SINGAPORE - Singapore's first baby of 2016, a boy, was born at the stroke of midnight on Friday (Jan 1) at Thomson Medical Centre.
Mr Tan Nan An and Ms Chen Yi Feng, both 30, welcomed their first child Evan, as the rest of Singapore ushered in the new year. Evan weighed 2.705kg. Mr Tan is a support manager in a bank's investment department, while Ms Chen is a dental operations manager.
Less than a minute after Evan's birth, two other babies were born at Mount Alvernia Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.
Later in the morning at about 10am, Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, visited three families of babies born on Dec 31, 2015 and Jan 1, 2016 at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH). Mrs Teo assists Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in overseeing the National Population and Talent Division.
Mrs Teo took over the population portfolio from Ms Grace Fu in October last year and said she had been meeting people since then to understand their views on marriage and parenthood.
Speaking to reporters at KKH, she said she would set up a blog on her Facebook page, to share her insights and observations from those interactions.
"I will be writing much more regularly, to encourage members of the public to participate in this conversation," she said. "I am framing this conversation as one about our Singapore family, with a special focus on marriage and parenthood."
So far, from her interactions with people to understand their views on family life, she said she had observed that family life is still very important to Singaporeans, and most of them still think of building their families through marriage and parenthood.
She also noted that conditions for parenthood are generally good in Singapore. Parents had told her that, when thinking about whether to have children, it was helpful to have a peaceful and stable society, a sound economy, and good education and healthcare systems in Singapore.
While the Government has a role in improving these conditions, the wider community - such as parents' employers - also plays a part, said Mrs Teo.
Asked about the total number of babies born in 2015, she said it is too early to say as data is still being compiled. But, she added: "I'm hopeful that the total number of Jubilee babies will be about the same or more than that in 2014.
"But every one of the babies matters. The babies born this year are just as important as those that were born a year before."