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Commemorative birth cert for S'pore babies born next year

All Singaporean babies born in 2015 will receive a commemorative birth certificate along with other presents to mark the country's Golden Jubilee.

SINGAPORE: All Singaporean babies born in 2015 will receive a commemorative birth certificate along with other presents to mark the country's Golden Jubilee.

This was what Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, told reporters on the sidelines of a ministerial community visit to Yio Chu Kang on Sunday morning.

The commemorative birth certificate was an idea raised by many Singaporeans.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore has also been supportive of the idea, added Ms Fu.

Over the past few weeks, the public has been asked to vote for five out of 15 shortlisted items that they would like to see included in a Jubilee Baby Gift package.

The package will be given to all Singapore babies as part of next year's Singapore 50 (SG50) celebrations.

The community initiative is led by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), which comes under the Prime Minister's Office.

So far, 15,000 votes have been received.

Ms Fu, who is also Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, said popular items include a special commemorative medallion and a baby sling. 

Other items on the shortlist include a family photo frame, scrapbook and diaper bag.

The month-long poll will close on 15 May. 

Ms Fu noted that while the gift will be special and commemorative, it may not necessarily be expensive.

She said a final selection will take place and the budget will be discussed once voting is closed, before a tender is called.

Ms Fu said: "We also want to be fair to other babies who are not born in this year. So items such as subsidies for school fees, pre-school support, I think, should form part of the overall review of (the) social system.

"It's not something we do only for those born in the special year. While we appreciate many of the suggestions, about giving more pre-school subsidies or even NS exemption, I don't think that's something that's do-able, because that's not the objective of the Jubilee Baby Gift."

She added while the intention of having the Jubilee Baby Gift was not to encourage couples to have babies next year, she would be happy if it manages to get parents to consider it.

Ms Fu also had a dialogue with residents, some of whom raised concerns and challenges they faced as parents. These include cost of living issues and trying to achieve work-life balance.

She said: "Many stakeholders have to play a part to make this society a more conducive one for young parents, (including the employers.) 

"We need employers to perhaps play a more important role in having flexible work arrangements, flexible time. Really, to allow our young parents the ability to balance both the needs of the career and the family."

Earlier in the morning, Ms Fu also paid a visit to a private estate in Yio Chu Kang.

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