Fandi Ahmad wants to retire in Batam – and people say they understand

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“I want to retire in Batam. It’s just a 45-minute ferry ride back to Singapore if I get bored, and I’m an Indonesian PR. I like the kampungs there with their coconut trees. Singapore has no kampungs anymore, and it’s getting so expensive!”

The last few lines from Fandi Ahmad’s interview for 8 Days magazine’s 27 November 2014 issue struck a chord with many online citizens after a photo of the article was shared by The Real Singapore on Facebook on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Facebook users commented on the post to share their sentiments, many of which agreed with the former national footballer’s view of the rising cost of living in Singapore.

“I’m with [Fandi] on this. Singapore isn’t a place for Singaporeans anymore. We may have been born and [bred] here, but all we have to do is pay and pay…” said Facebook user Rusty Ryan in support of the 52-year-old coach of local football club lionsXII. Fandi is also Singapore’s first millionaire athlete.

“He deserved the best retirement after all he had contributed for Singapore,” said a Zul Auditore.

“That is an absolute truth by Fandi… even though I am very thankful to Singapore for many reasons, but I must say that we are compelled to meet the high expectations of living here…” said a Paris Vee.

Fandi also opened up about the two failed investments he made in the early 2000s – a used car dealership and a coffee shop – his hopes for the football careers of his sons Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi, and his undying love for wife Wendy Jacobs.

Singaporeans are not the only ones who believe that the city-state is an expensive place to live.

Earlier in March, The Economist ranked the city as the world’s most expensive as the nation’s currency continues to appreciate and prices continue to inflate.