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Singapore cracks down on late wedding guests

After exhorting citizens to smile more, flush toilets after use, be courteous on the road and to have more babies, Singapore is zeroing in on rude wedding guests in its latest bid to improve etiquette.
/ Source: Reuters

After exhorting citizens to smile more, flush toilets after use, be courteous on the road and to have more babies, Singapore is zeroing in on rude wedding guests in its latest bid to improve etiquette.

Infuriated by reports of weddings marred by tardy guests, the government-led Singapore Kindness Movement launched a “Punctuality Drive at Wedding Dinners” campaign for a second straight year, a spokeswoman for the group said on Friday.

About 800,000 “punctuality reminders” have been sent to hotels, which usually plan weddings in Singapore. These are passed to couples to include with invitations, and contain a gracious “thank you” for guests who turn up on time.

It is double the number of cards sent last year.

Older relatives often show up late at Chinese wedding banquets to show their importance. But the government is incensed that younger people are doing it too.

Singapore, known for micro-managing its wealthy population of 4.2 million people, frequently rolls out extensive national campaigns aimed at molding social behavior.

The latest punctuality campaign echoes a call made by former prime minister Goh Chok Tong in 1996 for Singapore to become a “gracious society.”

The government has also put emphasis in recent years on the need for a new, career-minded generation to marry younger and get to work starting families to counter Singapore’s plunging birth rate, now at record lows.