Forum: Building a better Singapore so those who wish to raise a family can achieve their aspirations
We refer to the letters of Mr. Bennie Cheok (Having children is a challenge but brings unlimited joy, November 23), Mr. Holmberg Dennis (Concerns that couples who do not have children by choice have about of the future are well founded, December 21) and Mr. Chen Junyi (To every generation to make the world a better place, December 24).
Having a child is a very personal decision that is influenced by several factors.
Having children is a big responsibility. Some may choose not to have children, citing issues of climate change and quality of life, among other reasons.
We must indeed think about the world in which our children will grow up. However, we also need to remember that we have the power to change and shape the future in a positive way.
With children we can have a new generation who will help build a better world and a better Singapore, for themselves and for those to come.
In this generation, Singapore has set itself ambitious climate goals and launched the Singapore 2030 Green Plan for the whole country to encourage everyone to play their part in building a liveable and sustainable home for our future generations.
Such efforts demonstrate our commitment to building a future worthy of our children, whether we individually have children or not. It is our duty – collectively – to find solutions to climate change and other societal problems.
As Mr. Chen mentioned, previous generations overcame even greater challenges – war, extreme poverty, and other existential threats – to build better lives for us. We are better equipped and better prepared today than our ancestors, and we should have a well-founded optimism that we too can overcome the challenges of our time to build a better future for our children.
We can be role models for values like sustainability and equip our children with the skills to be resilient and a sense of taking action to shape their own well-being and future.
Most Singaporeans want children. In the Institute of Policy Studies’ Global Values 2020 survey, more than three-quarters of Singaporean residents surveyed wanted to have at least one child, and nearly four in ten wanted two.
The government will continue to provide an enabling environment and work with Singaporeans and community partners to build a Singapore designed for families, so those who wish to raise families can achieve their aspirations.
We welcome suggestions to better support Singaporeans who wish to start and raise families. You can find more information on existing support measures at go.gov.sg/madeforfamilies
Kwek Poh Heok
Director, Directorate of Marriage and Parenthood
Strategic Group of the National Population and Talent Division, Prime Minister’s Office