Govt will step up measures to support parenthood, couples urged to 'do their best' in Year of Rabbit: PM Lee

He also reminded Singaporeans to stay vigilant during celebrations.

Ilyda Chua | January 21, 2023, 10:50 AM

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Strong families are central to a stable and resilient society.

As such, the government will continue to support families through all phases of life, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his annual Chinese New Year message.

This includes stepping up measures to support parents, with further changes to be announced in the coming months.

"So to all our couples, do your best in this Year of the Rabbit!" Lee added.

Families at the centre

Lee also said that despite a dip in the national Total Fertility Rate (TFR), he was "heartened" that many young people still see marriage and parenthood as important life goals.

In addition to government-led measures such as the lowered preschool fees announced last year, Lee spoke about the various ways in which companies, community partners, and individuals can help to build a family-centric society.

"Companies can institute flexible work arrangements and cultivate a more encouraging workplace culture. Community partners can pool resources to celebrate and uplift families," he said.

"Individuals, too, should cherish family time and make it a greater priority."

Staying safe this new year

As families prepare to resume full-fledged festivities this Chinese New Year after three years of muted celebrations, Lee urged Singaporeans to remain vigilant as new variants may yet emerge.

"Health is the greatest wealth," he said. "We must continue to look out for one another and exercise social responsibility."

Individuals should continue to do Antigen Rapid Tests (ARTs) when unwell, especially before visiting elderly relatives, and stay up-to-date on vaccinations.

And amid the celebrations, "let us not forget the hard work and sacrifices of those fighting at the frontline against COVID-19, and keeping Singapore going," Lee said.

He concluded: "I wish all Singaporeans good health, and a very happy Chinese New Year."

Top image from Lee Hsien Loong/FB.