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Raves/Rants about the goings-on on a little blue inconsequential planet in a small and relatively uninspiring solar system which is on the far end of a small and wholly unspectacular galaxy in the large universe.

Singapore Govt.: Cracking down on Abstinence!

Category: By Satchal
This is my first post, so I thought I'd start with a topic that is often on my mind: sex! So I was recently forwarded an article on the Singapore government's latest campaign, and let me just say: 'Shock and Awe' has got nothing on this.

OK, all hyperbole aside, I'm sure many of you perusing through it are responding with the usual guffaws and snickers that accompany any discourse regarding campaigns by the Singapore government. After all, this is the country whose former Minister of State once said, "We have to pursue this subject of fun very seriously if we want to stay competitive in the 21st century."

I have problems with a lot of the government's approaches (more on this later!), but, as a former resident of Singapore with a fondness for the island nation, I'll just say that I think they mean well in this instance. It's not exactly an Orwellian society. Your every move is not watched, and government spooks don't hide behind every street corner waiting to cane you for jaywalking. They've operated on the premise that if people can make money, have good career opportunities, have access to life's many comforts and distractions, and generally don't have to worry about their safety, they won't have a lot to complain about (would you?). Of course, over there you can't complain, or you'll be shot. I jest! Sort of.

In this particular case, I think it's more of a geographical problem rather than some sort of failed sociological experiment. It is after all just one big city, and people in cities don't have time to think about having several kids. Life there is fast paced and expensive, and raising kids is a costly business. And the majority of the population is Chinese, who are an extremely pragmatic people (sorry to generalize) and do make decisions revolving more around money rather than the sentimentalities of family life- not that there's anything wrong with that.

The bigger problem is perhaps that Singaporeans can't think for themselves, certainly a disastrous offspring of their government's policies, and perhaps this lends itself to failures in the bedroom, or, as suggested in the column, before they even get that far. The solution, of course, would be to outlaw condoms, masturbation (they may already have done this, I know sodomy is already on the no-no list - don't ask why I know that), and coitus interruptus (penalty: a stiff latti charge), and then just wait to see how long before folks cave. Actually, given the rather serious BO and bad breath problems (advice: eating durian copiously does not enhance sex appeal!) over there, this might be a while - or maybe its better if these people don't reproduce. Let me also express my disappointment in the one Desi guy they interviewed, a Mr. Kamal Prakash, who offered this nugget: "I am not interested now in love relations because I want to continue my studies. If I concentrate on love relations, I won't be able to concentrate on my studies."

I'd say that about sums it up.

2 comments so far.

  1. El Subliminal May 3, 2008 at 2:17 PM
    So reg. your first point, wouldn't you say there are interesting parallels between what is happening in Singapore and Western Europe?

    When people work hard to get money, they want to have a good time, and not spend money and time on diapers and fancy strollers.

    I actually have a theory on this which i'll post soon.
  2. Tracer Bullit May 4, 2008 at 9:47 AM
    Yes, I would say that is valid. City life is all hustle and bustle, a fast-paced existence that doesn't really lend itself to the setting of traditional family life, I would think. In fact, this is probably the primary reason for suburban developments in the US, where a more structure setting benefits development of family life and child education (e.g. two of the top places to live in the US, Naperville, IL, and Fairfax, VA, are high-income suburbs of major metropolitan areas). Of course, with the sky-rocketing divorce rate, you could probably poke holes in that last statement. Regardless, Singapore geographically cannot really have these developments.

Something to say?