SINGAPORE: Single—parent families and the challenges they face have been the subject of much discussion, after a
with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
At the constituency level, grassroots too have been helping single—parent families cope.
The number of cases of single—parent families in need of help is not large, and the cases brought up at the Meet—the—People sessions are often those who need assistance with homes and schools, say MPs whom Channel NewsAsia spoke to.
Hri Kumar, MP for Bishan—Toa Payoh GRC, said: "It’s a difficult issue but I don’t think we should be afraid of making exceptions...Families who have mothers or fathers who are single parents not through choices but through unhappy circumstances — we should help them and we should not forget that the child’s welfare is paramount."
"The mother and child would have to move on in life and society has to provide that sort of support for both the mother and child," said Ms Ellen Lee, MP for Sembawang GRC. "If people are important to us, the illegitimate child is also important to us."
"The issue is: should we be assisting them to make their life just a little bit easier? Should we be looking for ways for the single mum, who has never been married, to have as much assistance in raising her children as another mum who is married? The numbers are not large, the problems are not left to hang. There are a lot of community resource we can bring to bear," said Dr Janil Puthucheary, MP for Pasir Ris—Pungggol GRC.
Grassroots bodies have several programmes to help single—parent families in need.
"We are working very closely with the community because at the end of the day, we want to have community befrienders who actually befriend these families so that whenever they need help, we are able to activate the national scheme or local scheme," said Dr Teo Ho Pin, MP for Bukit Panjang SMC.
"We try to ensure that the kids continue to remain in school and the mother has a stable job to ensure that the family continues to be stable," added Mr Zainudin Nordin, MP for Bishan—Toa Payoh GRC.
The MPs said the ongoing Our Singapore Conversation is expected to be a lively platform to discuss future trends in single parenthood.
"The National Conversation is a very good opportunity for us to get a very good feel of the pulse of Singapore society going forward and then that would probably move into the situation where we review policies such as maternity, housing affecting singles and single families," said Mr Desmond Lee, MP for Jurong GRC.
The dialogues are expected to take place both at the national and local constituency levels.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
US director Alexander Payne is in competition at Cannes this year with 'Nebraska', a black-and-white road movie through the American midwest... More US director Alexander Payne is in competition at Cannes this year with 'Nebraska', a black-and-white road movie through the American midwest. Duration: 01:07
Date 1 hr ago, Duration 1:07, Views 0