Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong has encouraged Republic Polytechnic students to “embrace parenthood when your time comes,” in a recent social media post.
Sharing photos from a Family Life event held at his Marine Parade ward, the former Prime Minister revealed that the event – which was about embracing parenthood – saw the involvement of Republic Polytechnic students.
Thanking the students for helping out, ESM Goh said that he hoped the event inspired the students to become parents when they are ready and old enough. He wrote:
“Pictures speak a thousand words. Thank you, Marine Parade Family Life champions for organising this meaningful, fun event. We thank the Republic Polytechnic students for helping out. Hope you are inspired to embrace parenthood when your time comes!”
Pictures speak a thousand words. Thank you, Marine Parade Family Life champions for organising this meaningful, fun…
ESM Goh’s comments come days after his successor, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, spoke about the challenges Singapore faces in boosting its low birth rate.
Speaking at a recent NUS dialogue, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “We have so many plans for Singapore, in terms of new industries, new businesses, new schools, new opportunities, new towns to live in, new parks — a new society to be built for the next generation. And what we need are new people — our children.”
The head of government was essentially saying that while there are plans to prepare Singapore for the next generation, the country needs the birth rate to rise to boost the population.
Warning that the population may start to decline if birth rates do not improve within the next five years, Mr Lee said that there are a number of issues impeding a rise in the birth rate in Singapore.
One issue is that a third of young Singaporeans do not marry quickly and wait until after they are in their mid-30s while another issue is that better educated mothers in Singapore wish to have careers. PM Lee added:
“And if they are working, they have to assess the impact on their careers and whether they can manage their children while at work at the same time. Many mothers do, but some feel that this — I can well understand — is not easy to achieve.”
PM Lee said that the Government is trying to ease this problem through flexible work arrangements and providing access to childcare, quality schools, affordable housing and employment opportunities. In the same event, PM Lee added that he believes blind dates and similar matchmaking activities are “useful” in boosting the birth rate.
Each year, about 35,000 Singaporeans are born and 35,000 foreigners become new permanent residents – 20,000 of these permanent residents become citizens.
Interestingly, the recently-released Population in Brief 2019 report not only showed that Singapore’s population has grown to 5.7 million but also showed that the number of new citizens and new permanent residents have been increasing since the historic 2011 General Election (GE) after a dip prior to the election.