3 July 2017
Dr Lim Wee Kiak
MP for Sembawang GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the trend over the past five years on Singaporean men and women marrying foreigners; (b) what is the impact of this on the future of Singaporean society; and (c) whether any in-depth study has been done on the implications of such marriages.
The proportion of marriages between Singaporean Citizens and Non-Residents declined slightly between 2011 and 2015. Of all marriages involving at least 1 Singapore Citizen, the proportion of Singaporean Citizens marrying Non-Residents decreased from 30 per cent in 2011 to 27 per cent in 2015. Among these marriages, the proportion of Singaporean men marrying Non-Residents decreased from 80 per cent in 2011 to 75 per cent in 2015, while the proportion of Singaporean women marrying Non-Residents increased from 20 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent in 2015.
My Ministry studies the outcomes of marriages between Singapore Citizens and Non-Residents regularly and reviews our support measures accordingly. We recognise that these marriages create Singaporean families and are part of our society. As some of these marriages may face unique challenges, we have introduced marriage programmes since December 2014. These programmes help couples in such marriages manage cross-cultural differences as they settle down in Singapore, and strengthen their marriages. They include the Marriage Preparation Programme offered before marriage, and the Marriage Support Programme for newly-weds, which provides information on available community resources and assists Non-Resident spouses in adapting to life in Singapore. In addition, the Friendship Programme supports these couples through family bonding activities, support group sessions, and pairing of volunteers to Non-Resident spouses as "buddies".