Family breakups — The PM weighs in

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong looks at the problems of break ups within the family unit and how this is leading to housing problems. Find out what he says here.

Family breakupIn a Facebook post on his wall, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted that some housing issues stemmed from the fact that more families were breaking up in recent times.

He said: “One resident I saw was locked out of his marital home years back, recently divorced, and has transferred the flat to his ex-wife.

“Another recent divorcee is having to sell her flat, leaving her and her teenage daughter to fend for themselves, with no other relatives here to fall back on. Both asked me for Housing Development Board (HDB) rental flats.”

This need or call for more HDB rental flats is something the PM and his other MPs come across during each each Meet the People session. He says that although the government and HDB is doing what they can to build more flats (rental and otherwise) , this issue of family breakups is more systemic.

Systemic problems?
PM Lee has emphasised the importance of strong family units.  He added that family breakups lead to more than just housing problems. PM Lee said “ultimately the family members have to work things out themselves, and ideally avoid breaking up in the first place”. So how do we build a strong foundation?

Building a strong foundation
At the base of every family unit is the marriage and when the marriage is structurally strong, so will the family be.  Some aspects that go into a strong marriage are

1. Open channels of communication

2. Being honest

3. Being financially sound

4. Trust

5. Be responsible

6. Mutual love

Netizens response
PM Lee’s Facebook post has garnered over 4000 ‘likes’ and netizens have also contributed suggestions to the improve the issue.

‘Azam Ahmad’ said: “I guess the next question to ask is what the main causes of the breakups are. Are they also symptomatic to another bigger underlying problem (e.g. declining moral values, or financial stress caused by demands of living in Singapore, or something else?)”

While ‘Joanna Foo’ suggested compulsory pre-marital counselling, saying, “While there may be varied reasons of a couple deciding to marry, at least what we can do is to give the right and proper perspective to the couples of what to expect in marriage, and even when they have children on their own.”

Others suggested for more family bonding activities within the community and having it at the void decks so that families were more willing to join in as they would not have to travel too far.

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