Monday, January 25, 2010

How Singaporeans grow healthy babies?

Open Question
Should we also “turn off the lights” to help boost Singapore’s low birth rate?
South Korea's health ministry, which is charged with boosting the nation's low birthrate, is turning off the lights in its offices once a month to encourage staff to go home early and make more babies. The ministry said in a statement Wednesday the switches will be flicked at 7.30 pm every third Wednesday in the month to "help staff get dedicated to childbirth and upbringing".

Singapore is facing a similar situation and the government is looking to encourage more matchmaking companies to be formed.

Is this another solution for Singapore’s low birth rate and why?
5 days ago

Not sure if it will help. I think encouraging families and couples to spend more time with each other is good. Also to encourage people to have children, have jobs that are family friendly better facilities.

Also the cost of living cheaper so people feel they can afford kids. There are likely to be many reason and maybe they should look at the reasons to try and solve the problem
5 days ago

I am not so sure matchmaking companies will help because Singapore cost of living is so high. You will need to earn above 3k in a single household in order to support 2 kids. Even if we want to have more babies, the thought of the daily expenses will scare us away.
5 days ago

Yes yes, in fact there should be a total power cut and there is no television and no internnet no work great
just like the great chicago blackout and then 9 months later baby boom.
5 days ago

Can the government give further subsidy for IVF?
5 days ago

Low birth rate is due to the high living standard of Singapore.

Stuffs are getting more expensive but the increment of salary remain so low.

Prices of houses are increasing due to the booming of foreigner migration.

So new couple have hard time to commit to a new home.

People with low education are hard to progress though they have the experiences and if these people were to change job, salary are expected to decrease alot.

Also the advancing of technology eg. facebook are tearing families apart.

People are more westernise and more open up to intimate relationship.

Asian still unable to accept as most asian are more conservative.

Ladies are now more highly educated and tends look for a better "choice"
5 days ago

This is NOT a long term measure to boost Singapore's low birth rate.

There are several policies that do NOT encoureage families to have more children.

1) Smaller HDB flats are being built

2) ERP on the CTE is extended to 10:30pm to encourage people to stay away from home and go home later
5 days ago

This is just a symbolic move that is not based on the human body clock.
Can every women staff be fertile on the same day?
Look at our 5 days work week for teachers. Are they able to finish their work within the five working days. Many have to leave for work in the morning at 6:30am and reach school at 7am, they have to work till late evening. Some evenings, they have meeting starting at 6pm. Many have to burn midnight oil to catch up with lesson plans, marking and extra projects.
With these type of work expectation, how can we have work live balance?
5 days ago

You're insane, right?


Explain why if there is a population crisis, the governenment keeps clearing land to build more HDB flats? The amount of open spaces and rural areas are shrinking rapidly in case you people are blind.

20 years ago - 3 million
now - 5.5 million
20 years later - 9 million?

We cannot support this booming population and rising prices, not to mention the increasing traffic jams.
5 days ago

i think, more subsidy for pregnancy package plan, hospitalisation plan, baby's vaccine and more deduction from medisave will be better.

think most ppl hold back the making baby plans are due with financial difficulties. if government can help to subsidy those plans, etc, think will attract more ppl and maybe they willing to have more babies too.
5 days ago

Provide free education & healthcare benefits like the countries in Europe. Public facilities...esp transport should also be subsidized.

As the country develops, the cost of living will definitely increase, so the least our gov can do is to help lighten the load!

I'm sure the gov can do this since they are incurring so much losses in investments.

With so many expenses associated with raising a kid, how is the birth rate going to increase. I'm sure the gov knows that its all about the money & cents! A long term plan to lower the costs is required...not the short term perks like baby bonus.

At work, the government can promote a balanced worklife & flexibility in working hours more aggressively. Sg is a hi-tech country with developed tele-comm, comms network & its easy to work from home.
5 days ago

But, it seems like there is a portion of people in certain part of singapore got to pay first in order to go home to make babies. So, how do those people go home earlier to make babies?
5 days ago

I think the govt made a mistake in the 70s asking people to stop with 2 children. Now we are feeling the heat.The under developed and developing countries like Brunei, Indonesia, India, Malaysia have no problem with their birth rate - they are also Asian countries like us. So the underlying difference is the very costly standard of living, average wages for long hours of work, the immense rat race every Singaporean is expected to run or else be left behind, etc....Women are expected to work to meet the bills at the end of the month. So there's no time for fun. There's also no one to look after the kids.

I have also spoken to friends who aren't married even though they are eligible. Friends who are married but not wanting kids even though they are quite well-off. They claim it's not easy bringing up kids in Singapore.
5 days ago

Singapore's pace is too fast and competitive. Moreover, people nowadays are looking at whether they can afford luxury and extra classes for their kids. If not, they won't want to give birth. Or rather, they max give birth to 1 and devote all time and resources and love to this one kid.

It is not enough if only 1 company or building practice this. If this can be a nationwide exercise, it would be more feasible. But then again, they might bring work home too...
5 days ago

The birthrate here can never be boosted. Numerous reasons can be given why, but if someone decides not to have children, it's practically impossible to change their decision. Every single country (except for France) failed in their bid to raise birthrates. And the amount given for Baby Bonus is not encouraging at all. It costs upwards of $200, 000 to raise a child here till university; and we expect $4000 - $6000 to incentivize people to procreate. You got to be kidding me!
5 days ago

i myself am having issues in my own matrimonial home wif my husband. my suggestion will be instead of lights off singapore should make it compulsory for the citizens to be OFF on saturdays. it will allow and encourage more family committed times and give couples like myself and my husband more bonding time. well the gynaes have adviced people like us who are tying to conceive to have calmness and not pressure when intending to conceive. this will really help given the typical lifestyle of singaporeans today. plss help
5 days ago

Alarming decline in birth rate is obviously a problem linked to the current and perceived life environment in terms of livelihood, the living environment, etc.
Generally, even the animal kingdom is shrinking in population in an alarming rate.
Here, in Singapore, when the government is urging procreation, the people has little or no time or mood for recreation due to the harsh and demanding work life and environment.
A real example is the company I am now working in, which is considered quite a big company in name, has changed from 5 full working days to a 6 days work week with more overtime.
Couples are generally working adults, and the employers are doing great disservice to enhance healthy work hours, and with the pressure from all sides of life, even ants would cease to procreate.
One solution is to have the influx of foreigners (quality people of of course) as the population here is too small and the diversity of people in terms of attractiveness is extremely limited due to the genes perhaps.
5 days ago

I think its the way families are not earning enough to feed themselves,so when it comes to children it becomes another burdern. Even some work long hours to have better pay but there will always be no time to work. Example: If a guy doing retail sales 11am - 9.30pm one day off a week,how many times or how many hours u gonna see yur kid? So its all about getting short hours job but maintening a better pay all these work in a fast pace country its bringing down the birth rates. Or better the incentives when u have a child?
5 days ago

even we 'turn off the lights' early also i guess it didn't work here in singapore cause having babies in singapore not cheap, everything is so expensive now. our baby bonus not enough.
5 days ago

We don’t need to blame foreigners here my friend. Look around you a lot of foreigners owns business here, and we need visitors and tourist so we can survive…we have Universal Studio just to start this means we invite visitors investors etc…..but have seen the news south Korea has to build bigger Universal studios in whole Asia to invite foreigner….if all this foreigners go back home to their country…how are we? We don’t have natural resources. ..
5 days ago

I would think that if similar system applied to Singapore, it would still be ineffective. As others have suggested, Singapore's standard of living is quite high compared to many countries in Asia. Although it has the highest economic growth in SEA, many of its population still struggling just to fulfill their basic needs, not to mention the cost to bring up children. This is partially due to the wide gap that the rich people had with the 'average' people.

Also, stop complaining about foreigner as well... they are already super under-paid, and yet they still diligently doing the jobs that most Singaporean would not dare to take, eg: collecting garbage, construction worker, maids, etc etc... These people made up most part of foreigners in Singapore while professionals' foreigners proportion are still lesser than Singaporean. So, why the discrimination? it is just illogical. In fact, if Singapore would ban all foreigners from entering Singapore, it would really stunted Singapore's economy as well as making life more difficult, no one wanted to work as construction workers, no 'maintenance' workers, no maids, etc etc...

Another reason that i stood for foreigners is that some of these people are putting their money to build businesses in Singapore, thus directly helping Singaporean to have more job opportunities. We are all should be grateful instead of complaining about them. It is true however, not all foreigners had these abilities, but that is no reason why we should discriminate them.

I had a bit of different opinion in the cause of Singapore's low birth rate beside high living expenses. Many of us as we realized are constantly bombarded with the image and dreams of success and making more and more money with more freedom and luxurious lifestyle, pamper yourself, etc.... These factors could brought about a very strong mindset to be childless, as no child=more money to spend on self. Climbing up corporate ladder is much more important than family values in reality despite of the recent news that shows Singaporean value more time with family. Money first, family second.

And, if i may add, the commitment for married couples are getting more and more worrying. Divorce rates are increasing with STI among teenagers increased as well. I cannot blame the effect of globalization that brought about 'westernized' culture or 'liberal' mindset. However, i think government should impose the right values for the society about commitment in family, bringing up children to its fullest potentials, NOT only about how to do safe sex! These could be incorporated in school as well.
5 days ago

Turn off the light? Hmmm...try will only affect productivity (= make more money)... I cannot imagine people saying you need a household income of at least $3K to feed 2 children. Erhm...I am having problem just feeding 1 with a household income of more than $8.5K. Lol.. Well, ever since we are born here, our mission is to earn more money, contribute more to the economy. Why bother to have more children? We will cause alot of harm to our future generation.. Don't you agree? Just look at the housing... HDB 4-rm may cost you S$1 mil in 10 years time.... You want them to be like you? Work to pay off the housing loan? Think again fellow mates....

A better alternative is to train up all the foreigners to take over the laborious tasks we are doing and make sure they are competitive and give them no off days. Welcome them gracefully so that they can take all our jobs and we just let them do all our work while we enjoy the fruits of the hard work... In this manner, whatever we use or want, shall be make free.. Let's say we have a maid shared amongst 4 households, in this way, we ensure foreign workers are highly productive...

Singaporeans' roles would be just ensuring we develop policies to make sure these foreigners work hard to generate more income for us all. Foreign families are welcome to our country but they must work hard for us in return we will give them food and housing. In this manner, we can concentrate on tackling this greying population.

In this manner, it will help us create more babies given there will be more quality time between family members and we do not need to worry the finances part as everything will be taken care of and we just concentrate on our role to make more babies while the foreign workers continue to work for us. Won't this be ideal for all Singaporeans? Lol...a dream that will never be fulfilled....
5 days ago

should 'shut down' all the internet access, give more promotion on movie tickets for couples & families, give more promotion price for outdoor activities (encouraging people interact DIRECTLY with each other & ties the families more closed to each other).

people nowadays spend too much time surfing & neglect the family which they should spend more time with.
5 days ago

Singapore is in a fast pace environment and not able to multi task will get left behind or regards as no capability. Therefore too many a times people will have to work even harder than those around them to prove a point.

Where working hours got extended and even brought home to slog it through the night so that the reports will be ready for presentation.

The cost of living is rising on the uptrend and soon enough we will be like Hong Kong and Japan, with all these single/low income family/couple how to make more babies.

I feel if government wishes to boost the birth rates they should give 50% subsidy for first Child (90% - 100% subsidy on education, hospital, healthcare for the second or third child)

I believe those who can or are thinking about it will make time to make it happen since the government is supporting the heavy bills especially the healthcare and education why not?
Anyway these are my views on the topic
5 days ago

What nonsense. There are already too many people in this world.
5 days ago

I don't know. Though South Korea's policy looks funny at first sight, taking into account our forefathers give birth to more kids than people nowadays, maybe less night entertainment or work activities will really encourage an increase in childbirth.
5 days ago

do think if no foreigners here, this country will survive.. all the hospital, companies have foreign talent to help ur country,, so be thankful.... now you can start making babies so in the future you don't need foriegn talent...
5 days ago

to have more children is one thing, can you afford to pay for their education and up-bringing. singapore is not a cheap place to live to survive. you can encourage couple to have more than one, end of the day who suffer to carry the burden , not the country but yourselves.
5 days ago

Who in the hell likes to stay in office after office hour rather than join their family member in front of the dinner table or TV? Or people working in Singapore don have that much of family value? Bosses don giv a crap about low birth rate as long as u work harder to get him more income and can always bring in more "foreign talent"
Working late is a culture that Singaporean practice. If you don work late u don even have a chance to get married/family...not to say giving birth to a child.
If government encourage us to turn off the lights earlier...this will giv our boss another good excuse not to hav increment...
5 days ago

Singapore living is so high how to support many kids. Everything is $$$. I only have one kid, but I am pretty tight already. Having a 2nd kid will squeeze me dry, so how to have 3rd kid?
5 days ago

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