Special birth certificates for S'poreans born next year

SINGAPORE - All Singaporeans born next year will receive a special commemorative birth certificate as part of the Jubilee Baby Gift bundle to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday.

This was a suggestion by many members of the public, and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority is supportive of the idea, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a community event in Yio Chu Kang.

A booth was set up at the Mother's Day Carnival at Yio Chu Kang Community Centre to encourage people to vote for items that should go into the Jubilee Baby Gift.

Voting, which can be done online at the Jubilee Baby Gift site (www.heybaby.sg/jubilee/), will close on Thursday.

A shortlist of 15 items has been drawn up from about 6,500 suggestions submitted by members of the public. So far, about 15,000 Singaporeans have picked five items from the list to be gifted to newborns next year.

Ms Fu said practical items, like a baby sling and multipurpose shawl, are in the lead, along with a commemorative medallion or coin.

As for help in the form of pre-school support and subsidies for school fees, which some have asked for, she said they should form "part of our overall review of (our) social system", and should not be rolled out for just those born in a special year.

She explained: "We're looking for something special, commemorative, but not necessarily expensive. Because, while we want to make this a special year, a special gift, we also want to be fair to babies who are not born in this year."

Earlier in the day, Ms Fu fielded questions at a dialogue with residents and grassroots leaders in the area, accompanied by Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Seng Han Thong and Intan Azura Mokhtar, newly minted Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min, and People's Association chief executive director Ang Hak Seng.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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