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In CNY message, PM Lee reminds S'poreans that family should be a top priority

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong  reminded Singaporeans in a Chinese New Year message that family should be a top priority.

He said in a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office:

"So even if we may be busy, traveling, or living in far flung lands, unable to come together physically for the New Year reunion, let us make the effort to connect with one another.

"Let us pause and remind ourselves of what truly matters in life, of what it means to belong to a family." 

While birth and marriage rates were higher in 2014 compared to 2013 figures, PM Lee continued to encourage couples to have more children.

Adding that the government is "doing all it can to help people build strong families", he reminded Singaporeans that the Marriage and Parenthood Package will support them, as will more affordable childcare and pre-schools. 

Mr Lee also emphasised the importance of close-knit families by encouraging young couples to live close to their parents through targeted housing grants.

He also added that the Pioneer Generation Package, Silver Support and MediShield Life will lighten the load on young families taking care of elderly parents.

But Mr Lee also reminded Singaporeans that these should not "supplant the role that families play".

He said:

"Our family ties must not weaken, unlike what we have seen in other societies where the state has taken on more responsibility.

"Generous social policies and grants by themselves do no grow strong or happy families.

Mr Lee is currently on one week's medical leave, recovering from a prostate removal surgery.

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