Speaking to state media, PAP MP Sun Xue Ling complained about rising cost of baby formula milk powder for her newborn baby. The 37-year-old ruling party MP works full time as a director at Temasek Holdings commanding an estimated S$40,000/month, and part-time for her S$16,000/month MP duty. MP Sun Xue Ling said she is now paying 25% more for the same type of milk powder she purchased 3 years ago:
“While we promote breastfeeding, the fact of matter is that sometimes mothers have to supplement… Three years ago when I had my first daughter, the cost was about $44, now I buy the exact same one for about $55.”
The millionaire PAP MP who has two daughters aged 4 years old and 5 months, said that she was only aware of the rising cost in April last month and put up a public survey on Facebook which found that parents with children under a year old spend an average of S$191 a month on milk powder alone.
Baby formula milk powder in Singapore is the most expensive in the world, with prices at least two times higher than the ones in neighbouring Malaysia, and even first world countries like Australia and Britain. The Singapore government do not control the prices and allowed the prices to spiral out of control – inflating 120% in 10 years – and suppliers to profit off Singaporean parents.
Singapore has the lowest birth rate in the world at 1.20 in 2016 – lower than Japan’s 1.41. This is largely due to the exorbitant cost of living environment. For 4 consecutive years, Singapore is ranked the most expensive country to live in in the world. Salaries of Singapore citizens is however, best described as “pitiful” as compared to other high cost developed cities like Australia Sydney and Japan Tokyo. Most diploma holders and ITE cert holders command salaries ranging between S$1,600 ex-CPF and S$2,800 ex-CPF. Property prices in Singapore is also highly unaffordable and to service a public housing rental property, known as the HDB, would require an average 30 years mortgage loan.