1 Mar 2005

Why be a Singaporean

I am not sure if this is an actual letter or merely a piece of anti-PAP propaganda. Either way it highlights an issue that is never debated in the local media. I saw it first on Sammyboy.com's Alfresco Coffee Shop ™, but I believe it originated at http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/speakup.php
Marriage Cert Please?

24 February 2005

Yes, why be a singaporean?

I used to be proud to be a Singaporean, when compared to my neighbours the Malaysian, we were considered more modern and advanced in economy... those were the innocent days when as a youth, I went around being proud of my "country" Singapore.

But why be a Singaporean?

Look at my present situation…why has my opinion changed and why do I feel sad to be a Singaporean now? Why am I on the verge of breakdown...angry with the Singapore government and all your stringent rulings...

Yes, why be a singaporean?

I am a single mother...my baby is turning 1 year old and I have no home to call my own...why? I've turned for help to many organisations...even to my neighbourhood PAP MP...but all my requests for a home has been rejected...why?

I have to work hard to earn enough money to provide for my baby, and as if that is not difficult enough for a single mother, I have to set aside money for renting a place to stay...why?

Mostly, I'm deeply offended my the reply letter I received from HDB...I quote: "We wish to explain that the government's public housing policy is aimed at promoting family formation through marriages. To discourage unmarried parenthood, a single unmarried mother is therefore not eligible to buy/rent a HDB flat with the child born out of wedlock"

"As you are not officially married to your child's father, it is regretted that HDB is unable to accede to your request to buy/rent a flat with your child who was born out of wedlock"

Yes, why be a Singaporean?

Yes, I am a single mother...but note that I am not an uneducated, 16-year old girl with a baby...I'm a woman reaching my 30s soon and marriage is not something you rush yourself into...not even if you have a baby.

Is the Singapore government and HDB promoting family life or are they forcing young couples to get married to get a flat? I feel being cornered by the Singapore rulings and regulations...am I to find just any man to marry so that I can get shelter? So I have to force myself into a marriage alliance that will definitely not last...that will end in divorce?

Yes, why be a Singaporean.

I'm proud to be a single mother. The neighbours may talk...my relatives may whisper behind my back...but they are not feeding me and my baby. No one is supporting me...I stand on my own feet... I am strong. I will survive...But can I survive in Singapore? I was fuming when I had to make a birth certificate for my baby...We are being discriminated by our own country...I am no longer proud to be a Singaporean. I am not proud that my baby is a Singaporean. I ignored all the whispers and gossip...but how can I ignore my country turning against me...the letter from HDB kept mentioning "child out of wedlock" ...so my baby is not human...my baby doesn't need a home? I feel like burning that letter but no...I must keep it for evidence to show...to explain to my baby that she must not be proud to be Singaporean...to tell her that we cannot stay here forever...

Yes, why be a Singaporean?

I'm smart...I have always excelled in my studies...I will give myself 5 years...I will migrate...Singapore is not my home country...I have no benefits in being a Singaporean...no reason to stay...Goodbye everyone...I know I'll do better elsewhere...I will rather pay tax elsewhere...I will rather spend my money elsewhere…But never on Singapore who has rejected me and my baby...NEVER.


How does a Singaporean male propose to his girlfriend? Submit answers in the comment section, please.


redrown said...

I think its a fairly straightforward point that other than the conventional family model(2 parents of opposite sex), other family structures in SG are not only recognised but frowned upon and this is very evident in HDB policy, the epitome of social engineering. It is of course common knowledge that a Singaporean male proposes to a girlfriend by asking 'Eh want to apply for flat or not?' While this has become something of a joke it is actually quite sad whichever angle you choose to look at it.

But you cant blame gov for adopting such a policy. I am sure many righteous souls will detest living beside such an 'immoral' lady. Are Sg-reans that close minded? Just look back to Singapore Idol and tell me whether the Single Mum contestant ever stood a chance of winning. The answer is no. She'd probably had more chance of winning in US or Europe because at least she wouldnt be judged on aspects of her personal status there.

soci said...

Sad really. I notice that the government is worried about he falling birth rate and encouraging the 'nuclear family'. But shouldn't every child be viewed and provided for equally.

Yes, we are often told that Singaporeans are 'tradional', meaning, pro-marriage, anti-everyother model.

A few studies have been done by the NUS to 'prove' this tradional argument.

But if divorce, late marriage and never married are increasing surely these different family forms would be represented in the 'attitudes of Singaporeans.' Or maybe the 'actual' is ahead of the 'ideal'. Meaning that mindsets are lagging behind the situations and positions that a growing number of individuals are finding themselves in.

So I get a sense that the national media including the Straits Jacket banging on about 'family' is one reason that mindsets are lagging behind.

redrown said...

Aye, of course, the media plays a vital part in the collective pysche of the population- media gives sg-rean what they want sg-rean to hear, sg-rean hears what they believe they want to hear. the vicious cycle of closed mindsets continues on.

The gov (however misguided it may be) believes that the traditional family framework is the most 'productive' and that other family types are dysfunctional and hence counterproductive to their aims, hence their discouraging policies toward them.

Such discrimination against these increasingly commonplace trends is indeed short-sighted and is just another 'push' factor. However, even if they choose NOT to discriminate against such unorthodox families and adopt similar policies for them, the orthodox family persons will feel 'cheated', as they have obeyed and complied with the Gov and yet they are not accorded 'favourable' status. As such this will discourage orthodox-inclined persons from adopting the Gov-planned path for them - which the Gov believes to be the most 'productive' child factories.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey folks,

Why not consider this: Forget about being a Singaporean or any other label.

Ever tried being an individual - you know, that unique, one-time-only human being.

The govt getting involved in family matters? Man, that's sad.

Don't allow it to happen!


Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff! Lim said...

and how do we not allow it to happen? By not being Singaporean? or by doing... what?

Steven, propaganda or not, i believe the government's official (and very efficiently carried out) policy is clear. The story supports the facts, i say.

Agagooga said...

"Asian Values". And pandering to the Moral Majority.

Anonymous said...

You go gal!! Live well as an individual with the freedom of choice regardless of what the government say, what the society think. You should live the life you choose and deserve!

I totally agree with you that the government prefer us to be divorced than single. However, we'll live well and leave this sad "progressive" place when we are ready.

It's only when life is tough that the tough ones live it to its best.