Over 4,000 gift ideas received for babies born next year; book likely to be part of Jubilee Baby gift pack

Ms Grace Fu (Minister, Prime Minister's Office,Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources  and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs) visits the Jubilee Baby  Feedback booth, at VivoCity on Sunday, Apr 13, 2014. Gold coins,
Ms Grace Fu (Minister, Prime Minister's Office,Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources  and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs) visits the Jubilee Baby  Feedback booth, at VivoCity on Sunday, Apr 13, 2014. Gold coins, one year supply of diapers and even free education. These were among over 4,000 suggestions made by Singaporeans on gifts for Singaporean babies born next year.  The authorities will study these ideas before deciding what goes into the gift pack, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Gold coins, one year supply of diapers and even free education. These were among over 4,000 suggestions made by Singaporeans on gifts for Singaporean babies born next year. The authorities will study these ideas before deciding what goes into the gift pack, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu on Sunday.

The Government announced two weeks ago that every Singaporean child born next year will receive a special Jubilee Baby Gift to mark the 50th anniversary of the country's independence. Since the announcement, the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), which is putting together the gift pack, has been gathering gift ideas online and in road shows. On Sunday, it set up a booth at VivoCity to catch passing shoppers for their ideas, handing out candies and sweets to those who do so.

Ms Fu told reporters after visiting the booth said that the gift pack is likely to have less than 10 items. The authorities will draw up a shortlist based on the suggestions and let the public vote on the gifts next month.

"We are not looking at, for example, free education and free childcare for the babies," said Ms Fu with a laugh, adding: "That will always continue to be something we pursue under our normal policies to encourage marriage and parenthood."

She added that the gifts should serve three purposes. They have to have a celebratory purpose, hold a commemorative value and can be of practical use to parents when caring for their babies. She revealed that a book is likely to be among them. "(Having) something symbolic to remind parents to spend time to read with the baby, that will be something in the package," she said.

The public can give their suggestions at the website http://www.nptd.gov.sg/jubilee until May 15.

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