Questions on Health

Am I in all honesty pursuing a healthy lifestyle?

Are my food choices healthy?

Do I get enough exercise to keep all of my systems flowing well?

Do I get enough rest, so the body can rejuvenate and heal?

Do I do the best I can to keep the stress down in my life?

Do I take time specifically to ‘take care’ of my body and show that I ‘love it’?

Do I understand that if I don’t take care of my body, then ‘it’ can’t take care of me?

What do I ‘get’ out of being un-healthy?

Is being un-healthy an excuse so I don’t have to try to become all that I can be?

Am I too lazy, negligent, ignorant or in a state of denial and I think that ‘disease and death’ happen to
other people, but not to me?

Do I ‘expect’ the doctors/medical field to ‘fix’ whatever goes wrong with my body?

SCMP Forum

Singapore is far better than Hong Kong
Updated on Mar 22, 2009

I refer to the article “Singapore beats HK in survey of Asian expats”, March 12.

That “Singapore appears to have finally achieved its dream of being better than Hong Kong” was a highly laughable comment. Singapore has achieved the same status at the top for the past 10 years.

I am a European expat who stayed (or, more rightly, suffered) in Hong Kong for close to five years but chose to move to Singapore and obtained permanent resident status there (though I need to adjust my highly lucrative Hong Kong expat package in exchange).

My family and I are now enjoying the comforts, stability, safety and cleaner air of Singapore (plus the many more nice places and resorts that we can travel to in less than two hours, and the much more advanced and lively dining and entertainment options). This contrasts with the dirty and mundane, yet much more expensive Hong Kong.

But most important is the ease and efficiency of getting things done in a language I am more comfortable with, English. In fact, Singapore is so much more attractive than Hong Kong that I have the in-principle approval from our global headquarters to shut our office in Hong Kong and move it to Singapore, while maintaining a stronger presence in Shanghai.

Singapore beats Hong Kong in so many areas. Many friends are now making plans to move to Singapore after realising their misconceptions about the city.

Singaporeans may not be upfront with their thoughts and appear to be reserved, but I have made more local friends than I did in Hong Kong. At least, they are not like most arrogant but ignorant Hongkongers who think they know it all, and criticise and comment on almost everything and anything.

I can’t help but find most Hongkongers just a bunch of empty vessels, and definitely NATO (no action, talk only idiots – that’s how Singaporeans would describe Hongkongers).

Simon Morliere, Singapore


Singaporeans have a high regard for Hong Kong and its citizens

I refer to the letter by Simon Morliere (‘Singapore is far better than Hong Kong in every way’, March 22).

I assume that Mr Morliere is just expressing his personal opinion and not the opinion of the thousands of expatriates, including Singaporeans, living and working in Hong Kong nor Singaporeans in general. It is rather sad that he chooses to see Hongkongers in this manner.

I have lived in Hong Kong for the past 11 years and I find Hongkongers intelligent, hardworking, enterprising, open-minded, innovative, charitable and, most importantly, very tolerant towards non-Hongkongers.

Hong Kong is probably one of the safest places to bring up a family, with its efficient police and security forces, very high standards of education that provide a multilingual medium of instruction and also a multi-ethnic living environment.

As a member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong), I am fortunate to have the opportunity to interact with Hong Kong people from different walks of life and I personally feel that Hongkongers are one of the friendliest and most caring people in the world.

They are fast and efficient in their work, and, as far as I know, Singaporeans do not have the impression that Hongkongers are people who talk only and take no action.

Singaporeans living in Hong Kong are very appreciative of the inclusive society that Hong Kong is, where visitors and residents originating from other countries are invariably treated well by Hongkongers.

Vincent Chow, honorary executive director, Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong)


Expat friends made the right choice

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my expat friends for having the wisdom and maturity to choose Hong Kong over Singapore.

Thank you for appreciating Hong Kong’s diversity and seeing sterility for what it is, for making the effort to find out more about the local culture and for enjoying all the services and amenities on offer. Thanks for being aware that a lack of local language ability will, of necessity, limit a foreigner’s exposure, in terms of both social milieu and intellectual stimulation.

And finally, to those with the good fortune to get perks that afford an expatriate lifestyle – as well as those who enjoy this to a more modest degree – thank you for being able to relate to locals who are suffering so much uncertainty and/or unemployment.

Some of you have also been affected by the economic downturn, but those qualities will stand you in good stead to make a quick recovery. Singapore’s heavy reliance on foreign businesspeople like Mr Morliere has led it to experience its worst gross domestic product slump.

Let’s hope Hong Kong’s government continues to show wisdom and maturity by investing in and fortifying the diversity and community spirit that will be key to maintaining the city’s resilience.

Angela Tam, Mid-Levels


Both cities have a lot going for them

After reading Simon Morliere’s anti-Hong Kong diatribe (‘Singapore is far better than Hong Kong in every way’, March 22), I felt that the sensible reaction was momentary contempt, and then to move on. Mr Morliere’s ill-considered scorn was simply not worthy of response – except that he included insults, which do need a response.

What is it about expatriates who move from Hong Kong to Singapore and then, having experienced the many fine pleasures of Singapore, feel constrained to trash Hong Kong in comparison, simultaneously and seamlessly morphing personal experience into general conclusions?

If Mr Morliere ‘suffered’ here for five years (despite his ‘highly lucrative . . . expat package’) one wonders about his ability to make dispassionate observations.

For example, to describe dining in Hong Kong as much less advanced and lively than in Singapore is, at best, crass.

Hong Kong deservedly has a reputation for fine and varied dining matched by few other places.

Singapore also has great eating, which raises the question – why this compulsion to make negative comparisons?

Singapore and Hong Kong, like anywhere else, have their pluses and minuses.

Hong Kong does indeed have awful air and water pollution and the government still has to get to grips with it.

Singapore is something of a nanny state, with a controlled press, but in both cities the pluses far outweigh the minuses.

Both are safe, efficient, have generally very capable civil services, great transport infrastructure, the best airlines in the world, a thriving cultural life and lots of interesting places to visit nearby, to name a few positive attributes.

Neil M.D. Russell, Discovery Bay