PM Lee encourages S'pore couples to have 'little dragons' in 2024 CNY message

The year of the dragon is considered an auspicious time to have children.

Hannah Martens | February 09, 2024, 10:43 AM


WhatsappIn his 2024 Chinese New Year (CNY) message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged young couples to add "little dragons" to their family, as the year of the dragon in the Chinese zodiac is considered an auspicious year.

PM Lee also hoped that more Singapore couples would have more children, and have them earlier.

Encouraging more couples to try for a baby

As PM Lee called for the celebration of families this CNY, he pointed out that having and raising children is an important element of family life.

He noted the joy children bring to their parents as they learn and grow in the world, and grandparents, like PM Lee himself, can share in that joy, too.

"Many Chinese families consider a child born in the year of the dragon to be especially auspicious, the dragon being a symbol of power, strength, and good fortune. So now is as good a time as any for young couples to add a 'little dragon' to your family."

Understands the decision to have children is personal

PM Lee hoped his encouragement would prompt couples to try for a child, but he understood that having children is a personal choice.

Fertility rates across the world, especially in developed societies like Singapore, are declining, he said.

He attributed the drop to the younger generation having different aspirations where young people prioritise developing their careers, spending quality time with their partners and pursuing other interests. Couples who want children are also putting off starting families.

"All this is quite understandable. But I still hope that more Singaporean couples will decide to have more children, and to have them earlier!"

Building a "Singapore Made For Families"

PM Lee stated that the government will build a "Singapore Made For Families" and continue to support Singaporeans' marriage and parenthood aspirations.

He cited the strengthened support for infant caregiving and work-life balance to see parents through their children's formative years.

Government-paid paternity leave was doubled from two to four weeks, on a voluntary basis.

"Measures like these will lighten the burden on parents, but they are merely enablers. Ultimately, couples will decide whether to have children for their own reasons. I hope more will decide to go ahead, and I am confident they will find parenthood a deeply rewarding and fulfilling journey."

Top photos via PM Lee/Facebook and Wong Li Jie