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Chinese national’s ‘Don’t go to Singapore’ advice sparks discussion on high cost of living

In a viral video, a Chinese woman warns her compatriots about challenges working in Singapore, noting how some resort to relying on basic meals and shared dormitories due to high expenses.

This triggered online discussion, with some netizens emphasizing the collective challenge faced by both locals and foreign workers in dealing with Singapore’s rising cost of living.



A video has emerged online featuring a Chinese woman advising her fellow citizens against pursuing employment opportunities in Singapore, cautioning them about the potential challenges and difficulties they might encounter.

In her video, posted on Xiaohongshu, she urged her followers in Mandarin to reconsider seeking work in Singapore, despite the country’s accessibility to foreign workers with low entry requirements, nominal fees, and no language prerequisites.

However, she emphasized that not everyone can thrive there, stressing the importance of preparing for and enduring hardships before making such a decision.

She highlighted, “Although you may see online influencers in Singapore appearing glamorous, what’s shown is merely a façade.”

She portrayed their daily schedule: concluding work, commuting home via the MRT, and often feeling too fatigued to walk back to their accommodations.

She mentioned that adjusting to the local cuisine might pose a challenge. As a cost-saving measure, some individuals resort to consuming budget-friendly options such as instant noodles and porridge regularly.

“Sharing a dormitory with eight individuals, experiencing homesickness, and feeling disconnected from one’s hometown—all of these challenges must be faced independently.”

She cautioned those seeking employment in Singapore that they must endure this challenging initial phase, adapt to the demanding work atmosphere and language environment, and persist for a minimum of six months or longer, and only after that can they genuinely attain the desired lifestyle.

“If you can’t handle both mental and physical hardships, take my advice, just don’t go, ” the woman concluded.

Netizens highlight the shared struggle of locals and foreign workers in navigating Singapore’s high cost of living

Checking the Xiaohongshu account that posted the video, the user identifies herself as having 15 years of expertise in the overseas service industry and claimed to work for a Liaoning-based international manpower service agency called “Hengzhi International (恒志国际劳务).

The user has also shared other videos addressing various topics related to working or studying abroad, covering visa application processes and migration to different countries such as Japan, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, and more.

The video has sparked a discussion on social media. While some comments disagree with her criticism of Singapore, others have pointed out that the high cost of living is not only a challenge for locals but also for foreign workers who have to work diligently and save rigorously due to the expensive nature of things here.

One comment wrote: “Reminder: The Singapore dollar is 5-8 times stronger than the Chinese yuan, enduring some hardships is inevitable.”

However, another comment also highlighted that while the exchange rate is favourable, the expenses in Singapore are equally high.

One comment stated: “Making a living in Singapore is not easy. Everything is expensive, and the money earned goes into daily expenses. It’s impossible to earn a lot and save to take back home.”

However, another individual argued that according to what they learned from their friend, only accommodation in Singapore is expensive.

Still, others countered that even locals find everything expensive, prompting many to retire in other countries.

Meanwhile, certain comments highlighted that the woman’s message serves as a reminder for those aspiring for higher incomes abroad, emphasizing the need for greater effort and resilience.

“It’s inevitable; the foundation of success involves enduring the toughest challenges. There are no freebies in this world.”

Reviewing comments on the Facebook group “Complaint Singapore,” some netizens sarcastically expressed gratitude, stating they wished to “thank the woman” for dissuading an influx of workers as the city-state is already overcrowded.

Certain pragmatic advice highlighted that Singapore is primarily a workplace, and not everyone can thrive there. It requires readiness to endure hardships and possess adaptability skills.

Additionally, a comment pointed out that the woman’s statement overlooked the fact that migrant workers typically have to pay agent fees.

On average, it takes about 1-2 years to repay these fees from their earnings. Therefore, the initial 1-2 years are essentially working without earning anything for themselves.

Zurich, Singapore as world’s most expensive cities: The Economist

Recently, a survey published by The Economist magazine indicated that Zurich and Singapore are the most expensive cities in the world ahead of New York amid the ever-rising cost of living.

The findings of the Worldwide Cost of Living survey published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) highlighted that Singapore kept its position as the world’s most expensive city this year, for the ninth time in 11 years.

It ranks jointly with Zurich (Switzerland), which is back at the top after three years.

After the survey was released, the Singaporean government swiftly responded. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) defended that the survey might not accurately portray the cost of living for Singaporeans.

On 30 November, a spokesperson for the MTI asserted that the EIU’s survey aims to assist human resource and finance managers worldwide in calculating living costs, providing allowances for expatriates and business travellers, and formulating compensation plans.

The spokesperson emphasized that the consumption basket used in the survey does not align with the typical spending patterns of Singaporeans.

Furthermore, the survey converts the prices of goods and services in the surveyed cities into US dollars to facilitate comparisons between cities, said MTI.

“Our country’s strong exchange rate places us high in the rankings compared to other cities, but the strengthened currency does not raise the cost of living for Singaporeans earning income in Singapore dollars.”

“Conversely, a stronger Singapore dollar helps to curb imported inflation in Singapore by reducing import prices, subsequently lowering consumer prices.”

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The high cost of living and high exchange rate from ringgit to Sing Dollar, only benefit Malaysians working in Singapore. Most other foreigners will find in difficult to live here! Malaysians working in SG do not spend money in SG, they only earn here! Each morning they would buy take-away lunches from JB, including a packet of cigarette before coming into SG. Malaysians spend the minimum in SG, they take their pay checks back to buy properties. Singaporeans seem to be happy with the exchange rate; S$1 to RM3.5. Well, what can you buy with S$1 in SG? No enough… Read more »

At this rate, in time, … many will sidestep the ridiculously expensive red dot, for financial and mental health reasons, brought on by financial matters !!!

With the island’s “ownself lauded” progressive wage model, which is anything but progressive, … which is not entirely dissimilar to its affordable “public housing”, the red dot will, no doubt, soon enough, .. stand proudly by itself, entirely unopposed, .. as the most outrageously and grotesquely expensive place on the planet !!!

With that, wholesale employment shortfalls, will permeate just about every industry, and, … that’s when the real fun begins !!!

well…. it’s not like we begged you commies to flood us either…

Dun be daft. How many Chinese FWs/FTs must come to contribute 2.8b to our economy, compared to allowing just 10 Chinese money launderers to operate in SG?

U made the right recommendation to your countrymen, hope the 10 Billionaires read your message.

The billionaires brought a lot of jobs to our security forces, the courts, housing agents and car salesmen.

Why people still hang on and hang on to dispute EIU reports when EIU reputation is at a huge stake if they make false reports about SG COL?

Looks like PAP Administration disease has spread far and wide, esp among PRC’s.

It takes ten years to pay off agents on both sides. Previously, after ten years, the third world can save enough to retire in their home countries if they work for another 10 years. However with the cost of living rising and wages declining, it does not make sense for the foreigners to work here, the exception is for Malaysians who can return home daily. Our govt. is selling cheap foreign labour to attract the corporates.


這裡確是 可來

這位小姐,該補充 以下

這裡的 消費 一般和您的 近鄰 韓國 一樣 。

但 , 韓國 好多自家產品 值得去買 ,

護膚品 ,保健品 ,服裝品 之類的 。


可以來兼職 ,或許 幸運的話,變小三 或 嫁到這裡來呢 ?

要是存旅遊的話 ,泰國 ,大馬 非常不錯 。

Let’s see how fast MOM or PMO will issue Pofma directive against this Chinese lady, or paints it as Foreign intervention with our internal affairs.


Only Sheeps ARE blindly IGNORANT, believing LIES from their Politicians.

When there’s a LOT to LOOSE, Millionaire Politicians AFRAID to LOOSE their pants, then SUCCUMB to Frauds, Cover ups, and DECEPTIONS.