July 16, Except for one thing: The same organization also happens to be the world’s only government-run dating service. Singapore’s Social Development Unit SDU and programs like it have helped earn this tiny nation a reputation as the ultimate nanny state. Whether the evils of a local slang “Singlish” or the need to flush toilets after use, no social issue is too big or too small for government intervention. According to the government, alarm over a low birthrate prompted the creation of the SDU in But to many Singaporeans, the SDU’s focus on “educated” singles is nothing short of social engineering: an effort to preserve the current racial balance between the city’s Chinese majority and the Malays, who tend to be less educated.

Dating & Matchmaking Agencies

Can the dating agencies that are currently established in Singapore be trusted? Yes they can, only if they are certified so by our very own SDN. So, what is SDN and why should we rely on their judgement? We will explore that in further detail in this post. It is a government agency specialising in increasing social interaction between individuals.

“When I went out with my friends, we didn’t meet that many men.” Her solution – turning to Singapore’s largest dating service – was hardly odd for.

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Social Development Network organises first dating hackathon in Singapore

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In a bid to raise marriage and fertility rates here, the Government has organised a dating hackathon to crowdsource innovative ideas to get the growing pool of singles here to mingle. On Friday Dec 11 , 36 people from 10 teams pitched their tech-based dating solutions to get singles to meet more people, and to remove the stigma associated with the use of dating services. These ideas had been developed over a week since the hackathon was launched on Dec 4. The top prize went to a team that came up with TableAround, a mobile application with an algorithm that groups individuals with similar profiles.

They can then choose to socialise over meals based on the table topics that they are interested in, such as politics or travel. The app caters to introverts who are less likely to initiate conversation over text messages. Mr Ang Wei Loong and his girlfriend Ms Ng Yu Ying, both 22, won the third prize for their idea of a mobile application that allows users to talk on the phone anonymously before deciding whether or not to reveal their profile pictures and contact information.

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Singapore succeeds at managing everything – except dating

The report showed that the proportion of singles in most age groups had gone up, with the biggest increase among Singaporean women aged 25 to Some have asked whether they were just a waste of time and money, and should be discontinued. The Government established the Social Development Unit SDU in January to encourage greater social interaction and marriage among graduate singles, on the back of the population census which revealed an increasing trend of singlehood among graduate women.

The Social Development Network, formerly of Social Development Unit and Social Development Service, is a governmental body under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports of Singapore.

While the idea of asking Uncle Sam to set you up may seem like the final act of a desperate single, in Singapore, the mixing of love and state is de rigueur: In the last 25 years, the country’s two official matchmaking agencies have , marriages to their credit. But with a birthrate that’s flat, after two decades of decline, and the average age of marriage steadily rising for women, it jumped from So in January, it announced that it would merge its agencies: the Social Development Units or SDU, which Singaporeans often jokingly refer to as “Single, Desperate, and Ugly” for the college educated and the Social Development Service for everyone else.

The goal: to offer a bigger dating pool to citizens looking for an official hookup. Most experts credit Singapore’s rising marriage age to the fact that more young people are focusing on their careers in the wealthy, business-driven Southeast Asian city-state. But finding a mate is still a mission for many — like Wai Cheong Ho, a year-old engineer who signed up with SDU after having problems meeting women.

Social Development Network

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Besides coordinating and facilitating dating activities offered by the private sector, it also serves to educate the public on singlehood issues. SDN’s role in the industry has not always been that of facilitating and accrediting. When it was first established in as SDU, it functioned on its own, organising activities for its members without the help of commercial agencies.

It was only in that the then SDU decided on a major change in approach: it let the private sector be the main provider of matchmaking and dating services, focusing instead on accrediting and funding private dating agencies and projects. This was done in the hopes of creating a more vibrant dating scene and of allowing singles to have more options to interact with others of different educational levels. A census conducted in revealed that a large number of highly educated women were still unmarried, despite being above 40 years of age.

The SDU was thus formed in January to provide opportunities for single men and women to interact socially. Another objective of the unit was to encourage public discussion about the perceived problem of the large number of better-educated women remaining unmarried. Since it was first established, SDU’s target group was limited to university graduates. The government justified this elitist approach by announcing that they had identified graduates—and in particular the females among them—as a group which required assistance in terms of finding lifelong partners.

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Dating in Singapore is a lot more complicated that the dating scene in Europe or in America. Men do not just approach women they like and ask them out on a date. Meanwhile, women in Singapore are a bit shyer and are less likely to openly flirt. This conservative and shy culture has impeded the dating scene in Singapore. Hence, the government of Singapore came to the rescue and announced that it has already started to ask for tenders from communication agencies to product commercials that will promote dating in Singapore.

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Singapore is launching yet another campaign to promote dating among its notoriously love-shy singles as the city-state grapples with low marriage and birth rates. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports MCYS issued a tender this month through the government’s official procurement website calling for proposals on how to encourage singles to date. No details of the tender were given in the notice but the Straits Times newspaper said the winner will produce a television commercial to promote dating and draw up a “unique dating concept” to get singles to interact.

Targeted at people aged 20 to 35 who do not date, the initiative is the latest effort by the government to act as matchmaker for its loveless singles population. It comes amid falling marriage and fertility rates in the tiny but affluent island-state with a population of about five million, more than one million of whom are foreigners. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in February urged citizens to ignore superstitions about the Chinese zodiac and make more babies during the Year of the Tiger, which began in February.

Lee said he was particularly worried about ethnic Chinese couples who choose to hold back from having babies during Tiger years because of a superstition that children born during the period will have the animal’s fierce attributes. Singapore’s fertility rate dipped to its lowest level ever at 1. The marriage rate hit 6. Asked if a television commercial would prompt him to find a date, he said: “I’m not at a very desperate stage yet. Previous government attempts to heat up romance and encourage couples to make more babies have so far failed to reverse the falling birth rates.

A campaign dubbed “Romancing Singapore” involved month-long carnivals to celebrate love, and another initiative called “Beautifully Imperfect” carried the message of loving one’s partner despite imperfections. Singapore, which has a reputation as a nanny state that interferes in citizens’ private lives, regularly carries out campaigns to instill discipline, promote courtesy and discourage the use of broken English.

Other initiatives included a campaign urging wedding guests to arrive on time and rating public toilets for cleanliness.

Let’s go Dating