ST Feb 17, 2007Awww. PM Lee is so kind and compassionate. He really, really cares for the happiness of your family, and that's why he won't give you any welfare benefits.Keep family unit strong and healthy, PM urgesIn CNY message, he cites trend of more elderly people living on their ownBy Li Xueying
AS FAMILIES gather tonight for their reunion dinners, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged Singaporeans to keep the family unit strong and healthy.
It was not an unusual theme for the Prime Minister to refer to in his traditional Chinese New Year message. But what was unusual this year was that he devoted almost his entire message to how important that was.
There was one disturbing trend which he had observed which might account for this, and which made this year's message more pressing: more elderly Singaporeans living on their own ............
'let us never undermine the traditional responsibilities of the family, especially in looking after the elderly,' he said.
Singapore must avoid the pitfalls of Western-style welfare, where generous state benefits for the jobless and elderly have weakened the family unit, he added.
Sing me another song, birdie.