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back to article Singapore most 'liveable' Asian city for ex-pat IT pros

Ex-pat IT professionals looking for a better quality of life abroad could do worse than try Singapore, the Japanese city of Kobe or Hong Kong – the top three most liveable cities in Asia according to new research from HR information provider ECA International. The firm’s annual Location Ratings system is designed to help firms …

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The visibility is rarely as bad as claimed in this report.

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I'm in SG at the moment and it seems quite good, It's swings and roundabouts compared to LN. Went to HK the other week and it was very enclosed compared to SG.

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Anonymous Coward

If you're got kids don't come here unless you have an expat package (very rare these days). Looking at 20-30k per kid for schooling, unless you want to run the gauntlet of local schooling.....

If you're single, no kids, it doesn't matter if you have a package. It would indeed be quite livable then.

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beer

At five quid for a small bottle of tiger per you will need a really good package before you can afford a night out.

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Re: beer

nah, you can get a bucket of tiger and some noodles for 2 for £10. Just because it is expensive on Sentosa island (the place you are told to go to to have fun. do as you are told now!) it isnt that expensive.

HK felt far more crammed in but at least the octopus system works.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought HK was a bit like London, just by the sea.

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no.

The transport system works and there is a nice big hill in the middle to go and chill out on. Also the airport works too and doesnt have as many silly controls - the ones it does have are manned sufficiently.

I echo a previous comment. I went from a middle manager/controller level on project design and wasnt a director therefore all my decisions were looked over by the boss. He had no clue what they were (hence why I was there in the first place) but still needed to look them over anyway. Make a few pointless changes to look good and off I went. Dont complain, offer tactful suggestions and thank them for their time. Got on well, finished contract and came home. Now I have kids I dont think i'd like to raise my family there now though.

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Cough...

It's a mixed bag in Hong Kong.

It is easier, arguably, for an English-speaking person to adapt to than in Japan. The crime rate is low - almost non-existant for an expat. Long weekends and holidays, of which there are an abundance, are opportunities to travel around the region.

The air quality is not good, but improvements are being made, such as banning smoking in the bars in Wanchai. Actually, the pollution is variable, and one can live a reasonably healthy lifestyle here.

The worst issue is the attitude of many of the local employers towards their employees, especially those below director level. i.e. unnecessary over-time without remuneration, being required to be seen to be 'working', not being able to make decisions without the boss' approval. This can be uncomfortable for a Western expat, used to a different style of management. It can be resolved with a mixture of resolve and tact.

On the other hand, a recent 'study' by a HR company [1] finds that employers consider 37% of hires as 'average', and 9% as 'bad'.

[1] http://hudson.cn/Portals/CN/documents/Hudson%20Report/2012/Hudson_Report_Q2_2012-Hong_Kong_English.pdf

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Re: Cough...

"... especially those below director level."

When you say 'director level', do you actually mean being a registered director of a company, having legal responsibility for the actions of the company, etc? I would imagine that just about everybody working on any project is below director level, by my understanding of the word 'director'.

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Re: Cough...

Partly, yes, I would agree with that definition. But I forgot I am in Hong Kong, where job title inflation is par for the course!

So an IT Director here may not belong to an institute such as the Hong Kong Institute of Directors, may not hold a board position, and may not even know about trivialities such as corporate governance.

Mind you, neither do accredited directors, on occasion. One can only look at a pair of brothers from a certain real-estate company who have been portrayed recently in the local news.

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Anonymous Coward

This report mentions infrastructure and power problems in the Tokyo area. As a resident, I can say that the major power outages threatened last year never really materialized. My home electricity was never interrupted -- not once -- and the overall infrastructure in the city of Tokyo was largely unaffected by the 3/11 disaster. After the nuclear plants were shut down, everybody in Eastern Japan tried to conserve power, and it largely worked.

I have to say that the media has been kind of exaggerating the impact of losing the nuclear plants in the 3/11 disaster. To be sure, the ongoing problems at Fukushima are serious, but here are some numbers to put the impact in perspective: the power monopoly, TEPCO, has a total of 192 different sites for generating electricity in Eastern Japan. 162 are hydroelectric, 25 thermal, and four nuclear (two at Fukushima). Before the disaster, only 26% of the total capacity in kW were from the nuclear plants. Today, all but one nuke plant in Japan has been shut off and the government is rushing to try and turn them back on again before the general population begins to think about the fact that Japan has been more or less getting along with them.

Anyway, IT expats may still prefer Kobe or Singapore, but the situation in Tokyo is not quite what these reports are saying.

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SG Beer

Had a beer with my dinner last night (a whopping S$4 for dinner)

a 660ml bottle of tiger was S$5.80

not cheap but not terrible when you consider thats dinner and a beer for £5

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HK for me

I absolutly loved working in HK. It is one of my favourite places in the world. I far preferred it to London.

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Stop

FILTH

Failed In London? Try HongKong.

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Anonymous Coward

SG is not so great.

Weather in SG is not so nice. Constant 100% cloud cover. Its a decent 30 degrees but the humidity is so high walking around in a suit you will need a new shirt by the time you get to work. Plus, its far from free society.. no freedom of speech, drugs = death eating disgusting durian in public = fine, chewing gum = fine, porn = caning.

There is NOTHING to do apart from shopping. So if you are male, its boring.

Internet is pants too, for a smart-city its waaay to slow to look at any non-asian website.

But then as a blondie, I made a lot of friends with the millions of drunk girls who can't afford to go drinking so they all sit along the river and drink like teenagers in the UK.

If you think beer is bad... a bottle of Russian Standard here costs SG $100 (about £50) because you know... drinking is immoral and you need an asian government to remind you of that... daily.

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Re: SG is not so great.

That's like fining us for eating Marmite!

What's the point of going to SE Asia if you can't eat durian?

What next, a ban on green papaya? Cuttlefish? Wind-dried Duck?

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Anonymous Coward

Singapore v Hong Kong

Having worked in both Singapore and Hong Kong, I discussed the differences with some locals from Hong Kong. I mentioned that some ex-pats feel quite comfortable with all the onerous and invasive laws in Singapore that gave a sense of security, that it made sense at a certain time of persons life.

They all nodded and said they agreed Singapore makes sense - when you are retired!

I liked Hong Kong, people are ambitious and change their jobs a lot. I thought their attitude a bit like New Yorkers, they are careerists in a hurry. They say Hong Kong people know only two emotions: fear and greed.This city has issues, it works, but things also go wrong. It is a real city.

Singapore is a gerontocracy run by lawyers and a they keep the place clean by sweeping things under the carpet, or more likely, across the border.

They are neither better or worse, simply different.

These are two great Asian cities and the only thing that unites these competitors is that both find Japan and Tokyo a bit strange, a very different culture.

What do they think of ex-pats, I wonder?

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