Special weekend set aside for families to spend quality time together

SINGAPORE - A weekend will be specially set aside for families - immediate and extended - to make time for members to talk and bond, under a new annual movement initiated by the Families for Life Council.

The inaugural My Family Weekend, to take place from Aug 31 to Sept 3, calls on corporations and the community to support a family-friendly culture here, the Ministry of Social and Family Development said in a statement on Monday (Aug 7).

This comes as Singaporeans work long hours and juggle various commitments.

The nationwide initiative will feature a line-up of events supported by community partners and voluntary welfare organisations, as well as family-friendly efforts at the workplace by various corporations.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said that besides getting individuals to make time for their families, the initiative also encourages employers and the community to support family time.

The initiative was started by a new Families for Life Council, which commenced a two-year term last Tuesday (Aug 1) .

Five new members have been appointed to the 13-member council, which will continue to be chaired by Mr Ching Wei Hong, the chief operating officer of OCBC Bank.

The new members include Mr Kelvin Ang, a family blogger; Mr Kua Soon Khe, the chief executive of the Singapore Buddhist Federation; Dr Mathew Mathews, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies; Ms Sim Siew Moon, partner and head of tax at Ernst and Young; and Mr Tong Yee, co-founder of The Thought Collective.

The council comprises academics and members from corporate industries and social enterprise sectors.

Mr Ching said: "Singaporeans today are working longer and harder, and have to juggle a multitude of commitments.

"The wider community is crucial in enabling individuals to spend quality time with their families, have heart-to-heart conversations with each other and be their loved ones' pillar of strength. This could be through introducing flexi-work arrangements, or helping out with care-giving duties."