Following changes to the Elected Presidency, this year’s Singapore Presidential election has been reserved for candidates from the Malay community.
The potential candidates are, former Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, Salleh Marican Second Chance Founder, and chairman of Bourbon Offshore Asia Farid Khan Kaim Khan.
All potential candidates will have to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility, providing details such as employment history and submitting supporting documents. The election is likely to take place this month.
Mr. Salleh Marican was the first of the three potential candidates to submit their application forms to the Elections Department.
On the personal front, Mr. Marican is married to Sapiyah Abu Bakar, and the couple have 4 children.
We wanted to know more about Mr. Marican's outlook on family values and parenting in Singapore. We are grateful that he took time out from his busy schedule to provide his responses:
On family values in Singapore
"Family is the bedrock of society. Traditionally, Singaporeans are deep rooted in good Asian family values that have been passed down from generation to generation. However, with globalisation and access to western media today, some of our ideals may be challenged and re-looked."
"This may not be a bad thing though, while Asian and Western family values are contrastingly different, we can’t say that one is superior to the other. Perhaps, the best of both worlds is a good way to go forward, in our increasingly connected world."
"As someone from the pioneer generation, I am encouraged to see that younger Singaporeans cherish strong family values and have a desire to maintain good family ties. They are finding their own formulas that work."
On his own formative years, the influence his parents had on him, and his own family values
"I grew up in a traditional Asian family. My father was the provider and my mom was the caretaker."
"When I was growing up, we did not have YouTube or computer games. Most of our playtime activities were outdoors. I was allowed to play outside as long as I was back home at a certain time. I learned to be street smart from an early age. My parents raised me to be independent and self-reliant."
"I was 15 when my father passed away. It was difficult for the family. I saw how my mom struggled to raise me and 5 other siblings single-handedly. It made us appreciate the importance of family bonds."
"My wife and I raised our children in a similar fashion. At home, we strive to provide a good environment for the family to grow and we instil good moral values in our children. "
"At the same time, we encourage them to be independent and give them the freedom to make life decisions. Of course, I will offer my advice and guidance, but ultimately, they make their own decisions."
"I am very fortunate to have a great wife and I feel proud to see my children grow into good people. Today, my children are leading their own lives, two of them live overseas, but the family remains very close."
"I am reminded of the 7-11 slogan, “Always close but never closed”. This is how my family is. We are always close, and never closed off from each other."
On how parenting - especially in Singapore - has changed over the years
"Back in the day, it was common for parents to adopt a more authoritarian approach to parenting. More so in Asian cultures, where family revolves around patriarchal and hierarchical structures. "
"Father and mother had their own roles in the family. Generally, father was the provider and the one who set the rules of the house but beyond that he had little to do with the actual raising of children. Mother was usually the enforcer, caretaker and the glue of the family."
"Children were taught strictly to respect and obey their parents and elders. They were expected to behave all the time. When children didn’t listen, or behave how their parents wanted them to, they were often met with heavy disciplining. Of course, I am generalising, but I believe most of us grew up like this back then."
"Today, many of these children have become parents themselves and I believe, reflecting on their own experiences growing up, this generation will figure out parenting all over again. To keep what works, and change what they would do differently."
"With better access to knowledge, through the internet (and portals like theAsianParent), parenting books and magazines, the current generation of parents and especially would-be parents are more learned about various parenting styles and even psychological research and findings. This knowledge shapes what they think about parenting."
"Nowadays, it is also common that both parents are working and they have to find ways to balance their work and family life."
"Parents and children of today are markedly different from when I was growing up. I think the “rotan” seller can attest to that."
His wish for Singaporean families
"Singaporeans need to spend more time with their families. Nowadays, it is easy to lose ourselves in work, indulge in personal interests, be distracted by media, but we must understand that family is very important and we must find time to spend it with them, and enhance the bonds that keep the family together."
His advice and tips on parenting for our readers
- Make time for children, they are our future.
- Be firm, yet understanding of children’s needs.
- Be a role model for children to follow. This is the best way to impart good moral values - leading by example.
Also READ: 10 Parenting lessons to learn from Lee Kuan Yew!