With 93% of Singaporeans in a recent poll preferring a flat over a newborn, is this the new wave in family planning? This has certainly has raised a din among Singaporeans. A torrent of comments have flooded social media over her simplistic views from Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo on starting a family. There were many opinions on delayed parenthood and this will be an issue that will affect us for years to come.
The Cost Factor
Financial strain is certainly a huge factor for most couples when deciding to become parents. With sky-rocketing prices of both homes and child rearing expenses, it is right that couples want to get their sums right. Ensuing they are on a stable footing before taking the plunge must be topmost on their minds.
The most competitive pricing for a BTO flat in a non-mature estate can cost from $163,000. From a report in May 2016, Estimates of the cost of raising a child in Singapore range from around $200,000 at the low end. This could easily balloon to a seemingly astronomical sum of nearly $1 million at the high end. The with middle-range average would come to about $360,000. A child is of course priceless yet these are figures that would concern most mum and dads. Financial stability for most is the safe bet before bringing a child into the world.
The Need For Privacy
While staying with the in-laws is an option, often times, tension is introduced. Be it the loss of privacy or difference in opinions, it’s certainly a stressful transition for parents. One parent on facebook even stressed the need for a space of belonging to raise a child comfortably. Having family around might be great for a while but sooner or later the living situation might get strained.
Certainly these negative reactions culled from social media paints a different picture:
- Derrick Poh wrote, “Do you produce flats faster than we produce babies?
If the baby arrives before the flat, then what? Confinement do along the corridor? Diapers store at lift lobby? And where do you suggest we place the baby cot? Not everyone has the luxury of depending on their parents to host them and a baby while the govt takes 3-4 years to build a flat. Such statements only show how shallow your thoughts are and how much empathy you’re lacking with couples.”
- Teow H Tan wrote, “Cant imagine a PAP minister talking sex openly. Her logic is again insensitive, not understanding and absurd. All PAP care about is more babies for Singapore’s future economy. But do they care for the well being of the child without a proper house to grow up in?”
- Rayson Goh wrote, “Woah, first encourage online gambling, then encourage pre-marital sex and have children out of wedlock. Whatever happened to those FAMILY VALUES the government used to preach? After LKY, we sure are going downhill. Don’t compare us with western countries. Yes, they can have sex the same night they meet, it’s that easy. But it can be equally easy for them to say goodbye the next morning.”
- Shayful Kamal wrote, “This is what happens when you care more about growth statistics more than your citizen’s well being. And another thing did she just promote premarital sex?”
It can be said Singaporean parents are rightly annoyed. Delayed parenthood or not, it might be best to put the power of raising a child in the hands of parents.