Jun 26, 2011
Marriage: Don't wait for stars to be aligned
Govt will try to raise rate but couples should not wait for tangible perks, says MG Chan
(from left) NTUC FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng, co-chair of the National Family Celebrations organising committee Lim Soon Hock, DPM Teo, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob and MG Chan enjoying a game at the Family Day Out carnival at Marina Bay yesterday. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
The Government will keep on trying to raise the marriage rate in Singapore, but couples also should not hinge their decision to tie the knot on just tangible incentives, said Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing yesterday.
Singaporeans should not wait till 'all the stars are aligned', such as owning an HDB flat or a car, before they get married, he advised. This is because it is impossible to have the perfect conditions for getting married or having a child.
Major-General (NS) Chan was speaking on the sidelines of the National Family Celebrations at Marina Bay yesterday.
Earlier, at the same event, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean reminded participants in a speech that everyone has a part to play in making Singapore family-friendly.
'As a society, we need to help our families to cope and to thrive by building a pro-family environment. This goes beyond government measures, such as Baby Bonus, paid maternity leave and childcare leave,' said Mr Teo.
The DPM added that the celebrations - an annual event organised by the National Family Council, which this year focused on youth - are a 'good reminder to us parents that strong family support is essential for our young people as they mature as adults'.
Said MG Chan: 'This has to do with the culture, that we bring up our children to be more family-oriented, that the family is always at the centre of one's life.'
MG Chan commented on recently released figures which show Singapore's marriage rate having dipped to a historic low last year.
He said Singaporeans should be more concerned about long-term marriage trends instead of worrying about any blips in the statistics.
'Let us look at the trend rather than a particular year's statistics... There might be one or two reasons why there is a drop, but overall I think we're more concerned with the trend,' he added.
'We're not too excited when next year there's a sudden increase or dip. What we're more interested in is whether the trend overall is a more positive one.'
The month-long National Family Celebrations closed yesterday with its Family Day Out carnival, which drew 36,000 Singaporeans to Marina Bay to spend a day with their families.