Never mind rising rentals, they want order

Never mind rising rentals, they want order


Wednesday • March 5, 2008


Tan Hui Leng



EVEN as skyrocketing rentals, other rising costs and the competition for places in international schools have raised concerns about whether Singapore is losing its attractiveness to expatriate talent, one survey has laid such fears to rest — at least where Asian expats are concerned.


According to the survey by United Kingdom-based human resource consultancy ECA International of living standards in 254 international locations, Asian expats ranked Singapore as the best place to live. Hong Kong ranked 15th.


The annual survey is based on categories such as climate, air quality, health services, housing, political tensions and personal safety. ECA International general manager Lee Quane said the survey helps firms decide if they should pay a hardship allowance “to encourage employees to move to a location”.


Last year, another survey by Watson Wyatt showed that most foreigners got the same wages as their Singapore counterparts, as companies do not see the need to pay employees a premium to work here.


The overwhelming appeal of Singapore it seems, lies in its “orderliness”.


“I worked in Malaysia for 12 years but chose to come here to set up my business because everything here is systematic and proper,” said Indian Sunil Francis, 35, who holds an Employment Pass for entrepreneurs.


Singapore International Chamber of Commerce executive director Phillip Overmeyer told Today the merits of Singapore as cited in the ECA survey confirms what the chamber has been hearing from its members.


But Mr Quane said that while Singapore scored well in most categories, expats are concerned about the deterioration in air quality and rising property prices.


Indeed, Mr Francis said he had to give up renting a HDB master bedroom when the monthly rental rose from $450 to $800 last year. He now stays with a relative.


Both Mr Quane and Mr Overmeyer also noted the shortage of places in international school places, a crucial consideration for many expat parents.


Mr Quane added: “In news and media, we regard Hong Kong as much freer and fairer than in Singapore.” But Mr Overmeyer said while people miss the “excitement” of political debate, this is not of concern to expats as they cannot vote here. Also, the Government here is equated with security and stability.


Source: TodayOnline

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s