Improving Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

Improving Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

The challenges of decreasing total fertility rate and aging population have a major impact on the sustainability of our economy, security, and society (“Increase subsidies to raise fertility rate: MP”; last Thursday).

To resolve this challenge, we should not just look at relieving
the financial burden of raising a child.

In fact, the more we harp on the requisite expenses, the more couples may become unduly concerned about having one or more children.

We need to develop a culture that promotes the joy of parenthood, and help couples realize that having children can add happiness, excitement and fulfillment to their lives.

Educate them such that they will have no unnecessary worries about the child-bearing and child-raising processes.

And bring back the “gotong royong” spirit so that family members as well as friends and neighbors will encourage and help each other to bring up the children.

We cannot develop such a culture using a top-down approach.

We need to rope in key stakeholders from the public, private and people sectors so that with more “uncles” and “aunties” inspiring and encouraging couples, and offering essential support and services, we will be in a better position to increase our TFR.

If it takes a village to bring up a child, let’s make Singapore the best village to bring up an appropriate quantity and quality of talented children to further secure and brighten our future.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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