Speaking at the International Women’s Forum, Minister of Social and Family Affairs (MSF) Tan Chuan Jin boasted that he does not have a maid at home and that he helps out with housework. The former army general claimed that he cleans windows, irons clothes and washes the dishes at home:
“I was trained in the military and my earlier training was in the United Kingdom, where we had a lot of uniforms to iron. And there’s an inspection every day, so you had to make sure your ironing is crisp.”
Speaking to a floor made of maily women attendees, the Minister said that men should “step up” and help out in the family:
“I think men need to step up as it’s a partnership. There is a significant impact on children and marriage when fathers are present at home and, conversely, absent fathers are a recurring theme in many social issues that crop up.”
Minister Tan Chuan Jin also said that there is not enough women representation in corporation and that Singapore is “doing worse” than neighbouring countries:
“The rate of women’s representation in boardrooms here as really quite abysmal. It has improved from before… but, frankly, it is not good. Our neighbouring countries are doing better than us.”
According to the Diversity Action Committee, women representation in board seats in listed companies are only at 9.7%.
Minister Tan Chuan Jin however said that there is no need for a government quota to improve the gender ratio, and said that he prefers to leaving the issue to improve based on “cultural change”.