EIU’s “Singapore’s Most Expensive” Survey: Wah lao, this survey is for who one?

Temasek Review
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The article below has been contributed by Randy Foo.


If you believe all the headings you have been reading in the media from the past week, you would think that Singapore is indeed the most expensive place in the world to live in. According to them, we even ‘beat’ cities like Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney.

A number of Singaporeans online said they had expected such a day to come. They agreed with the survey, citing slower rise in wages compared to rise to costs of goods. Some, however, were surprised when they saw the headline. Could living in Paris, London and Tokyo really be cheaper than in Singapore where you could have a wanton Mee or chicken rice at a coffee shop for $3.50 with a $1.30 coca-cola.

TL;DR Don’t believe the headlines about the “world’s most expensive city”.

Cost of living for who?

A small but pertinent point that all media seemed to have conveniently left out on is that the survey is meant to for “expatriates and business travellers”.



To qualify as an EIU EXPAT, one would need to consume on a regular basis, “superior table wine”, “filet mignon” and “entrecote”. One is also required to be shielded from rain by “Burberry-type raincoats” whenever they head out to watch a film only at the “four best seats in a theatre”.



Smoking is mandatory. Other requirements for EIU EXPATS include the consumption of “Scotch Whiskey”, “Cognac, VSOP” and “Cointreau”. Based on just these criteria, my Ah Gong also qualify as an EIU EXPAT.






EIU EXPATS must also be appreciative in the Arts and Sciences. Capturing moments with KODAK COLOR FILM (36 Exposures) is vital for maintaining a portfolio of 36 colour photos every month. This is highly useful for breaking the ice when EIU EXPATS meet other EIU EXPATS (usually three) over a three course dinner at a top restaurant.

Bonus Pro Tip for EIU EXPATS: Where Singaporeans buy Burberry

Since the last decade, the Singaporean dollar has risen 40% against the US dollar.

Here is a bonus pro-tip as recognition of the rising cost for the EIU EXPAT. Next time you want to buy a Burberry raincoat to maintain your EIU EXPAT status, please follow our Singapore Shopping Bloggers across the Causeway.








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