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Give Me One Reason
Tracy Chapman & Eric Clapton

Saint 2.0

Sunday, August 24, 2008
what to do? | 12:37 PM

Before I head off for my tennis game, there is an article on The Sunday Times you must read.

This is the second scathing article titled, "Sidelined in the S'pore Survivor series" by the Associate Editor on the issue of singles and the recent pro-family benefits hich wthe government has announced to boost the nation's dismal birth rates.

Here's just an exerpt from her very poignant writeup....

Now that I have all married couples and parents reading this riled up, let me just say: Congratulations. It's about time the institution of the family got a boost.

May you use the money wisely.

You see, it's my money. And I want to be sure you don't squander it. And while you're spending it, try not to cock a snook at singles, as if we are pariahs who refuse to join the national campaign to mate and procreate.

It's just the sort of thing that happens in Singapore. An idea catches hold, everyone is doing it, and you're the silly one who's holding out - like smokers or minority owners in an en bloc sale.

Also, may you use your state-mandated maternity leave and infant-care leave with some prudence. After all, guess who's going to cover for you at the workplace when you are gone for 16 weeks or taking your kid to the dentist?

By the way, are you sure you really need 16 weeks? Where are your own mum and dad? Your in-laws? It used to be that they played a big part in bringing up grandchildren. Have they migrated to Perth?

And you are really taking your kid to the dentist and not off to play golf, right?

Some will say that the have-more-babies campaign hasn't been particularly successful over the years, given the way couples have, or rather have not, responded to baby baits in the past.

I think this time, the Government has got it right, starting upstream at teenage hormonal level right down to Baby Number XX.

What's good: It has stopped discriminating between graduates and non-graduates with the merger of the Social Development Unit and the Social Development Service.

It's an acknowledgement that educational levels really shouldn't matter when it comes to picking a life partner and making babies. Good brains can have bad genes; and vice versa.

It's helping those who desperately want babies - but cannot have them for some reason or other - get medical help to conceive. These people know the pain of going through failed cycles of in-vitro fertilisation but they're still saying, Baby, you're worth it.

So a wide $1.6 billion net has been cast and, hopefully, there will be a big haul.

As a single, I watch these developments with awe. So much money (mine) expended on getting the reproduction lines going...

Sigh. What to do?

While singles are seldom discriminated against in other similar big cities like New York, Sydney or London, here in Singapore, it's S.O.S - Singles Only Suffer (thanks to these reporters, it is no longer in silence).

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