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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Singapore Policies and Fertility Rate

Disclaimer. Although based on facts, this post is written purely for entertainment and does not reflect the author’s true opinion in any way. The author did not, does not, and will not have any intention with the publishing of this post, whether political or personal. Re-publishing of this post by anyone other than the author without prior permission is strictly forbidden.

Some decades back, it was decided that Singapore was too small to accommodate millions of people, and the one-child policy was enforced. Not long afterwards, however, the sudden drop of fertility rate scared the city-state of under-population, and the policy was then lifted. When things didn’t get better, the government now encourages locals to work harder by offering various incentives with subsequent children.

However, today, Singapore remains as one of the countries with the lowest fertility rate. Why?

1. CoE

Certificate of Entitlement is one of Singapore’s many creative ways to prevent overpopulation of the public roads. Buyers of vehicles have to bid for the certificates, usually costing from thousands of Singapore dollars to more than $30000 for small cars. No vehicle, not even the motorcycles, can escape from the wrath of CoE. This, together with Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), has made sure that the traffic flow in Singapore remains smooth, however dense the country is.

However, Singaporean men find themselves losing a weapon on their belts to win ladies. The car is a significant step in serious relationships. From the boy driving the girl at prom night to the young man fetching the young lady home every night. From the couple driving to the beach and laying on the hood and enjoying the stars to the passenger feeding the driver on the road. From getting the car rocking to and fro with the windows all steamy to bringing the children all around the country for trips and holidays and classes. The much matured MRT system is an alternative to private cars, but you can’t do all these in MRTs.

Of course, the desperate ones can always empty their pockets for a CoE, but these relationships usually end with the girl leaving the boy because he is broke. By the time most men are able to afford their own cars, they’re well past their thirties and too late for the hotties.

Too bad. That’s why Singaporean men call their cars ‘babies’. For only 10 years, though, for that's how long it takes for a CoE to expire.

2. Ban of chewing gum

The chewing gum is a very useful tool. It trains the jaw muscles as we chew on them. They’re great toys, too, and many people enjoy blowing gum bubbles. And as pointed out by the Singapore government, they can be used as great adhesives (albeit annoyingly so) that come with all sorts of colour.

And most importantly, as deodorant, breath-freshener, floss and teeth-cleaner. The lack of this important tool greatly affects men’s appeal. Of course, in this case, the gum can be replaced by a visit to the bathroom, toothbrush (preferably with toothpaste), mirror, dental floss AND perfume, by when all of them have been used properly (3 minutes of tooth-brushing, remember?), sight of target will probably be lost. In comparison, gums only need to be popped. And chewed, of course.

Ask around the playboys who visit bars and pubs regularly. They ALWAYS have two things in their wallet – condoms and gums. It’s a shame the latter is banned in Singapore, and Singaporean ladies either have to get used to bad breaths and seeing food leftovers in men’s teeth, or learn to run when their predators enter the washroom.

3. Two-year NS program

National Service (NS), frequently called An Ass by Singaporeans, is a two-year program compulsory for all Singaporean males, typically at the age of 18. The program has been blamed for stunting the education for NSmen, resulting in earlier graduation of female students, possibly bringing them further in education than males. This, in turn, makes the highly educated women harder to find deserving life partners, affecting fertility rates in the end of the story.

However, I disagree. Though entirely possible, the explanation is too far-fetched to be acceptable.

From the way I see it, NS affects fertility in a different way. Being stuck in camp for two of their teen years with extremely limited connection to the outer world, the NSmen have no one to spend their time with other than their fellow muscular NSmen in uniform. After some time, certain tastes change in certain beings, ultimately resulting in their switch in sexual orientation. Singapore government knows this, of course, although it is absurd to scrap NS and risk the country’s national safety just for this. This is why gay rights have always been debated in Singapore, with Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew saying “gay is OK” – he feels guilty and is actually responsible for this.

Now you’ll wonder why so many people migrated to Singapore!


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