Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Love-Nest of One’s Own

There are no virgin marriages, says billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Bodi

He’s right. Your place or mine?

Love it or not, Singapore is undeniably a slightly wacky place. Disneyland with the death penalty? Government bans on selling chewing gum? A family-oriented place that is also a world class money-laundering center? It’s all here, folks.

Now, billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi, chairman of the Spices Global business group and someone who was recently granted Singapore citizenship, has weighed in with a policy proposal to reverse Singapore’s falling birth rates and aging population – give the young people a chance to buy their own government flats to get away from Mom and Dad’s prudishly prying eyes. You see, Singapore currently has a rule that government-built housing, which accounts for 82% of dwellings for Singaporeans, are prioritized for family buyers. An unmarried adult needs to be over 35 to buy flats built by the Housing and Development Board.

As reported in this Bloomberg article, Mr. Modi believes the policy deprives young singles the opportunities to regularly act on their sexual urges. “Most of the girls and boys these days would like to have sex before they marry,” he says. “There are no virgin marriages.” His underlying concern is that Singapore’s current lowly birth rate of 1.3 children per woman is gradually draining the city state of its vital work force. However, standing against him in this view are both socially conservative types who don’t believe in the morality of pre-marital sex as well as government officials who want to keep a damper on soaring property prices.

Singapore is sometimes referred to as a “nanny” state, given its tendency to try to coddle its population. With policy nannies such as Mr. Modi pushing such accommodating family values, Singapore’s young and amorously frustrated should be dancing in the street. With any luck, they’ll soon be engaged in other coupling activities more frequently. And privately.

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