Penang MP Urges Chinese Malaysians To Get Married & Have More Babies

His plea was quickly shut down by netizens, who chided him for not considering factors such as the rising cost of living.

Cover image via Sim Tze Tzin 沈志勤 (Facebook) & yanalya/Freepik

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A member of parliament (MP) from Penang has expressed concern over the low birth rate among Chinese Malaysians in recent years, deeming the trend alarming

In a Facebook post on 14 February, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin expressed his concern over the latest birth rate and marriage statistics released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

"I got curious, why are so few Chinese babies born? So, I used my Chinese New Year spare time to dig a little deeper," he wrote.

The MP found that only 40,000 Chinese Malaysian babies were born compared to the total of 423,124 live births in the country in 2022.

"That's less than 10% of total live births!" he said.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin.

Image via Sim Tze Tzin 沈志勤 (Facebook)

Sim added that the DOSM statistics show a stark difference in General Marriage Rates (GMR) between Muslims and non-Muslims

"When I looked at DOSM's latest statistics, I found out Chinese Malaysian not only have less babies, they have less marriages too! Double shock!" he said.

He stated that according to DOSM, approximately 61 marriages occurred per 1,000 Muslim Malaysians, whereas only 22 marriages occurred per 1,000 non-Muslims in 2021.

He concluded that Muslims are 2.7 times more likely to get married compared to non-Muslims.

"So, we can summarise that more and more Chinese or non-Muslim populations are staying single or not getting married.

"This will directly impact the birth rates of Chinese or non-Muslims. Less marriages, less babies," he said.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Freepik

In light of the worrying numbers, Sim urged Chinese Malaysians to get married and bear more children to curb the declining birth rate

"I call out to those singles out there, go out and seek your love and life partners.

"Please get married in this auspicious dragon year. It's a journey worth taking. Remember to have more babies too," he wrote.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via yanalya/Freepik

His plea was quickly shut down by netizens, who chided him for not considering factors such as the rising cost of living, the financial burden of having a child, and shifting societal values

"But YB, it's easier said than done to ask Chinese Malaysian to get married and have babies. High costs of living, the depreciating ringgit value, runaway inflation — these need to be fixed.

"The Chinese are a pragmatic lot, we won't jump straight away to marriage and kids, which are of lower priority in life if [those economic factors] aren't addressed first," said a Facebook user.

"I never expected YB to speak in this manner. We must understand the society we live in is like living in a pressure cooker.

"Cost of living could be the main reason. Plus, societal values are changing. Moreover, we have the unaddressed issue of climate change which can screw us," said another.

Image via Facebook

A netizen said, "It's more to do with financial pressure. Screaming and begging won't work if the financial pressure is not alleviated. Same thing is also affecting other races."

Image via Facebook

Meanwhile, someone else commented, "My Chinese cousin said she'd rather be a rich unmarried aunty."

Image via Facebook

Here are other reasons why young Malaysians are choosing not to have children:

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