MSF Sec Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim pleased with more marriages and fewer divorces in Singapore

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Photo: YouTube screengrab

Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim was “encouraged” by Singapore’s latest marriage and divorce statistics. The latest statistics from the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) have shown an increase in marriages and a decrease in divorces. The number of marriages has gone up by almost 1 per cent (0.9) and the number of annulments and divorces have gone down by 0.5 per cent from 2016 to 2017.

28,212 couples got married last year, in comparison to 27,971 in 2016. The number of both civil and Muslim marriages increased. Inter-ethnic marriages also saw an uptick, and now make up more than one-fifth of all marriages in Singapore.

The country has also seen an increase in the marriage rate of men and women ages 15-49, compared to statistics from 2016. Last year there were 45.7 marriages per thousand unmarried males in that age bracket, up from 44.4 in 2016. For women, there were 42.8 marriages per thousand unmarried females aged 15-49 years, up from 41.6 marriages the preceding year.

Whereas 7,578 couples got divorced in 2017, fewer than the 7,614 from the previous year. In particular, divorces between Muslims have gone down by an even greater percentage, 3.8 per cent in the same time period. This made up for the small rise in the number of civil divorces in 2017.

Last year there were 6.9 male divorcees for every thousand married males aged 20 years and older, compared to 7.1 male divorcees in 2016, while for women, there were 6.5 divorcees per thousand married females aged 20 years and older, down from 6.6 in 2016.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), announced this on his Facebook page, touting it as good news.

In his post, Professor Ibrahim highlighted the different programs that the MSF has established for people in different stages in life, such as the Cinta Abadi Marriage Preparation Programme (Kursus Tumahtangga), which is designed to help Muslim couples by equipping them with communication tools and guidance for overcoming difficulties together.

The MSF is also upping their support for more youthful Muslim couples. By October 1, couples considered as minors, where one party is younger than 21 years old, are given a marriage preparation program under the Administration of Muslim Law Act.

“This aims to help young couples begin their journey on a strong footing, and set the foundation for a long-lasting and successful marriage,” Professor Ibrahim wrote on his post.

He included an infographic about Cinta Abadi, which included the following facts:

More than 7000 men and women have participated in the program since it started in 2014
More than 95 per cent said they found the program to be advantageous to their relationship, since they learned more things about their partners and their own selves, as well as good management of issues I marriage
The programs are available both in Malay and in English