true. It’s better to stay! Glad that everything is working well for you! The difference isnt that big ..just that its another place that we have to adapt in . I guess.
        Looks like I have to see the health settings in SG for myself 🙂

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