IN HIS National Day Rally speech, the Prime Minister highlighted the need to address long-term challenges, such as the low birth rate.
The reasons for our low birth rate are complex, and there is no simple solution.
The issue requires a multi-pronged approach, which will take into account the Government, the community and private-sector employers.
Individuals and, more importantly, employers, need to change their mindsets.
Not every company is pro-family, and employers still hold negative views about married women and family life.
On the other hand, a factor in women's unwillingness to have children is the fear of losing their job.
The Government has done its part in providing incentives such as the Baby Bonus Scheme, tax breaks, childcare subsidies and more paid maternity and childcare leave.
Employers and individuals must also do their part in boosting the fertility rate.
In short, Singapore needs to change its attitude towards work and parenthood before we can enjoy a healthy birth rate.
Mr Sebastian Tan
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