Singapore government plays Cupid for Valentine's Day

Updated: 2008-02-13 17:29

In a city where many singles say they are too busy making money to make love, the government plans to step up its official "Romancing Singapore" campaign on Thursday, the traditional lovers' day, to encourage people to take up dating.

The campaign, launched in 2002 and managed commercially by the private sector since 2005, has lined up a series of events throughout February and on Valentine's Day itself to try to reverse the falling birthrate.

And a separate initiative sees the government directly funding efforts to promote romance.

In 2006 it launched the one-million-Singapore-dollar (704,000 US) Partner Connection Fund to support dating agencies that come up with what it called new "social interaction opportunities" for singles.

"A lot of countries, they let nature take its course but in Singapore because of our work and lifestyle, we don't have a lot of time," said Andrew Chow, a manager with Romancing Singapore.

"We are trying to educate the singles that dating is in fact a lifestyle. I think nowhere else in the world does things like Singapore."

Among the events Romancing Singapore has planned to give Cupid a helping hand is an evening date on the newly-opened Singapore Flyer, the world's tallest observation wheel at 42 storeys high.

The Valentine's Day event, billed as "Love In A Capsule," is organised by Romancing Singapore and Clique Wise, another social networking outfit.

From movie marathons, Friday night shopping sprees and treasure hunts, Romancing Singapore says it has tapped more than 5,000 singles to participate in previous events.

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