August 9 is Singapore National Day, the celebration of the anniversary of the painful independence from Malaysia in 1965. I say painful because there is every evidence that Singapore wanted to make the union work. Lee Kuan Yew’s obvious distress at the parting of ways with Malaya is plain to see:

History is now testimony to how successful Singapore has been. Now almost 60 years on (and what a celebration that will be in 3 years time!) Singapore can claim to have made it in many ways. The National Day Parade is a big event every year to celebrate those achievements.

The theme for National Day Parade (NDP) 2012 is “Loving Singapore, Our Home”“Loving Singapore” encourages Singaporeans to reflect on what it means to love our country, what we appreciate about Singapore, and how each individual can express our love for our nation. It is an invitation for all Singaporeans to join us on the NDP 2012 journey to rediscover and remember what we love best about our country.

Amidst all the success, and with love still in mind, there are a few challenges. One highlighted recently is Singapore’s dropping birth-rate.

The Government is worried

SINGAPORE – Following the restructuring of the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS) into two ministries, current MCYS Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing has signaled that his immediate priorities after forming the Ministry of Social and Family Development would be to look at families and at risk groups.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon at the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), Mr Chan added that addressing Singapore’s low birth rates and population woes would be at the top of his agenda.

What to do?

Fret no more for to the rescue comes, of all people, Mentos with their genius idea for National Night. It’s the ultimate combination of the theme of Love and the need to up the birth-rate. Yes, you guessed it, they’re suggesting that the party continue after the parade…

All the better if you recognise the cultural hat-tips – this is going down a storm in Singapore by which I mean it’s garnered a lot of interest. And quite possibly the other thing. Perhaps we’ll revisit the birth-rate chart on 9 May 2013?

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