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Columnists > Justin Harper

Justin Harper
Justin is a freelance journalist based in Singapore. He can be contacted by email at or via his website at

Justin Harper

Anti-British Sentiment Sweeps Singapore

Posted by: Carole on Friday February 07, 2014 (03:59:55)   (5818 Reads)
Justin Harper
Last month a British expat living in Singapore made headlines all across the world with his derogatory comments about poor Singaporeans and how unpleasant it was taking public transport. For those of you who don’t know, his name was Anton Casey and he was a wealthy fund manager who drives a convertible Porsche and is married to a former Miss Singapore.

He had the dream lifestyle until his sports car needed servicing so was forced to take the local underground system, known as the MRT. He then decided to post Facebook messages about the experience, taking a photo of his son on a train with the caption ‘’Daddy, who are all these poor people?’’.    more ...

Justin Harper

Car Trouble In Singapore

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday October 29, 2013 (18:02:05)   (4599 Reads)
Justin Harper
Having been an expat now for three-and-a-half years, I keep asking myself when I will stop converting things back into British pounds. The realistic answer is probably never. The exchange rate for sterling in some countries makes it very easy to make a quick conversion – for example in Singapore, one pound equals two dollars. So all you need to do is divide the price in half to get your pound equivalent. If you are a tourist I can see the benefit of doing this. But when you are an expat, who earns their salary in Singapore dollars, there will never actually be any “’conversion’’ taking place. But that doesn’t stop me doing it in my head anyway. It would be better if I lived in Hong Kong as it takes much more mental arithmetic to divide prices by 12.    more ...

Justin Harper

Speed Demons Arrive In Singapore

Posted by: Carole on Monday September 16, 2013 (19:21:53)   (1964 Reads)
Justin Harper
The F1 circus has rolled into Singapore this week as grown men go weak at the knees at the thought of seeing a famous driver or watching the cars speed around the street circuit.

The Singapore GP, or the 2013 Formula One Singtel Singapore Grand Prix to give it its official name, is a pretty big deal in the city state for a number of reasons. Whether you’re an expat or a local, the sound of a Formula 1 car whizzing past you has the same effect. Quite simply it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. The jet-like sound, the sheer speed of the cars and the whole grand prix atmosphere is like nothing else in sport.

But there are also other reasons for such fanaticism every September in Singapore. For starters, there aren’t too many big sporting events in this city, and especially none the size of the F1 which has a truly global audience.    more ...

Justin Harper

Why Singapore Should Be High On The List Of Emigrating Brits

Posted by: Carole on Sunday August 18, 2013 (15:16:02)   (3569 Reads)
Justin Harper
Although it sits in the heart of Southeast Asia, the city state has a lot in common with the UK which makes it a very easy place to relocate to. It is a former British colony after all.

There are four official languages here, of which English is one. The other three are Chinese, Malay and Tamil. In reality most people speak English which means you don’t have to learn Chinese. In fact, few expats I know bother to learn Chinese simply because it’s not needed in most day-to-day activities.

Singaporeans also drive on the left side of the road which makes it much easier while your UK driving licence is valid here for one year, in which time you have to apply for a Singaporean one.
The legal system is also based on English law, not that I’ve ever needed a lawyer or legal advice as yet. But it’s good to know there are so many similarities.    more ...

Justin Harper

Envy On The High Seas In Singapore

Posted by: Carole on Sunday April 21, 2013 (01:13:04)   (2476 Reads)
Justin Harper
Singapore has the world’s highest concentration of millionaires which can be a little daunting if you don’t fall into this wealthy club of high-rollers.

Normally my world doesn’t often collide with that of the ultra high net worths that float around this city state. Thankfully my small family car has never been embarrassingly parked next to a fleet of Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis. That’s mainly because I use public car parks where no one is waiting to valet park my dented and dirty four-wheeled companion.

But recently I did have the chance to get up close and personal with Singapore’s rich and glamorous when I covered two boat shows that go head to head with each other every year – Boat Asia and Singapore Yacht Show.    more ...

Justin Harper

Storm brewing in Singapore

Posted by: Jamie on Wednesday January 04, 2012 (20:05:20)   (4035 Reads)
Justin Harper
Being British you’ll excuse me for talking about the weather, but I have good reason. For I have just discovered that the country I now call home is one of the lightning capitals of the world. Singapore experiences an average of 186 days of lightning a year.

Now simple mathematics will tell you that is slightly more than one every two days. Not a great statistic to hear when you’ve just uprooted your young family to what you thought was a safe and child-friendly environment.

Singapore as you might expect has a higher number of lightning-related deaths as a result. It has 0.35 deaths per million people, compared to 0.2 in Britain.    more ...

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