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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   23 April  2012

Singapore urges more singles to tie the knot

SINGAPORE: The government would like to encourage more singles to get married, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister-in-Charge of Population Issues Teo Chee Hean.

Mr Teo was speaking to the media on Sunday at a Babies Day Out event at the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

The event was held at the Sengkang Community Club.

"I am very happy to see that when couples get married, they do want to have children," Mr Teo said.

"What we need is an environment which is supportive of families and also, we need everyone -- community, parents, grandparents, family and friends to support young families to have children.

"There are really many initiatives and the government can only do so much. A lot really depends on individuals."

Encouraging married couples to have babies is a top priority for the government -- especially as Singapore's total fertility rate kept falling in recent years.

Singapore's fertility rate hit a record low of 1.15 in 2010.

But it went up slightly last year, to 1.20.

More than a hundred babies took part in Sunday's event.

Advisors from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC were there to congratulate winners of the various contests held in conjunction with the baby show.

The event also celebrated family life and parenthood in the community.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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