Daily Archives: August 3, 2012

Jeremy Grant

Singapore’s normally staid airwaves are being shaken up with a raunchy rap video urging the city-state’s population to do what it takes to get the birth rate up.

As the tiny nation of 5.2m gears up to mark 47 years since it was founded next week, candy maker Mentos has issued a call to action in the bedroom, urging Singaporeans in a video to give the country “the population spurt it so desperately needs”.

“We’ve got to go all the way for Singapore, baby, you know what I’m saying,” a male voice sings to a female companion audible in the background. “Let’s put a bao” — bun — “ in your oven”.

Later he tells her that he wants to “explore your body like a night safari” — a reference to the night safaris that have made Singapore zoo famous.

The backdrop is some unfortunate mathematics that threaten the sustainability of Singapore’s economic miracle.

The number of “baby boomers” reaching 65 is rising. That’s not a problem unique to Singapore. But what’s really hurting is that the birth rate among “heartlanders”, as native Singaporeans are sometimes called, has been in steady decline for some time. Read more

Here’s what we’ve been chatting about today: 

London 2012: The first week of the Olympic games
FT sports writers Matthew Engel and Simon Kuper join Gideon Rachman to provide their mid-term assessment of the London Olympics.