Days after causing a storm online for making remarks about Indians on a bus, former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has posted some views on whether single mothers should be granted equal rights as married mothers.
"Should single mothers enjoy the same benefit as married mothers?
I advocate the single mothers should enjoy the same benefits given to married mothers.
My reasons are:
1. They are making the same contribution to raise a child for society.
2. While the government wishes to encourage the traditional family structure, it has to recognize that many of the single mothers got into their situation due to factors beyond their control. They do not make a deliberate choice to be a single mother and should not be penalized.
3. While some single mothers might have made a personal choice deliberately, their numbers are likely to be small, relative to those in the other category.
4. We should look at the benefit as being provided for the child, rather than for the parents. The child should not be penalized because his or her mother was "single".
5. The same benefit should be extended to single fathers, who have to look after the child.
Currently, the benefit is in the form of tax relief or subsidy for use of child care or other services. I prefer the tax relief to be converted to a cash payment to be used for the child. The subsidies should be extended to all children, regardless of the marital status of the mother."
– Tan Kin Lian
His view was echoed by Facebook users on his Facebook page, although some users were concerned that providing the same benefits for both married and unmarried mothers would promote irresponsible sexual behaviour.
Should our tight-fisted government stop penalising single mothers for their choices and for matters beyond their control? What do you think?