Monday, February 18, 2008

Singapore's desperation to get couples to marry and procreate.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The state owned and controlled Singapore newspaper; just as in North Korea where all media is state owned and controlled like in Singapore; Channel News Asia has an article on Feb 17, 2008 which reads "Singapore holds first speed dating event on the MRT".

It tells about the government’s efforts to get more people to marry and have children. One of Singapore's major problems is its low birth rate, so low that births cannot even replace those dying, and were it not for the government permitting hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Communist China, India and other places, the population by now would have seriously declined.

This article refers to the latest of a series of attempts to encourage more births, which have all failed so far; this time advertising for both men and women to line up facing each other in train stations hoping that they will instantly fall in love and procreate soon thereafter! A sign of desperation on the part of the Singapore government, don't you think?

The article speaks of a low miserable figure of 52 men and women having turned up at the train station for a chance at matrimony on a train; in response to the government's advertisements throughout the island! A miserably low number of 52 men and women!

Jeraldine Toh, a Bank Relationship Manager; is reported to have said that she was very excited because it was the first time that matrimony was attempted on a speedy train. I can sympathize with her, and tell her that it is not her fault for not being able to marry. It is the fault of this tyrannical government and their unpopular policies which has created a sense of fear and insecurity among Singaporeans preventing them from wanting children.

Michael Wee a technician like Jerldine Toh also thought it was a good idea because he feels people have insufficient time in Singapore to meet the opposite sex.

Lee Kuan Yew's minister who is paid as a salary 5 times what the president of the United States George Bush is paid, being $3.7 million a year, Mr. S Iswaran, was the matrimonial “how to woo and romance” instructor for the day. He was on duty at the Boon Lay MRT Train station and was reported to have given "a little encouragement and dating tips" but what actually this meant or to what detail the instruction was; was not explained in the news article. Also, as to what qualifications he had for this romantic instructor position was also not explained. Was he a successful womanizer in the past or another Rodolfo Valentino? Such questions remained unanswered!

The report states that only singles between 20 and 40 years of age were permitted to engage in this activity of a labor of love, so sympathies and commiserations to those above 40, both men and women who may be capable in more ways than one, in such activity. Surly age discrimination here, don't you think?

The romantic aspirants were give very little time, only about 6 minutes, or the equivalent of 2 stations of travel time, when they forced to go on the next person, so as the largest number can meet and make a judgment on their life long partners! Very little time indeed to decide on such an important issue!

Ms Toh, another woman marriage aspirant who took part, complained that despite many people there (54 hardly appears many) and despite her meeting all of them, she still could not find a friend.

I must say, reading this news shows a country in utter desperation. Willing to do almost anything to remedy a situation which has become hopeless. The government, instead of trying these desperate attempts at increasing the population of Singapore should first ask itself why it finds itself in this position anyway.

The reason for people not wanting to marry and have children is the appalling political situation in Singapore. Where people are afraid of the government. Where there is no job security. Where jobs are given to foreigners and Singaporeans retrenched. Where there is no social security or social welfare. Where if you lose your job, you are given $200.00 a bag of rice and asked to fend for yourself. Where you can succeed only if you tow the government line and join Lee Kuan Yew's political party and parrot whatever he says. Where there is no rule of law and no human rights. Where there is no free press and free debate on ideas. Where children are deprived of their childhood being overworked with no chance to play. In other words, Singapore is a dictatorship where Lee and his family rule with some very silly policies and where criticism is not tolerated at all. So they do not want to have children in Singapore. Many want to immigrate to Australia and leave Singapore for good. In Australia I believe they will have children. Many children.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914


Anonymous said...

My wife and I watched this as it was aired originally on the "news"

I have to tell you, it was pathetic. It was a true Singaporean attempt, technical, analytical, no romance, no passion, hardly an atmosphere to to produce any real results.

I walk the streets of orchard, and almost all I see is long faces, unhappy faces. The kind of faces that can make an otherwise attractive person ugly. And I'm always asking myself, "why are people in Singapore so unattractive." And the answer is that the people are not unattractive, the reason is that their souls are probably worn down and it shows on their faces. It shows in their posture, it shows in the way they walk... hurry here hurry there, no time to walk with a confident strut to say "hey look at me."

The thing is no one notices it because it is seemingly the norm. And what would not be normal is if a cool cat walked around town with a confident bounce in his step. Go to Italy, the U.S., Japan, Thailand, Philippines and other countries and this is the norm on their busiest streets during the weekend. In Singapore, it's not... just long irritable faces that no train ride will ever be able to take away.

What I find ironic is how the government will use the train for people to find love in Singapore, when so many people are using these same trains to kill themselves because they find life unbearable in Singapore.

You know, I would think these million dollar ministers would have a bit more sense or skill or tact or creativeness to entice young people. I mean how hard could it be to hold a state sponsored ball or a dance in a nice hotel and offer the right atmosphere for love to flourish instead of people having to hurry up and move from one person to the next. Maybe this is not the best idea, but I am not getting almost 4 million to stick a pathetically low number of I believe 52 people in a train, much less plaster their face all over the news and possibly embarrass them.

These people had courage to do this, and I salute them. I also acknowledge the attempt and good intentions of the government. However, I give the government two thumbs down for their lack of common sense, lack of consideration and lack of skills by plastering their faces on the news... shame on you, you absolutely have no class.

Anonymous said...

Much has been said about Australia becoming a less family-oriented society. But looking around me, I can tell you that it is far from the truth. We are now putting more family-friendly measures in place, and easing the burden on family.

Come to Australia and procreate, one kid for Mum, One kid for Dad and one for the country (to add to the population growth - not NS)

Just curious, does the MRT stop at ROM now? hahaha

Anonymous said...

NZ with a population similar to Singapore is doing quite well with 64,000 birth last year.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous on New Zealand,

Thanks. New Zealand is a respected country with the rule of law and a true democracy. Singapore on the other hand is a country run by the dictator senior with his son dictator junior strutting around like a pair of oversized roosters going around hurting anyone that opposes him by bending the judges.

It is a shame. Not a place where people would want to have children.

Gopalan Nair

Anonymous said...

unlike singapore, the baby bonus in australia worked! people there want to have children but are daunted by the costs so when the govt offered financial incentives, it worked.

in spore, the govt needs to understand the underlying reasons for the low birth rate, and refrain from their favourite solution of throwing money at the problem.