The Futility of Gov’t Matchmaking in East Asia

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions. Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! Wendy Tse, 32 Founder of matchmaking agency Society W. A lot of people think matchmaking services are similar to dating services, but they’re actually different. Dating services tend to be: you have a pool of people who’ve all signed up, and [the service] just [finds] matches within the pool. For matchmaking services, we actually hunt for matches [on the street]. We’re constantly scouting for people.

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Correspondent contributed to this report. The response for many educated Singaporean men, officials say, was to seek out less educated brides at home, or find them in China, hoping that they will accept traditional gender roles. As an Social Development Network accredited dating agency, our expertise is in generating exciting dating opportunities and we will partner closely with you to weave that unique Fabrique of love — intertwined with a shared sense of values and a sincere connection.

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For Singapore citizen Kelly Ang, 25, who married a year ago, having a baby is not a top priority. The public relations professional, who works 11 hours a day, said she has no time to raise a family. Ang is one of many young people across Asia whose decision to put off having children is worrying their governments. From Taiwan to Singapore, authorities are stepping in to organize speed dating and other matchmaking events in a desperate attempt to stem falling birth rates.

Asia’s young population, once the envy of the Western world is growing old — fast — with both fertility and birth rates in some countries at all-time lows threatening to strip the region of its competitive edge.

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Commentary: Government matchmaking programmes need a rethink to SINGAPORE: Last month, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) released.

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It’s American-style Speed Dating, sponsored by the government’s official matchmaking agency, the Social Development unit. The SDU assembles.

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.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in February urged citizens to ignore superstitions about the Chinese zodiac and make more babies during the Year of the Tiger, which began in February.

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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.

Can the dating agencies that are currently established in Singapore be trusted? It is a government agency specialising in increasing social interaction accredited by SDN offer matchmaking services either offline or online.

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.

It also runs seminars and campaigns on “marriage awareness.

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Answer to Consider the Focus on government matchmaking in Singapore. Is a government-sponsored voluntary matchmaking agency for college graduates.

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.

Commentary: Government matchmaking programmes need a rethink to get singles to mingle

The government has established three separate agencies to persuade people to get married, a typical function in most other societies of matchmakers, aunts and neighborhood busybodies. The latest is the Social Promotion Section, which organizes social activities where school dropouts ages 20 to 35 can meet. I have to see myself as a matchmaker.

It joins the Social Development Unit, created by Dr. Eileen Aw in for single college graduates, and the Social Development Section, run by Sam Tan, which was formed in to promote marriage among high school graduates.

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The results showed an increasing proportion of unmarried graduate women — a trend compounded by the preference among local men for women with lower educational qualifications than themselves, while graduate women preferred better-educated men. He warned that the talent pool would be depleted unless better-educated Singaporeans married and had more children.

Social Development Unit. The need for social development in Singapore p. Singapore: The Author. Call no. Social Development Unit , , pp. The Straits Times , p. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Lee, K. Singapore: Times Editions. Social Development Unit , , p. The Straits Times , 23 Oct , p.

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