Dear A.S.S. Editor

I refer to the article “Singapore’s total fertility rate dipped to 1.20 in 2016” (Straits Times, Feb 11). It states that “The new data shows 33,161 Singaporean babies were born last year, about 600 fewer than in the previous year (2015). The drop pulled down the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) to 1.20. The TFR measures the average number of children per woman. It is below the previous year’s 1.24, which is well below the 2.1 rate a population needs to achieve to replace itself.”

Why don’t make babies? Why is it that Singaporeans are not having children? Well, here are some likely reasons:

… the longest work hours in the world

… the lowest incomes in the world among developed countries (“407,400 earn less than $1,200 after CPF?”, Dec 27, 2016)

… the most expensive city in the world (The Economist)

… the weakest labour protection laws in the world (“As the cock crows – all the labour cobwebs come to roost?”, Feb 7)

and the most open foreign labour policies among developed countries (“Job growth forecast: 25,000 to 40,000 – 0 to S’poreans?”, Feb 8)

– a lot of people fear losing their jobs (“Only 5% of wrongful dismissal appeals compensated?”, Feb 8)

How many of you have seen a friend, relative or colleague suffer together with their family and children, when they lose their jobs, had substantial cuts in income or had hardly any real increase in income for years?

Leong Sze Hian

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