Photo of babies from Straits Times

More than 800 new Singaporean citizen babies will have their first taste of betrayal by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board with the government announcing a S$1.7 million claw back in Medisave Grant. The CPF claimed that they wrongly disbursed the fund as the new citizen babies, depending on their age, are not citizens at birth and should either receive pro-rated or no grants at all. Foreign citizen babies above the age of two who turned into new citizens are not qualified for the claims:

“From March 2016 to January 2017, 885 children who became Singapore citizens received between $1,000 and $3,000 Medisave Grant for Newborns in their Medisave Accounts, more than they were eligible for… We will be recovering the overpaid amounts, totalling about $1.7 million, from the Medisave Accounts of these children in April. The parents of the affected children will be informed via mail.”

Singapore’s birth rate is the lowest in the world at 1.21, due to the exorbitant cost of living and National Service burden for males. Despite the mass import of foreigners in the past decade, new citizens and permanent residents in Singapore are not giving birth either – confirming the state of family-unfriendly environment in Singapore is not isolated to only Singaporean couples.