So our birthrate is falling…as the statistics shows. Well we all know about ‘Lies, damned lies and statistics’ but this number is a sobering, soul searching fact. It tells us it happened, it does not tells us who, why it happened.
Many experts has inked their opinions on this matter, and what can I say to value add to all that noise?
Some blamed the ‘gahmen’ (A Singapore colloquial term for ‘government’). Many cursed the ruling political party, the PAP. Some even blamed Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and his ‘Stop at 2 child policy’ in the 1960s/70s. Some blamed rising cost of living. Xenophobic Singaporeans even blamed FTs(Foreign Talents) for the falling birth rates.
Right now, the gahmen is trying very hard with a slew of monetary propositions and other social initiatives to try and push Singaporeans to f**k for fetus. It is not working, so let the finger pointing begins, its easy to point fingers, but truth to the matter this is a complex issue. The best part of it is; it is none of our fault.
So what has happened? Let’s talk sales, and ask ourselves who are the best people to sell procreation? the gahmen? MM Lee? Our Social Development Unit? A gahmen sanctioned cupid-like organisation, helping with blind dates, speed dating, and other heterosexually copulative activities. No.
The best sales person, is our parents.
This is where things gets interesting, or uninteresting. This is about where the Long Tail Effect begins. Admittedly, personally, my parents are lousy sales people to promote family building. they share nothing with me about the joys of having a family. With an uptight Asian values and culture, we promote modesty, or hypocrisy. Celebration of love and union is unheard of as far as i can remember as a kid. If my dad loved my mum, he never showed it.
My parents were never exemplary in showing that the best things in life is to have a partner for life. in fact, my parents got a divorce, ending their union bitterly. It was not a good template for me. I was scared of marriage. All the hurt and despair, the bitterness. I was never told that marriage was a good thing, or how can it be a good thing?
Not only that ‘romanticism’ is not in my lexicon, bread and butter issues dominated our lives. we were told to work hard, get a good education, earn lotsa $$$. what about family? the touchy feely issues. the birds and the bees? Nope, i was never formally, informally indoctrinated. So from kidhood to adulthood, I was never taught fine arts of flirting, wooing girls and all those fun stuff.
Till this day, youths in Singapore are being exposed to shallow family unions, lip service relationships, materialistic matrimony. How? Then can we ever conceive that getting into a marriage and having kids is a good thing? When we see before our very eyes, how our parents suck at this marriage thing. Marriage is boring, uninteresting, risk with no positive return on investment, so why do it then?