Stealing Cupid’s Bow
Government-sponsored dating games? The SDU assembles a group of men and women and pairs them off at tables. They chat for seven minutes until a bell rings, and then rotate on to a new mystery date. Prizes for right answers include bath gels and restaurant vouchers. Then there are Library Dates, in which eight men and eight women are paired off and given 45 minutes to look through bookshelves, choosing books that reflect their interests. Then they write down their impressions of each other based on the books they have chosen. Over drinks and cake, everyone gathers at a roundtable discussion to present the partner to the rest of the group.
Singapore government dating agency
Dating in Singapore gets supported by the government of Singapore since a long time. The Social Development Network “promotes a conducive environment for eligible individuals to meet and form meaningful relationships”. The network coordinates dating activities offered by the private sector and also educates the public on single-hood issues.
government holding company that held stakes in Singapore Airlines, Changi “Have 3” campaigns; incentives for having more kids, SDU and matchmaking.
Are you Single, Desperate, and Ugly? In addition to its tea dances and moonlight cruises, the agency acts as a lonely hearts adviser, with an online counselor named Dr. Love and a menu of boy-meets-girl suggestions on its Web site, www. The SDU is only for college graduates, and only for Singapore citizens i.
I have a college friend who grew up in Singapore, only became eligible once she retained Singaporean citizenship. Of course, joining the SDU is completely optional and the government at least in the past has had to promote SDU, and does, with tv campaigns, such as the video above, trying to make SDU stand Single, Desirable, and Unattached.
And below, is an tv ad from the Ministry of Health promoting Singaporeans to have more kids:. You may find such a government program revolting, but I have been thinking more and more lately, especially with the widening income inequality, that here in the United States, the increasing socio-economic self-segregation of Americans and Asian Americans is akin to a defacto eugenics program… Maybe eugenics is too strong of a word, but I think you get what I mean.
Girl talk in Singapore
A name c han ge, and matchmaker t o a ll. Govt agency will work with dating services and pick up part of the tab. In its place: The Social De- velopment Network, or SDN, which will be a one-stop cen- tre for dating information, rela- tionship courses and services. It will also partner profes- sional dating services, such as Champagne JSG and Exclusive Match, to fulfil its mission of getting singles to meet and, eventually, marry, and will pay some of the cost for those who want to try such services.
Well, that was the nickname given to Singapore’s Social Development Unit (SDU), a government matchmaking organization started in
It recently launched the Marriage Central website for newlyweds, to-be-weds and already-weds. Ngee Ann Polytechnic conducts a course on relationships for its students. And the SDU sends me mailers. I’m sure it has a very important function to play, but I’m not sure what that function is, because I don’t personally know anyone who got married after meeting someone else via the SDU. I do know people who got married after they went to a heavily discounted SDU event while they were already dating, but that’s another story.
I didn’t graduate from university here, so how did they find me? Heck, I was already dating someone.
Singapore’s principal matchmaker
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.
The government of Singapore founded the Social Development Unit (SDU), now called the Social Development Network (SDN) in to.
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Singapore Plays Matchmaker, Hoping to Boost Its Birth Rate
Can the dating agencies that are currently established in Singapore be trusted? Yes they can, only if they are certified so by our very own SDN. So, what is SDN and why should we rely on their judgement?
TO STEM Singapore’s rapidly falling birth rate, the Government does many useful The SDU, or Social Development Unit, is a dating agency.
By Sara Webb. Young, well-educated, and ethnic Chinese, Chng was a prime candidate for the Orwellian-sounding Social Development Unit, or SDU, set up in to help graduates find suitable spouses and reverse an alarming slump in city-state’s fertility rate. As she approached 30, her counsellor urged her to hurry up because her chances of finding a husband would soon fade.
Some might find such government involvement in their marital prospects intrusive, but Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party has often used financial incentives and other methods to influence its citizens’ behaviour — from who they marry and when, to how many children they have, and where they live. For example, about 84 percent of Singaporeans live in apartments built by the government’s public housing agency, which sells its properties according to strict race quotas.
The quotas –reflecting the overall population mix of 76 percent Chinese, 14 percent Malay, 9 percent Indian, and 1 percent Eurasian — are meant to prevent ghettos. It was only recently that the agency relaxed its rules, in the face of a housing glut and complaints from singles, to allow unmarried Singaporeans to buy subsidised public housing. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, a firm believer in the inheritance of intelligence, sparked a furore in the early s when he urged women graduates to marry graduate men and have more babies to boost Singapore’s talent pool.
The implications were grave,” Lee said in his memoirs. With just 4. Like many developed countries, Singapore saw its birth rate decline as contraception and abortion became widely available, as more women entered the workforce, and following the success of an earlier PAP campaign that urged parents, particularly those with low incomes, to “Stop at Two”. The fertility rate, which was as high as six in the late s, fell to 1.
But broken down by race, the figures show the Chinese have the lowest fertility rate, at 1.
SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT PLAYS THE ROLE OF MATCHMAKER FOR ECONOMY`S
The government-sponsored campaign for the whole of February — the latest in a series of social engineering drives to get its citizens behind government-set goals over the last two decades — includes dances, cruises, concerts, museum visits, romancing tips and other special events for couples. Private sponsors are offering discounted candlelit dinners, spa packages and weekend getaways for couples.
Also, while marriages are down 2 percent from the averages of the s and s, the proportion of single people above 35 years has jumped from Surveys have found that many young women are put off from raising families because of the highly competitive education system here and the stress it imposes on the mother.
While Singapore women are making strides in the workplace and many are better educated, more also are putting off marriage — sometimes.
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.
With 25, current members, the SDU has had its share of success. About 3, members of the program married last year, Since its inception, the SDU says 50, Singaporeans have been married through its offices. Four years after signing up for its computerized matchmaking service, a marriage adviser called her with “the perfect guy. We’ll have at least three.
Currently, the average Singapore woman has 1.
Commentary: Government matchmaking programmes need a rethink to get singles to mingle
The acceptance of dating systems, however, has created something of a resurgence in the role of the funny professional matchmaker. Those who find dating systems extremely services useful but prefer human intelligence matchmaking personal touches can choose from a wide range of such services now available. According to Mark Brooks an online personals and social networking expert , “you can actually find people who are compatible, and this is a major advance that is going to keep the industry alive for the upcoming 50 years”.
She waits, heart fluttering, for Prince Charming; he stands aloof from the passing parade, waiting for his dream girl to come along. Neither marries young and starts a family. The Health Ministry is running advertisements urging young Singaporeans to get on with marriage and do their duty. You could wait a lifetime for a dream,” one ad is headlined. It shows a young couple seated, separated by four empty chairs.
The text says: ”Some of us are waiting for our dream person to come along. But while waiting, have you wondered how many special people have walked into your lives-and out again? Why not look around you instead? You might find someone very special. And very real. Acting Health Minister Yeo Cheow Tong said the campaign was motivated partly by concern that many Singaporeans were delaying marriage in order to develop successful careers. Should the economy continue to boom, the inhibiting lack of Singaporeans to fill jobs might only be overcome by allowing in more foreign workers-something the government wishes to avoid for cultural and political reasons.
The government has been in the match-making business since , when the Social Development Unit SDU was quietly set up to overcome a trend among bright civil servants of both sexes to stay single. A national census in found that 15 percent of women graduates aged over 40 were unmarried, while 24 percent in the age group were likewise unwed.
SINGAPORE: Gov’t Says ‘Mate and Multiply’, Not all are Impressed
The dating industry is heavily supported and subsidized in Singapore, paving the way for enterprising individuals to capitalize on government resources.
Now, the Government’s Cupid for graduate singles, the Social Development Unit SDU , is hanging up its quiver and leaving matchmaking to the private sector. In an about-face from its early days – when the mere mention of it elicited a nudge and a wink, and when wags said its acronym stood for Single, Desperate and Ugly – the SDU brand now has cachet. So its new focus will be on giving its stamp of approval to dating agencies and professional matchmakers, and on funding private-sector agencies and projects which promote dating.
The change in direction is perhaps a result of the national icon’s acknowledgement that it has been unable to shake off its image as a state-controlled dating agency, and that private businesses will be better at helping the nation’s singles pair up. We hope it will play a bigger role in organising social interaction activities and offering dating services for singles. For the SDS, specially selected grassroots leaders will be appointed to take over the organisation of matchmaking activities.
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