Singapore PM urges more babies in Year of Horse

2014-01-30 09:31
(Peter Parks, AFP)

(Peter Parks, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Singapore - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday urged young couples to get off to a "galloping start" in the Year of the Horse by having more babies to boost flagging birth rates.

In his Lunar New Year message, Lee said the wealthy city-state needed "enough children to form the next generation" amid concerns over the influx of immigrants.

"Unfortunately, despite our efforts to promote marriage and parenthood, our birth rates are still too low," Lee, a father of four, said.

Lee said Singapore's current fertility rate is 1.19 babies per female, down from 1.29 in 2012. The rate for ethnic Chinese Singaporeans, who make up 74% of the resident population, is lower, at 1.06.

"We must try to do better. I hope the Year of the Horse will see some improvement," he said.

The 61-year-old leader noted that Valentine's Day this year would coincide with the auspicious 15th day of Lunar New Year festivities known as "Chap Goh Mei".

"Almost 300 couples have registered to marry on this auspicious day, so we are off to a galloping start," he said.

"I hope to hear more wedding bells and newborns' cries throughout the year."

Despite a series of so-called "baby bonuses" to encourage couples to have children, Singapore has not been able to boost its fertility rate to the 2.1 level needed to maintain the native-born population.

Its low birth rate has forced the government to rely on foreign workers. Foreigners now comprise a third of the 5.4 million population.

The influx, however, has sparked protests and prompted the government to tighten immigration flows in recent years.

Ethnic Chinese around the world on Friday will usher in the Year of the Horse.

Read more on:    singapore

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 14:01 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights
  • Thursday Kuils River - 09:13 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3795.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.