Forum: Building a better Singapore so that those who wish to raise a family can fulfil aspirations

We refer to the letters by Mr Bennie Cheok (Having kids is challenging but brings boundless joy, Nov 23), Mr Holmberg Dennis (Concerns that couples who are child-free by choice have about future are well-founded, Dec 21) and Mr Chen Junyi (Up to every generation to make the world better, Dec 24).

Having a child is a highly personal decision that is influenced by several factors.

Having children is a great responsibility. Some may choose not to have children, citing, among other reasons, climate change and quality of life issues.

We should indeed think about the world that our children will grow up in. However, we should also remember that we have the power to change and shape the future positively.

With children, we can have a new generation that will help to build a better world and a better Singapore, for themselves and those yet to come.

In this generation, Singapore has set aspirational climate goals and launched the whole-of-nation Singapore Green Plan 2030 to encourage everyone to play his part to build a liveable and sustainable home for our future generations.

Such efforts illustrate our commitment to build a future worthy of our children, whether we individually have children or not. It is our obligation - collectively - to find solutions for climate change and other societal issues.

As Mr Chen mentioned, previous generations have overcome even greater challenges - war, extreme poverty and other existential threats - to build a better life for us. We are better resourced and prepared today than our forefathers, and should have a well-founded optimism that we too can overcome the challenges of our era 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 agency to shape their own well-being and future.

Most Singaporeans do want children. In the 2020 World Values Survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies, over three-quarters of Singaporean residents polled desired to have at least one child, with almost four in 10 desiring two.

The Government will continue to provide a supportive environment and work with Singaporeans and community partners to build a Singapore that is Made For Families, so that those who wish to raise a family can fulfil their aspirations.

We welcome suggestions to better support Singaporeans who wish to start and raise families. More information on the existing support measures can be found at go.gov.sg/madeforfamilies

Kwek Poh Heok

Director, Marriage and Parenthood Directorate

National Population and Talent Division Strategy Group, Prime Minister's Office

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