July 16, Except for one thing: The same organization also happens to be the world’s only government-run dating service. Singapore’s Social Development Unit SDU and programs like it have helped earn this tiny nation a reputation as the ultimate nanny state. Whether the evils of a local slang “Singlish” or the need to flush toilets after use, no social issue is too big or too small for government intervention. According to the government, alarm over a low birthrate prompted the creation of the SDU in But to many Singaporeans, the SDU’s focus on “educated” singles is nothing short of social engineering: an effort to preserve the current racial balance between the city’s Chinese majority and the Malays, who tend to be less educated. The SDU provides subsidized mixers, trips, and computer matchmaking services to college-educated Singaporeans.
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Can the dating agencies that are currently established in Singapore be trusted? It is a government agency specialising in increasing social.
The report showed that the proportion of singles in most age groups had gone up, with the biggest increase among Singaporean women aged 25 to Some have asked whether they were just a waste of time and money, and should be discontinued. The Government established the Social Development Unit SDU in January to encourage greater social interaction and marriage among graduate singles, on the back of the population census which revealed an increasing trend of singlehood among graduate women.
The SDU was conceived to fight this trend by providing opportunities for graduate singles to meet and interact through dinners, outings and other events and reducing the costs of searching for a life partner. Since , SDU has undergone several changes, including catering to both graduate and non-graduate singles as the renamed Social Development Network.
Singlehood rates are shown separately for males and females. Despite the introduction of SDU in , the trend of singlehood seems to be increasing, leading some to question the effectiveness of SDU and a few calling the scheme a failure. But it would not be correct to conclude that the SDU has been ineffective based on the rising trend of singlehood alone. This increase may have been due to other factors such as a greater proportion of women entering the labour market, resulting in more time spent among women at work and less time spent on dating activities.
Indeed, data shows that female participation in the labour market has been on the rise. While the female labour force participation rate in was only File Photo.
“I hope we live in a place where people help one another and no Singaporean is left behind.”
Singapore is launching yet another campaign to promote dating among its notoriously love-shy singles as the city-state grapples with low marriage and birth rates. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports MCYS issued a tender this month through the government’s official procurement website calling for proposals on how to encourage singles to date.
No details of the tender were given in the notice but the Straits Times newspaper said the winner will produce a television commercial to promote dating and draw up a “unique dating concept” to get singles to interact. Targeted at people aged 20 to 35 who do not date, the initiative is the latest effort by the government to act as matchmaker for its loveless singles population. It comes amid falling marriage and fertility rates in the tiny but affluent island-state with a population of about five million, more than one million of whom are foreigners.
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Commonalities of these successful responses include extensive preparation in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS outbreak in , aggressive testing and transparent case reporting to both domestic and international stakeholders, swift and decisive interventions to promote or impose social distancing, and frequent and consistent public health communications. Singapore was one of the earliest countries to detect Covid and in early February was near the top of the confirmed cases list by territory.
Yet there has been no exponential rise in cases to date. Some of the reasons for these are unique to the Singapore system, which invested heavily in outbreak preparation and building health care infrastructure capacity building after the SARS wake-up call. Others, however, offer more broadly generalizable lessons that we have learned at the disease level as well as at the community, health system, and national levels.
Beginning in , Singapore built a task force across multiple government agencies to coordinate interventions and messaging during any future pandemics.
Dating agency aims to match single S’porean guys with Japanese women They aim to “bridge the two worlds” by finding Singaporean S Iswaran: S’pore govt working to provide all foreign worker dorms with WiFi access.
With the prospect of going out on dates scuppered due to the circuit breaker measures, Mr Kishen Ravindaran was happy to turn to video conferencing and have his first virtual date last month. Since the Covid outbreak, many dating agencies have had to arrange virtual dates in place of outings to cafes or restaurants. Singles are warming up to the idea as well. Popular United States-based mobile dating app Bumble, for instance, saw a 56 per cent increase in video calls from March to last month among its users from around the world.
Home-grown Kopi Date and Lunch Actually are among the dating agencies that have turned to virtual dating. Kopi Date, founded in July last year, is tapping video-conferencing platform Whereby, which allows custom branding within the chatroom so that the dating agency’s video dates are held in a Kopi Date-themed chat window. Kopi Dates co-founder Lee Jing Lin says: “We spent quite some time trying out multiple video-call programs in search of a platform that could come as close to our signature Kopi Date experience as possible, before finally deciding on one because of its user-friendly, yet beautifully minimalist interface.
She adds that there has been no decline in sign-ups due to the Covid outbreak as the agency has been accepting sign-ups for offline dates in advance. As for Kopi Date’s starter kit, it is a physical pack sent to participants after they have been matched with their dates. The kit includes interesting facts about the other person; ice-breaker suggestions; technical tips about having a working microphone, camera, lighting and Wi-Fi; and a drip coffee or tea pack.
Kopi Date had plans for a mass Valentine’s Day date for its clients in February, but shelved them for a virtual event due to government advisories against mass gatherings.
What Singapore can teach the U.S. about responding to Covid-19
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Inside, however, shelves of pamphlets imply that love needs a little help. One leaflet details generous housing benefits for newlyweds. Another recommends a list of subsidised marriage counsellors.
matching services (dates). We are SDNTrust accredited. Even before the merger, the Singapore Government had been developing the private dating industry to.
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Commentary: Government matchmaking programmes need a rethink to get singles to mingle
While the idea of asking Uncle Sam to set you up may seem like the final act of a desperate single, in Singapore, the mixing of love and state is de rigueur: In the last 25 years, the country’s two official matchmaking agencies have , marriages to their credit. But with a birthrate that’s flat, after two decades of decline, and the average age of marriage steadily rising for women, it jumped from So in January, it announced that it would merge its agencies: the Social Development Units or SDU, which Singaporeans often jokingly refer to as “Single, Desperate, and Ugly” for the college educated and the Social Development Service for everyone else.
The goal: to offer a bigger dating pool to citizens looking for an official hookup. Most experts credit Singapore’s rising marriage age to the fact that more young people are focusing on their careers in the wealthy, business-driven Southeast Asian city-state.
There was giggling and banter among the students, but that was all part of the course material as their teacher, Suki Tong, led them into the basics of dating, falling in love and staying together. The course, which is in its second year at two polytechnic institutes, is the latest of many, mostly futile, campaigns by the government to get its citizens to mate and multiply. Its popularity last year has led to talk of expansion through the higher education system.
The courses are an extension of government matchmaking programs that try to address the twin challenges embodied in a falling birthrate: Too few people are having babies and too few of those who are belong to what Singapore considers the genetically desirable educated elite. For 25 years, the mating rituals organized by the government – tea dances, wine tasting, cooking classes, cruises, screenings of romantic movies – have been among the country’s least-successful social engineering programs.
Last year Singapore’s fertility rate fell to a record low of 1. But even a replacement-level rate would not be enough for today’s planners. The government recently announced that it was aiming to increase the population by 40 percent over the next half century, to 6.
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Are you a single? Are you too busy to find your soul- mate? Below, we have listed the 5 best dating websites in Singapore that you can trust. Read full review. The 5 Best Dating Apps in Singapore. The apps have different designs and interfaces, but they all try to get you Read More
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This photograph taken on March 5, , shows a student chatting with a girl he met at a local bookstore, after learning tips on how to approach and date women in Singapore. Singapore has just launched a new product dubbed ‘love gifts’ to inspire more dating in the country. In the latest government-backed move to spark romance, Singapore’s marriage-promoting Social Development Network has launched a new product dubbed “love gifts.
The Social Development Network, set up in to serve as the country’s official matchmaker, has also announced a five-week Dating Fest starting on December 29 that will include activities such as speed-dating, bowling, and dance and pastry-making workshops. Singapore seems to be succeeding at most things, except mating. For more than 25 years, the Singaporean government has tried to step in to get couples together to overturn the country’s record-low fertility rates.
Despite a slew of organized dances, wine tastings, and cruises, according to The New York Times, they have been some of the country’s least successful social engineering programs. This summer, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew spoke publicly to emphasize again the urgent need for Singaporeans to have babies, warning that the country will “fold up” if couples continue to opt out of being parents.
According to his statement, 31 percent of women and 41 percent of men are not having children. Skip to content. Recommended on Daily News.
Resource for anyone seeing companionship and friendship in Singapore, detailing meet-up groups and dating agencies. Directory Expat Community Life. Menu Expat Community Life. Vietnamese match-making agency for single men. Lunch Actually.
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Besides coordinating and facilitating dating activities offered by the private sector, it also serves to educate the public on singlehood issues. SDN’s role in the industry has not always been that of facilitating and accrediting. When it was first established in as SDU, it functioned on its own, organising activities for its members without the help of commercial agencies. It was only in that the then SDU decided on a major change in approach: it let the private sector be the main provider of matchmaking and dating services, focusing instead on accrediting and funding private dating agencies and projects.
This was done in the hopes of creating a more vibrant dating scene and of allowing singles to have more options to interact with others of different educational levels. A census conducted in revealed that a large number of highly educated women were still unmarried, despite being above 40 years of age. The SDU was thus formed in January to provide opportunities for single men and women to interact socially.
Another objective of the unit was to encourage public discussion about the perceived problem of the large number of better-educated women remaining unmarried. Since it was first established, SDU’s target group was limited to university graduates. The government justified this elitist approach by announcing that they had identified graduates—and in particular the females among them—as a group which required assistance in terms of finding lifelong partners.
According to the government, non-graduates did not seem to have any difficulty in finding partners. During a speech made at the National Day rally in , then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew alleged that the phenomenon of graduates remaining single would result in a projected loss of about talented people per year. Public reaction to the former SDU was initially that of disdain; graduate women were unhappy about their plight being addressed so prominently, while non-graduate women and their parents were upset at the government for dissuading graduate men from marrying them.
Some were also displeased about the fact that civil servants who were single were given three extra days of leave to go on SDU-organised cruises.