A Passionless Singapore

America’s Got Talent, a talent show for all of America. It’s a household name even in Singapore today as MediaCorp creates a spoof of it called ,One Moment of Glory or OMG.

I was just watching America’s Got Talent earlier on where the final round of auditions was held in Las Vegas. As the judges watched performance after performance and the cameras interviewed participant after participant, I began to realise how passionate these people were about what they were doing.

They weren’t doing what they were doing for the competition, they were doing what they were doing as how they have been doing for most of their lives, as their livelihood.

If that’s not passion, I’m not sure what is.



I cried at the end of the show as the judges eliminated contestants because I could feel their passion and how much that competition would have made a difference to their lives and it got me thinking.

Some of these contestants have been plying their trade for god knows how many years. They’ve never been able to earn big bucks for the many talents that they have but they make it through day to day, week to week, months and then years, and all the while hoping that one day they’ll be able to strike it big with their dream.

These individuals would have definitely had to put up with lots of hard work and plenty of hardship just to be where they are today.

Reflecting back to here in Singapore, I could never feel how passionate Singaporeans are about the work they do. And you know that when work is done without passion means that the work is only half done at best. I’ve been in such situations and I know how that feels like but I’ve found my passion now.

It then brings me back to think about “Why is it that Singaporeans are afraid to pursue their passion, preferring to remain in their comfort zone of a steady paycheck to purchase luxury items which they don’t really need?”

Are Singaporeans afraid of hardwork and hardship?

Is it because of the social-environment that the government and people here have created that pursuing your passion is pointless because here in Singapore, it’s all about the money only. This is the place where money is your happiness.

If that is true, then we Singaporeans are really the most sad bunch of people in the world.


Pathetic to be exact because we regularly pay lip service to say how much we admire such passionate people only to complain about what we do but never take that step towards pursuing what we speak of. Next thing we do is to say about how rational we need to be in this Money talks only environment.

Well then, so who created this Money talks only environment if not for the people themselves?

Boutique stores will not open in huge numbers if the people do not spend on such items.

Singaporeans are so pampered that perhaps the disappearance of McDonalds would kill half a million of us. Little do we realise that Bob Kwan is happily sailing in his yacht with his wife, kids, maid and tutor around the world eating fresh seafood whilst we ponder over which Extra Value Meal for $4.50 lunch.

If it’s true that it’s the social environment that’s not allowing individuals to grow for passion, then for those of us who still has the chance, perhaps we could look into the idea of migration. To migrate to someplace where the people there are happy indulging themselves in their passion, who work 17 hours a day, 30 days a month, bringing home less than half of what you bring home today without complaining and come home smiling to their loving family.



Perhaps it is time.

Perhaps, it’s time Singaporeans realise that spending money on those branded goods don’t make you look any closer to Victoria Beckhams or Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio. If anything, it only made you poorer because you’ll forever find yourself stuck in that hole of brands, to keep wanting to buy more branded goods so that you can show to the rest of the people in the crowded non-red carpeted rush hour train. Or perhaps you buy so that one person in the office will see that you’ve bought that new Coach bag or wearing that new pair of Prada shoes just for one day.

And the worst part is, you’ll have people asking, “Is that original?”

No… The worst of all is that when you travel to 3rd world countries, you see so many stuff of whatever brands you got have been replicated and you see so many others carrying them as well. And you begin to wonder, is that real or not because you can’t tell the difference from a distance!

So are we really headed in a passionless industry where consumerism rules?

Because if we are, I’d rather we be like Cuba where consumer goods are imported under close supervision and restriction and where people dance and sing everyday. All they do is smoke cigars for less than half the cost of what the filthy rich pay to smoke.

3 thoughts on “A Passionless Singapore

    • Hi Gilbert,

      No worries to have it posted on your blog!

      I’ve read your blog several times and I hope to be able to contribute more inspiring articles that you’d be able to share with many others.



  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 20 Jan 2011 « The Singapore Daily

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