Photo of Josephine Teo from Straits Times

Facing criticisms over her “sex” comment on lack of depth on low fertility rate, Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo blame state media The Straits Times for “not capturing everything” she intended to say:

“Social media was abuzz with The Straits Times coverage of my interview. They might not have captured everything in the way I intended.”

Minister Josephine Teo posted on her Facebook page last night clarifying her “not much space needed for sex” comment and directed the blame at the state media for sensationalising her uncouth comment.

The Minister then went on to praise the “millennials” who happened to be the harshest critic over her “sex” comment:

“Every way I turn, I see more of our Millennials boldly stepping up to overturn long-held assumptions about what #Singaporeans can and cannot achieve. They inspire me a great deal. You probably know such Millennials too.”

Online criticisms were rife over the Minister’s comment with most highlighting that the problem with low fertility rate has nothing to do with sex, but rather, the lack of affordable housing. In Singapore, young couples have to wait 3 to 4 years to get a new HDB BTO flat. Most Singaporean couples start having children only after they have a place of their own, or at least, when they have a stable career.

Minister Josephine Teo however shot down the pragmatic practice and claimed that young couples do not need a house of their own, or even stable jobs, to have babies. In her letter published on state media Straits Times to “clarify” her position, she said:

“For some time now, Singaporeans have become used to the idea that marriage and parenthood can wait till after careers are firmly established. What if we exercise a choice to reset priorities, settling down as we build up careers?”

You may read the rest of her letter here.