We continue our series on why Singaporeans continue to stay single despite the government’s urge for our citizens to get hitched and have more babies. In this online interview, we featured Nazryn – an accountant by profession who has emigrated to Melbourne for work and a better lifestyle.
Hello once again Gilbert. My name’s Nazryn Azhar Samat, just turned 30, am a graduate from Macquarie University Sydney and have had around 2 to 3 years of commercial accounting experience. I am currently based in Melbourne after spending 2 and a half years in Singapore. I am still in the process of cultivating my career progression and identity.
You mention that you are currently single right now, any reasons on doing so? Is it a choice or a necessity?
Choice: As I saw my age heading towards the horizon of my 20s I knew I had to do something to gain as much life exposure as I could. I thought to myself then, though it may sound myopic, I could do more perhaps if I am not emotionally attached just like what I did when I jumped the gun to relocate to Melbourne, 2 years after my PR visa was granted. I was in various relationships, the last being quite a long distance one , and since I thought it was not going anywhere it would be better for me to be fair to her and myself.
Necessity: Even if I have decided to stay put in Singapore, marriage at this point of time is not in my literary. With my career still in its infancy stage which needs further refinement to move it in a secured direction, the cost of living is another factor why I chose not to be hitched. Public housing has not been kept at a subsidized public price as always propagated by the government. Finance has always been the number one issue in recent divorce cases. It’s true if a couple practises financial prudence, that worrying issue would cease but the unbearable cost of living that keep increasing turns off many people, including graduates (who are presumed to have a better starting income but not necessarily so).
How many girls have you dated so far and are all of them local Singaporeans?
Gilbert. Good choice of question.
Well the last time I dated a Singaporean girl was in 2005. That was when me and my ex girlfriend parted as I was going toSydneyto further my studies. As we had a diverse student population I went out with a few girls from different nationalities in Sydney but was serious with a Malaysian girl eventually as after all, I am still a closet traditionalist who would prefer marrying someone from the same cultural background as me.
Are you open to dating and marrying foreign girls? Why so?
Yes I am. (As mentioned, at this point of time I strongly still prefer someone from the same cultural background somehow! Haha). I have not had the chance to meet Singaporean girls that I would or successfully bring out for an intimate date since 2005 and fate has it that I have a strong rapport with ladies from other countries due to myself being located inSydneythen. After awhile, I guess I naturally grew comfortable talking to non Singaporean girls even when I was back working in Singapore due to the fact that I am always looking to connect with people with different perspectives, opinions and views. Chance encounter with them somehow kept me excited and interested.
What do you think are the issues facing our local girls right now? Many local guys mention that they are hard to please and demanding – do you agree?
From what I have gathered based on my experiences and learning from what close friends have related to me, it seems the hard-to-please and demanding part about our local women is somewhat true. Armed with good education and respectable positions in the corporate field, there are some local women who could not set themselves back to take initial hardships when starting out a marriage.
Many have been pampered since young and expect royalty treatment from their boyfriends or husbands. As a member of the malay community, the initial stage of marriage, that is the wedding has become a demanding affair. Events staged for that has also become a display of status consciousness with wastage of money spent on unnecessary splurges not in tandem with the guy’s income level. Sometimes it may not be the girls who demand such stuff but the parents who are too eager to display such extravagant trait.
It’s a fact too that we have to understand Singaporean girls have the right to demand for a companion that can show a good level of compassion and affection with smelts of romance especially in times least expected. Somehow, it’s true that such traits are missing in Singaporean guys as many are too overly focus with career development and eventually stress themselves out trying to topple over everyone to remain ahead in the rat race. Many have to open up and move away from the usual boring topics of sports and NS and provide wide ranging interesting topic of conversations to keep the ladies interested in the companionship.
Are there any difference between our local and the foreign women?
Non Singaporean girls I met in my university days always amazed me in how they presented themselves in a genuine and friendly manner. They are normally independent with a street smart intuition and would take that extra mile or effort to find their own way in life. Many are consciously aware of current affairs issues and are armed with ideal opinions which they openly deal with. They are also less uptight in comparison.
Many also see life and its perspective with an open mind while I had the unfortunate encounter with Singaporean girls who have preconceived stereotypical ideas of people they have not known or just met. Besides in a relationship, I discovered some Singaporean girls measured friendships by the material worth the person has.
Besides the issue with our local women, what are other barriers prevented you from getting hitched?
I am all too eager to pursue my career away from Singapore and try to position myself internationally. At this point in time, I still believe getting hitch would not allow me to pursue what I want while I can. Romance has to take the backseat until I can find someone who can understand or even share the proactive passion I have in current affairs issues.
Do you think that our housing policy is one of the main reasons deterring our young couples from settling down? What are some of the things you hope will change in our housing policy?
The housing policy has been causing pain not only for young couples but to the middle class and below Singaporeans as well. To start off a marriage with a hefty loan that will span 30 over years for a supposedly PUBLIC HOUSING will put a strain on couples who are middle -aged earners with basic post secondary education.
The government should be more sincere in its intention to deliver real public housing and stop lip servicing subsidies.
If you are married in future, how many kids will you want for the family?
I would love to have 2 kids or more. If I can have it my way, the eldest must be a daughter as I believe the motherly instinct a girl has would ensure her younger siblings are well taken care off in the absence of the parents.
Do you think it is better off married or being single personally? Describe your reasons.
In the long run, it is better off to be married as we are not in existence to be living alone but with a life time companion to see us through the joy and pain of life.
End of interview and thanks!