A Union of Gender Equality and Pragmatic Patriarchy: International Marriages and Citizenship Laws in Singapore
As a patriarchal society, government policies, societal norms and government regulations in Singapore mirror that normative ideal. Citizenship status and rights along gender lines, manifested in the legal recognition of children of international marriages, reflected this reality for much of Singapore's independence. However, the onslaught of globalization, the rise in international marriages, disconcerting declining birth rates, and an acceptance of 'foreign talent' have given the economic imperative and demographic impulse to grant citizenship (by descent) to a person born outside Singapore whose father or mother is a citizen of Singapore, by birth, registration or descent. Previously, such a person would be granted citizenship only if his/her father was a Singapore citizen by birth. This paper examines the background and contextual realities leading to the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2004. It argues that the landmark constitutional amendment was motivated by pragmatic considerations of demography, economics, and political governance. The paper contends that state sovereignty, while seemingly challenged by international marriages, is still preserved rather than negated. It suggests that the state's ideological apparatus vis-agrave-vis the family is adaptable, enabling the continued institutional influence, if not control, over the family as the basic building block of Singapore society.
Asian Studies | Family Law
Law, Society and Governance
Taylor and Francis
TAN, Eugene K. B..
A Union of Gender Equality and Pragmatic Patriarchy: International Marriages and Citizenship Laws in Singapore. (2008). Citizenship Studies. 12, (1), 73-89. Research Collection School Of Law.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sol_research/903