SINGAPORE, May 4 ( – Singapore’s government has struck a committee to encourage families to have at least two children. Inter Press Service reported Monday that Singapore’s birth rate dropped from 1.92 in 1990 to 1.48 last year. At the current birth rate, the population will peak at 3.3 million in 2025, then start to drop.

Criticism was expressed about the UN International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 where anti-natal policies were pushed. Member of Parliament Wang Kai Yuen expressed alarm about the trend. “A nation that cannot revert its declining birth rate is effectively committing collective suicide,” he said. He noted that the problem stems from the perception women have toward family life in Singapore’s career-oriented society.

(Kalinga Seneviratne, Inter Press Service/TerraViva, 1 May).