SINGAPORE - As the rest of Singapore ushered in the new year, Mr Tham Kuan How and Ms Lian Wen Fang were in the hospital delivery room welcoming their first child - the country's first jubilee baby.
Chloe Tham Xin Yi was born at the stroke of midnight on Jan 1 in Thomson Medical Centre.
She had been due on Jan 3 but arrived two days early to become the first SG50 newborn.
While Mr Tham and Ms Lian - both 29 - said they are excited that their daughter is now a "famous baby", they do not want the title to pressure her in any way.
"We just want her to be happy, grow up healthy and have the freedom to choose what to do in future," said a beaming Mr Tham, a customer service executive in the retail sector.
"I'm just very happy to see my baby," said Ms Lian, speaking from her hospital room.
The customer service assistant in banking was in labour for 14 hours.
The couple, who married last year, are not taking any chances with their first-born when it comes to superstition and will visit a fortune-teller to determine the exact Chinese characters for Chloe's name.
The family also asked for the infant's weight and length to be kept under wraps, for fear that revealing these details might bring her bad luck.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu visited the family in hospital yesterday morning and presented them with the SG50 baby jubilee gift set, in commemoration of Singapore's 50th year of independence.
All Singaporean babies born in 2015 will get the set, which comprises eight items: a medallion, shawl, baby sling, set of baby clothes, diaper bag, scrapbook, family photo frame and set of baby books.
"The arrival of the jubilee baby signifies new life, a new beginning, so it's of particular significance as we celebrate 50 years of nationhood. It represents a new generation who will shape Singapore for the next 50 years," said Ms Fu, who carried the newborn during her visit.
"We hope that the baby will grow up well, will have a healthy life, will have a meaningful life, and I think that's really the best gift that the baby can bring to Singapore.
"We hope that Singapore will be a great place for children to grow up."
To earn the title of the first jubilee baby, a newborn must be delivered through natural birth, and not by caesarean section or induced labour.
Baby Chloe received other presents, including a $10,000 education grant and gift bag with items such as mittens, booties, a height chart and a plush toy, from POSB/DBS.
"Today is a significant milestone for them (Mr Tham and Ms Lian) and we hope they find the education grant helpful in planning for baby Chloe's future," said Mr Jeremy Soo, DBS' head of consumer banking group (Singapore).
Asked if they wish to give Chloe a little brother or sister, Mr Tham and Ms Lian laughed and said: "Not so soon." firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was first published on Jan 02, 2015.
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