According to Channel NewsAsia, the recent Talking Point forum on fertility set off yet another war of words. We all know the sad state of fertility rates in Singapore. Just what will it take for Singaporeans to consider having more babies? Let’s check out what the participants at the forum had to say:
- National duty, lah! : Childhood educator Jason Ng, set off a debate of sorts when he said, “I do really see having children as a national service (that) we need to do because we have a shrinking population … just not enough people.” His views were met with much disapproval from others who thought that having a baby was more of a personal choice, and isn’t something that should be shoved upon you.
- What about my career? : When it comes to babies, most women are torn between work and family. Having a baby puts women out of action for a while, and this naturally affects their career growth. Cherylyn Wee, finds it difficult to choose between them, “Then it takes me a much longer time to think about whether I could really give my best to the child but also give myself the life that I think I deserve.”
- Expensive Singapore : Singapore has frequently figured in the most expensive cities of the world list, even topping the category on more occasions than one! It simply makes the cost of raising a child too hard to bear.
- What’s in it for me? : Childless couples seem to insist on more incentives for motivation. Chong Ning Qian, a research executive at AWARE emphasises, “If I have to do something, then I should get compensation in return. Caregiving is hard work, not just for children (but) for your elderly parents as well. It is work that needs to be valued and needs to be paid for in some form, so I’m not going to do it for free.”
- Don’t think, just do : Marcus Lian, dad to a little girl, thinks we tend to overthink when it comes to planning for a baby. He says, “When we start thinking of it very logically, it scares us away from having kids.”
- Quality over quantity : Economist Walter Theseira, from SIM University thinks that the future may not be as bleak as it sounds, and all this pessimism may be unfounded. He opines, “Even though the quantity of manpower might be going down in the future, we’re going to compensate for that by having better quality manpower. We’re having fewer kids, but that means we’re putting more and more into each child.”
So what do you think, readers? Is less really more when it comes to population? Or should we be very worried when it comes to the dwindling fertility rates in Singapore? Let us know!
Watch the video of the discussion here:
Also READ: Reasons behind low fertility rate in Singapore
(Source: Channel NewsAsia)
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