A combination of dismal government policies and "social engineering", declining income, unfavourable work and living conditions (for the locals) have resulted in an exodus of the more affluent segments of the population.
"far from encouraging increasing birth-rates, a combination of dismal government policies and "social engineering", declining income, unfavourable work and living conditions (for the locals) have resulted in an exodus of the more affluent segments of the population, further worsening an already bad situation."
"At the end of the day, the act of procreation is highly intimate and individualistic, very personal in nature. One really wonders if years of repressive indoctrination have robbed the native populace of the free will, independence and ability to rise to the occasion, instilling an over-dependent, compliant and submissive culture which is anti-thesis to the aggressive survival instinct that is crucial for reproduction."
Straits Times, 15 Dec 2003
Govt exploring 'total solution' to baby shortfall
THE Government will adopt a more comprehensive approach to the problem of falling birth rates and sees the use of packages of financial incentives as only a part of this overall scheme.
Warning of a sterile Singapore of the future, which would mean an older workforce and a weakened Singapore Armed Forces, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Security and Defence, Dr Tony Tan, said the Government would be exploring ideas towards a total solution to the population shortfall.
Said Dr Tan to reporters, after opening the Care Corner Family Service Centre (Admiralty) at Woodlands Avenue 6 yesterday: 'Of course, we have to help young parents with their financial needs and we are doing this through a variety of ways, like the baby bonus and Edusave.
'But we need to take a total approach if we want to have strong families in Singapore, which is what Minister Lim Hng Kiang will be looking into, together with the other government ministries.'
On Dec 7, Mr Lim, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance, announced the Government was looking into possible financial schemes to help working parents with babies pay for qualified caregivers.
But Dr Tan made it clear that the objective was not just to have more children, but to take good care of them and give them the best chance of success.
'We will be brainstorming to come up with new schemes... I think, people like Care Corner will be able to give a lot of valuable advice.'
Last year, there were 40,864 births, down from 41,451 births in 2001. There were 31,171 births in the first nine months of this year, versus 33,618 in the same period last year.
Said Dr Tan: 'I think children are wonderful; they make life interesting. Without them, where would Singapore be?'
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