Encourage couples to attend premarital counselling

I applaud the Government's efforts to provide post-divorce counselling to couples who have broken up, with the focus on alleviating the impact on children ("Protecting children caught in divorce" and "Getting to the heart of divorce"; both published on March 6).

Although it is better than doing nothing, this approach is a reactive one.

I am well aware that marriage is a highly personal decision.

Nevertheless, that decision has social consequences beyond just the couple.

The success or failure of each marriage in Singapore eventually has an impact on the well-being of the whole of society here.

While we respect individual liberty and choice, we must not shirk from taking proactive action to encourage and promote premarital counselling, among other strategies.

More should be done to encourage couples to attend premarital counselling.

Perhaps we can provide couples with a meaningful incentive, for instance, a marriage grant which can be used any way they wish.

It is worthwhile for the Government to try to do something daring, novel and proactive in promoting healthy families from the very start.

This, in turn, pre-empts so much pain, conflict and social problems, which distract the Government from tackling even more pressing issues.

Zee Kok Eng