Singapore—In Parliament on September 1, Monday, Louis Ng Kok Kwang, an MP for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC), made some requests on behalf of the country’s young single mothers and their children, specifically pertaining to their housing needs, which were responded to positively by the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development, Sun Xueling.
Ms Sun replied that changes will be made along the lines of his requests.
Mr Ng had several requests from the Government
- Make public the criteria for unmarried parents who are younger than the age of 35 to obtain a flat
- State specifically on the HDB website that a ‘Single unwed and his or her child’ may avail of a rental flat
- Tell all frontline officers that single parents may apply for such a rental flat
- Omit in official letters that single parents can have housing “based on special approvals on compassionate grounds”
- Craft a scheme for single parents under 35, along with their offspring, to purchase a 2-room flexi flat from HDB
The MP wrote in his Facebook account, “I’m not the first MP to speak up about this but I certainly hope that I will be the last MP who has to fight to level the playing field for single unwed parents. It’s 2019, it is time to level this playing field.”
[ A win for single unweds and their children ?]I’m so happy and choosing to use this photo simply cos I look happy ?…
In her reply, Ms Sun said, “The Housing Board will carry out a comprehensive review of how it interacts with single unwed parents seeking a roof over their heads.
She promised that the Board will examine the “various touchpoints” for single mothers in their pursuit of obtaining housing. She added that the Board will be stating on the website that unmarried parents may apply to rent or purchase an apartment.
The Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development said, “Single unwed parents and their children are our valued citizens. We are committed to do better.”
She added that while policies may not fit every single person’s needs, and that some citizens may feel frustrated, “but there must always be empathy in our interactions, and this works both ways.”
She told Mr Ng, “applicants will not be rejected merely due to their status as a single unwed parent. At the heart of it, I want single unwed parents to know that we share their desire to ensure the well-being of their child, and we will try our best to support them to this end.”
Mr Ng said in his Parliamentary speech, “Members shared their concerns about how it is the innocent children who would suffer from their continued exclusion from society by discriminating against single unwed parents.
We all agree that intact families are ideal, but as members have previously raised, we live in an imperfect world. The single unwed is very often a victim of circumstance.
In examining the inequality faced by a single unwed parent, members, including myself, are not advocating for any extra assistance above and beyond what a couple receives. We merely ask that we not discriminate against a single unwed and his or her child, and that we treat them equally and with dignity.”
As usual, the MP ended his speech with a quote,
“Being a single parent is twice the work,
twice the stress and
twice the tears
but also twice the hugs,
twice the love and
twice the pride.” / TISG
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