“Please have more babies” – PM Lee urges Singaporeans at NDR 2017

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took centrestage at ITE College Central this evening to deliver his annual National Day Rally speech.

This year, he touched on three main issues: having more children and setting children up for success at an early age; the war on diabetes; and transforming Singapore into more of a smart nation with an emphasis on e-transactions and greater CCTV surveillance nationwide.

1. “Please have more babies”

PM Lee announced that spending on pre-school education has doubled from 360 million in 2012 to 840 million this year and is set to further increase to 1.7 billion in 2022. This expenditure is intended to enhance the social mobility of young children, the PM said, which in turn will sustain a fair and just society.

The government plans to create an additional 40,000 new preschool places for children four years of age and below, bringing the total number of preschool places up to 200,000 nationwide. It will also improve the quality of pre-school education for children between the ages of 5 and 6 since there are already enough places for them.

The Ministry of Education’s current 15 kindergartens are also expected to scale up to 50 centres in the next five years.

A new centralised National Institute of Early Childhood Development will be set up to attract talent into the preschool job sector and improve the development and prospects of pre-school professionals, as well. The institute will bring current pre-school education programmes at polytechnics, ITE and SEED Institute together.

However, all these plans will be for naught if Singaporeans don’t have babies. The PM urged Singaporeans to have more children and indicated that these measures are being instated to make it easier for couples to start and grow a family.

2. “When it comes to diabetes, Singapore is almost the world champion – just behind the US”

While Singaporeans have the highest life expectancy in the world at 82 years, the PM cautioned Singaporeans of diseases like diabetes, which puts almost a third of Singaporeans at risk presently.

The PM waxed lyrical about the importance of healthy eating and leading an active lifestyle and warned Singaporeans of the dangers of diabetes which poses a threat to seniors and the young alike.

He outlined that Singaporeans should see a doctor, exercise, be more conscious of their diet, and cut out sugar to avoid contracting the disease which may lead to severe consequences like blindness, impotence, or death due to organ failure.

On diabetes, he said: “It is precisely because you are not worried, that I am worried.”

As a proactive measure against diseases like diabetes, the Ministry of Health is set to offer $5 health check ups to individuals aged 40 and above. The typical cost of these check ups is said to be over $100.

PM Lee also said although the government considered a ‘sugar tax’ like ones that European nations, Brunei and Mexico have implemented, it is unsure if such a measure might work. In the meanwhile, officials have gotten soft drink companies to reduce sugar in drinks.

He, however, ultimately conceded that it is the individual’s choice on what they want to consume.

3. “Next time I’m at a hawker centre, I look forward to buying my meal with PayNow!” 

Citing that Singapore lags behind countries like China in the area of cashless, electronic payments, PM Lee said that the nation will advance itself by employing a single card terminal that can read different cards as opposed to multiple systems that are unintegrated.

IT Security is also set to improve with increased CCTV cameras and sensor networks that will allow the Government to respond to emergency situations more effectively and quickly.

The PM cited the Little India Riot as an event where, he indicated, the authorities were caught unprepared due to too few CCTV cameras in the area.

As such, authorities are installing more CCTV cameras in public locations, making “every lamp-post a smart lamp-post.” Artificial Intelligence is also being employed to flag unusual activity.

Technology will also be used to aid Singaporeans in their daily life, with one such application set to be launched soon. A new app, Parking.sg, will soon be available for users to make parking payments electronically.

The app will alert users when their parking session is about to end, and they can then extend the session remotely instead of rushing back to add parking coupons.

The Prime Minister ended his speech saying that “It is my Government’s duty to build for our future.”

“This is the Singapore of the last half century…Every generation striving and building for the next; keeping our eyes on tomorrow and investing in our children; undaunted by challenges and disruptions, instead working together to overcome every obstacle, seize every opportunity and realise a bright future for all of us.”

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108 comments

  1. Everything is rising.. water food transport etc etc milk powder which is why I switched my son to a cheaper formula.we don’t live in the era where babies run around in cloth nappies . How much help are we given ?? If wages do not increase and most of our jobs are taken away by FT how are we even to afford a pet gold fish?? I still need fish food right??? I can’t be catching worms every morning for my fish… The minute you open your eyes from sleep and brush your teeth you are already paying..

  2. I doubt he is sincere. When all other factors are anti family , how to ask people to have more babies? He will use this excuse to import FT. No 1 story teller. He can serve in National library after stepping down ( if he does ).

  3. The first thing to look at is …. is the govt committing to subsidise the ever increasing cost of living if young married Singaporeans decide to start having kids? Sky rocketing costs alone will deter anyone from having kids.

  4. Facebook Profile photo
    James Bong ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t come to hawker centres please! Your battalion of guard dogs and sycophants are a disgrace and a damning testimony of how very afraid you are, even among the heartland folks. Since you are so scared, stay away in your aristocratic palace and ivory tower. We don’t want to be anywhere near the “dishonourable son of LkY”!

  5. Obviously, these high level people have not heard of Kepner Trigoe’s theory of causes and effects.

    If you do not know the real causes of the three points, taking care of the effects will get us nowhere over the longer term.

    Quick and dirty fixes are just temporary crowd pleasers.

  6. I know of many underprivileged families that have 3 or more children but the assistance that they get from government is derisory.
    Was LHL’s plea aimed only at graduate parents? Is he like his father who did not want “stupid” parents to have more babies?

  7. Mat Noor says:

    the private sectors must be monitored to ensure that they don’t take advantage of their workers. The govt sector need to reduce stress level of civil servants. Then people will want to have more babies.

  8. More ? How to ? Housing prices soaring and childcare pricing soaring like nobody’s business milk powder issue not solve not enough childcare leaves for child caring Mrt delays causes fines from childcare Centres and resentment from superiors and bosses over performance ! Base on all these issues we still give birth?

  9. More babies is hindered by policies which are multi-goal, thus diluting the purpose which is to encourage more babies. If we want to have effective policies, forget about having other objectives in these policies. Try not to micro-manage so much.

  10. Sas Karma says:

    Have more babies?- when the infrastructures can’t even take this present number of population now! Tell us how you are going to fix the transport system, the raising medical costs, the increasing prices of daily needs, our depressive salaries, 3rd world shit who brought into our white collar jobs who can’t even do a simple job! jobless Singaporeans first before all this baby rubbish!

  11. Who pays to raise them! PM Lee, you are living in a sand castle build in the sky. Have your ministers or you sat down to figure how much it cost to raise a child in Singapore. Social and work pressure to provide for a family. For those working in commercial sector, job stability or availability are never assured… income in Singapore versus inflation n indirect is lopsided – Singapore has the highest indirect taxes in the world. The tax rebate per baby is insufficient relative to the cost of raising a child from birth to a good university!

  12. Always have to bring in Mr LKY. Does ah loong always have to hide under Mr LKY name? Since all his supporters are saying lhl is running the country different from LKY. Then why still mentioned LKY to get sympathy? If he really running and observing LKY legacy then for goodness sake be an iron man don’t be a pinky. Make sure Singapore have laws. Just like how LKY run Singapore before else please don’t even mentioned LKY

  13. Losheah He says:

    Henry, you must be dreaming. At this time , he finds it very little to milk yet your want him to lower the price of milk powder or more subsidy. You actually want his life.

  14. This PM position in singapore is very easy. I believe anyone can do it. Just say u want and it will happen wish my job is so easy. Go up stage and say, I need more money. And wait for money to come. I be rich soon follow his methods.

  15. NC Tay says:

    U think the govt is going to build all these child care Centres if they are unsure whether young Singaporeans are going to have children… The child care Centres are built for the foreigners they are trying to attract.

    1. My sentiment exactly. When the time comes to give the places to FT the excuse would be there is not enough Singaporeans to fill those places. Why reduce places in higher institutions but increase child care centres? What happens when these children go to JC and U? Oh wait, they don’t need a degree so don’t expect any places for them.

    2. They should be building more old age homes for the aging population instead & train the young to take up nursing as a respected profession with attractive wages for them.

  16. When it comes to having kids, there is no such thing as minimal spending on a child. Children are not digit or commodity, they need to be invested and give the best of care and nurturing.

  17. Facebook Profile photo
    Johnny Sunny ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Depending of which school of thought you subscribe to, you might realise by now that he is the master of all lies. He is correct to ask for more babies, just like how a devil asks for more souls or a hungry lion asks for more human flesh to devour. Your children, the future ones, will suffer immensely under their care.

  18. Ah Soh says:

    Have babies and Govt take care? Govt can’t even control the price of formula milk which has treble in price within the last ten years. Does he know a person with a $2000 income is having difficulty in maintaining one primary school going child???. By middle of the month already looking for next month paypacket. Govt should come out with ideas to alleviate families with children instead of just telling its citizens to have more children. Talk is cheap and easy.

  19. Gov wan sporeans to have more babies, y cant the gov bear all the costs from day 1 till the baby is born…
    If someone cant bear a child n wants to adopt a baby also need to pay atleast $20k…
    Gov dont care about the ppl, they only care for the money the ppl have…

    1. Dilys Tan says:

      It’s more like treating us like transparent! Talk is free and hope there’s no wastage of resources. To add 40,000 new preschool places and additional 35 centres to the current 15 kindergartens in the next five years? Seriously, what’s wrong with his leadership?

    2. Yow Yow says:

      Tell him to provide us beautiful and young girls as much as possible
      Then we help him to make as much as possible babies and without responsibility of the babies confirm and sure that i can help him to make more babies hahahaha

  20. Jasen Lee says:

    Teaching your great grand father how to F**k. You always do that. When he was just a bg, teaching real Generals how to fight.
    One simple question the General asked him, “Have you fought a war?”
    This Idiot say No.
    People are real Generals.

  21. Jasen Lee says:

    F**k! The high cost of living have already cost us a lot of stress. You put all your money back and we all can have babies everywhere. Again the brain in his ass is sleeping. Only a dumb cannot talk. (Sorry, no offense because I am referring to that Satan )

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