In the latest government-backed move to spark romance, Singapore's marriage-promoting Social Development Network has launched a new product dubbed "love gifts." Know a lonely single? You can purchase gift vouchers of $10 so your single friend or family member can spend the cash on dates or dating services.
"With Love Gifts, your single friends and family members can redeem exciting activities and professional dating services by SDNTrust accredited agencies," says the official website, lovegifts.sg. "They get to have fun, widen their social circle, and maybe meet that special someone!"
The Social Development Network, set up in 1984 to serve as the country's official matchmaker, has also announced a five-week Dating Fest starting on December 29 that will include activities such as speed-dating, bowling, and dance and pastry-making workshops.
Singapore seems to be succeeding at most things, except mating. For more than 25 years, the Singaporean government has tried to step in to get couples together to overturn the country's record-low fertility rates. Despite a slew of organized dances, wine tastings, and cruises, according to The New York Times, they have been some of the country's least successful social engineering programs.
This summer, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew spoke publicly to emphasize again the urgent need for Singaporeans to have babies, warning that the country will "fold up" if couples continue to opt out of being parents. According to his statement, 31 percent of women and 41 percent of men are not having children.