Singaporeans want to marry but don’t look actively for mate: Study

ST, 17 August 2011
By Theresa Tan

MOST Singaporean singles here long to be married, but are just leaving it to fate. Few actively hunt for a spouse, and believe that Mr or Miss Right will appear magically when Cupid strikes.

That’s one of the main findings from new research on Singaporean Chinese singles by Professor Gavin Jones, a demographer with 45 years’ experience who has been based at the Asia Research Institute here since 2003.

He also found out that most singles here will not lower their expectations of a life partner just for the sake of marrying. Many are just too busy with work to hunt for a mate, while some avoid the dating market for practical reasons.

For example, less educated men who feel they don’t have enough money to start a family or find it hard to get a girlfriend, he noted.

When it comes to finding a husband, his findings showed that Singaporean women place great emphasis on a man’s ‘economic success’. They want a man who has greater – or at least equal – earning power.

One study respondent, a security guard in his 30s who earns about $1,500 a month, said that his girlfriend broke up with him because his pay was too low.

Prof Jones noted this materialistic streak is ‘very widespread’ and ‘more marked’ among East Asian women.
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Avoiding gossip is secret to 113-year-old's long life

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An ex-Hongkonger, social worker known as ‘Mother Teresa of Singapore’ tries to keep a peaceful mind
Joyce Ng
SCMP Aug 08, 2011
Steering clear of gossip is the key to a long life, a 113-year-old Singaporean woman says.

Returning to Hong Kong in a wheelchair seven decades after she left the city, Teresa Hsu Chih said keeping a peaceful mind was her secret to longevity.

A well-known social worker in the Lion City, Hsu said she still occasionally did counselling work.

She was speaking as a guest at event held by the Hong Kong Health Care Association on Aging a few hours after flying in from Singapore.

Assisted by a care-giver, she can communicate slowly in Cantonese, Putonghua and English.

Daily meditation was also important, Hsu said.

“You just sit in peace. Think about what pain people suffer and what you can do to share your love,” she said.

Staying single may also have helped.

“I am not married. There’s no guy there to yell at me,” she said with a broad grin.

A vegetarian diet with lots of fruits is another secret to Hsu’s longevity. She starts a typical day by eating two raw eggs, with the yolk used as a facial mask. She likes soft fruits, such as melon, papaya and avocado.

Hsu said she did not have any disease common among the elderly, such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

Taking the flight yesterday, however, raised her blood pressure a little, as a doctor found when he measured it at the event.

Hsu is often referred to as the Mother Teresa of Singapore, where she started a non-governmental organisation to help the aged and sick in 1961.

She was born in 1898 in Guangdong and moved to Hong Kong aged 16, working as a cleaner while taking evening lessons in English.

During the second world war, she quit her job as a secretary and bookkeeper and went to Chongqing as a volunteer. At 47, she began to train as a nurse in Britain, where she worked for the next decade.

In 1961, she settled in Singapore and began her lifelong vocation of helping the needy.

Hsu returns to Singapore today.

Sim Kee Boon 沈基文

Sim Kee Boon (simplified Chinese: 沈基文; pinyin: Shěn Jīwén) was one of Singapore’s pioneer civil servants – men who worked closely with the Old Guard political leaders and played a key role in the success of Changi Airport and turned the fortunes of Keppel Shipyard around.

He graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from University of Malaya in 1953, and joined the civil service that year. By 1962, at just 33, he was made acting permanent secretary in the National Development Ministry, before taking charge of the Finance Ministry as well as Intraco, the state trading company. He was also Chairman and member of the Council of Presidential Advisers.

As Permanent Secretary at the Communications Ministry from 1975 to 1984, he made his name in the history books as the man behind was then the biggest civil project in Singapore – the construction and opening of Changi Airport – managing every aspect of the project from land reclamation to squatter resettlement. To Sim, Changi Airport project was his ‘national service’ to Singapore.
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