Don’t have activities that eat into family time, but …?


Why do many parents lack “time” with their children?

I refer to the article “Do not organise work activities that eat into family time, Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin urges employers” (Today, Jun 17).

It states that “Employers can help fathers more by being conscious about organising work activities that do not eat into family time

… Giving the example that employers can choose to organise work activities at 6 pm instead of 7.30pm, Mr Tan, who was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of Dads’ Day Out at the Singapore Sports Hub, said this way, employees can get home at 8.30pm when their children are “still awake” and can get to spend time with them.

However, he added that lunchtime would be an even better time to organise work activities, as it does not eat into employees’ family time, and “it’s cheaper as well”.”

I applaud and agree with the above remarks.

After all, according to the article “More than 40% of Singaporeans not clocking enough sleep on weekdays: SingHealth Polyclinics study” (Straits Times, Jan 10, 2017) – “More than 40 per cent of Singaporeans do not get enough sleep on weekdays, according to the results of a study by SingHealth Polyclinics released on Tuesday” (Jan 10, 2017).


Also, Singapore had the highest average annual hours actually worked per worker in the world

… We have probably one of the highest proportion of low wage workers among developed countries

… We are the most expensive city in the world for the fifth year running (The Economist)

So, in summary – Singaporean children may suffer because arguably, we work the longest for one of the lowest pay in the world’s most expensive city?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.