Chan Chun Sing clarifies: I did not advocate accepting children out of wedlock
Posted by temasektimes on May 23, 2012
‘Acting’ Minister for Community, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing has clarified that he did not ‘advocate’ accepting children out of wedlock during a forum organized by the Institute of Policy Studies.
It was reported in Channel News Asia yesterday that Mr Chan said Singapore will have to make some difficult ‘social choices’ if it wants to solve problems such as a low fertility rate and low wages.
“Singapore could turn its dismal total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.2 around, as Nordic countries managed to do – if it accepts women having children out of wedlock, but are we prepared to do that? These are social choices that we have to make for ourselves,” he was quoted as saying.
The comment caused a stir in cyberspace with some Singaporeans objecting to his suggestion vehemently on moral grounds.
In a note posted on his Facebook last night, Mr Chan explained that he did not advocate raising Singapore’s fertility rate by promoting children out of wedlock:
“This is to state on record that at no time during the IPS Forum yesterday did I ever advocate raising our TFR by promoting children out of wedlock.”
He added that the comment was made by a participant in the forum:
“A participant asked why Nordic countries have such high TFR. Someone from IPS then pointed out that if we deconstruct the numbers, we would realise that their TFR for married couples is rather similar to ours, but they accepted children out of wedlock. I then asked the audience if we as a society would ever accept that? It was obvious that I did not advocate accepting children out of wedlock as the way to improve our TFR.”