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Strong, Stable Families Are the Foundation of S'pore Society: PM Lee
Source: channelnewsasia.com
Source Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Singapore
Created: Jun 28, 2010

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has reiterated the need to keep family ties strong.

Speaking at the finale of the National Family Celebrations on Saturday, Mr Lee said strong and stable families are the foundation of Singapore society.

The Prime Minister noted how Singapore has seen rapid development over the past few decades and how this has resulted in social changes too.

The good news by and large is that Singaporeans still retain strong family values and Mr Lee said the country must strive to keep it this way.

He also suggested spending quality time together.

PM Lee said: "Sustain the relationship through each phase of life as family members take on different roles First if you take it in the middle, you have parents as care-givers, then parents and children as advisors and friends because they've grown up but they can still take advise from those who have a little more grey hair. And finally adult children stepping forward to take on responsibility for the family and care for elderly grand parents."

But maintaining relations especially within a multi-generational family unit is not easy as seen by the latest ad sponsored by the National Family Council.

Mr Lee also cited the many cases, seen by MPs, of families under stress.

Mr Lee said: "Sometimes the families come to us asking to break up thinking if they just break up or move apart, then the problems will go away. Maybe (the problems will go away) for a while but quite likely it will make things worse because family members can no longer pool resources or look after one another.

“And after some time, the financial problems will become harder to manage and after some more time, more seriously, the older folks will have no one to take care of them.

“They become lonely, despondent and it's tragic to see old people aging alone, lonely, miserable and going into their sunset years with no joy in their hearts.

“So it's better to go to the root of the problems, try their best to get the family to work properly again, to live together, tolerate each other and take care of one another."

And while much help has come from the people sector such as the National Family Council and Marriage Central, Mr Lee stressed that building stable relations must be the responsibility of family members.

A reminder of this was a pledge that was unveiled, representing the commitment of the people, private and public sectors to make Singapore a place where families are welcomed and supported.

The event at Bishan Park marks the culmination of the month-long National Family Celebrations.
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