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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Straits Times Forum Letter of the Day

Do Malay husbands know something the Chinese don't?

THE total fertility rate of Malay Singaporeans last year was 1.64, followed by Indian Singaporeans at 1.09 and Chinese Singaporeans at 1.08 ("Get married, have babies"; Sunday).

Most incentives - maternity leave, maid levies and discounted taxes - are aimed at women, and may be working better for the Malays than for the Chinese.

Perhaps the Government should find out why Malay women are more willing to have babies.

Are Malay men more romantic, persuasive and less stressed out by life's perceived demands than Chinese men?

Do Malay couples have a more viable network of caregivers?

I would like to believe that a man with confidence is attractive to women. He can better influence his wife to have more babies, especially if he believes he can adequately provide for the family.

How can Chinese Singaporean men attain more confidence? In this modern age, the ability to provide translates into how much a man earns and his job security.

Greater confidence may well encourage Singaporean men to take the plunge earlier, and increase the potential for having babies sooner.

Ivan Goh


Another good one:

Not as sports-crazy as China? Imagine these...

"MR CHRISTOPHER Ong is sceptical that Singaporean medal achievements in the Olympic Games will create a surge of national pride or unite the people ("What's the worth of an Olympic medal?"; last Saturday).

He concluded that the notion of national sporting accomplishments uniting the nation is overblown.

Allow me to show, with examples, how wrong he is.

If Singapore were playing against Brazil for an Olympic football gold medal, my bet is that almost every Singaporean would be watching the match on TV. The roads would be empty; every pub with a TV set would be packed; life, as we know it, would stand still while Singaporeans cheer on the Lions. And if Singapore beat Brazil... need I say more?"

(the joy of social thought experiments is no one can prove you wrong)


And finally:

Govt must lead with changes

"The ministry should revamp the leave system with regard to maternity and paternity leave.

It should designate a fixed number of weeks in which both parents can take such leave interchangeably.

Such a flexible parental leave policy sends a strong signal that child-rearing is a task that involves both parents, and will gradually move us away from the traditionally male chauvinist tilt."

POOR SINGLE PARENTS
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