Lee Kuan Yew comments on Singapore’s birth rate

In a public speech given after National Day, Lee Kuan Yew expressed concerns that Singapore will ‘fold up’ if something is not done to increase the present low birthrate. What do you think about his latest statement?

The former Prime Minister has again raised the issue of Singapore’s declining birthrate and emphasised the need for Singaporeans to have more children. He reminded Singaporeans on the importance of getting married and having more children in order to remain a majority in the country. This time, Lee has added some warnings to heed:

“If we go on like that, this place will fold up, because there’ll be no original citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens, new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms,”  said Lee in a speech given at a constituency dinner. He also added that, “So my message is a simple one. The answer is very difficult but the problems, if we don’t find the answers, are enormous,”

High coverage on low birthrate

Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks are the latest in recent media attention focusing on Singapore’s low birthrate. Earlier this month, the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) debated the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) proposal to increase the current four-month paid maternity leave to six months. The SNEF cited loss of productivity and disruptions to work flow as potential side effects. NTUC’s proposal was made in an effort to boost Singapore’s low birth rate and encourage more Singaporeans to procreate.

A more light-hearted approach to the problem was presented by the European mints brand Mentos’ ‘Get Your National Night On’ ad campaign. The viral music video for the campaign exhorted Singaporeans to ‘do their duty’ by having sex on the night of August 9th 2012.

Uncertain future for Singaporean parents?

As more young families struggle with everyday living, the gap widens between wanting to have children and actually having children. It is an easy decision to make for most parents. Perhaps a change in mindset towards starting a family could be the key to solving the problem of the low birthrate?