A very good morning to the chairperson, honourable judges, my lovely oppositions, timekeepers and my fellow friends. Today, I would like to present the motion about ‘Being Single is better than getting married’. A very simple question, what is ‘marriage’ and what is ‘single’? According to the Cambridge dictionary, marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman which they live as husband and wife that is legally accepted. Single is a male or a female who is not married. Ladies and gentleman, are you aware that problems have plagued families as a result of marriage?
Getting married is not as simple as it looks—it is definitely not just the organization of a wedding ceremony, nor just about having sexual intercourse with your other half. Taking full responsibility of the children and their welfare is also equally important in a marital life. It is both a prerequisite and a duty which those who want to have children cannot avoid. The extreme difficulty in accomplishing this duty is indisputable and this can be easily proven by the challenges modern parents face today.
Money consists of a critical part of today’s modern life and thus, many parents nowadays find it really difficult, even challenging, to achieve a balance between spending time with their children and earning the money necessary for the family’s daily spending and basic needs such as housing, food and educational needs. Due to the parents’ conscious neglect or unconscious blind eye to the children, children are painfully disappointed as their parents are not spending quality time with them.
Quality time spent with children is not only integral to cultivating the children’s inner values and mental horizons; they play a groundbreaking role in strengthening parent-child relationships. Thus, lack of quality time would hinder the children from being cultivated and all-rounded and force the child’s relationship with parents to remain in a state of fragility. So, what is the point of getting married if parents do not acknowledge that children need their parents’ constant presence and guidance to grow instead of only having presents???
The world population is increasing rapidly and the statistics have proven it!!!!! 7 billion in the world, with 28 million in Malaysia alone. And this is all a consequence of uncontrolled marital reproduction. In the short term, the fast population growth would benefit our country as we would have more than sufficient manpower and intelligence to break through the insurmountable barriers in technological progression. Nevertheless, after a certain period of time, the massive growth in population would prove too much for our country to cope.
In 1979, in acknowledgement of the potentially dangerous effects of overcrowding on the national economy, the Chinese government implemented the ‘one-child policy’ controversially which restricts families to have only one child. Although this law has prevented 400 million births since 1979 to 2011, excessive demands in housing in China have prompted the dramatic rise in property prices which left many Chinese families financially handicapped. As reported in this year’s newspapers, many families in China have to stay in farms and even in toilets as a result of not being able to afford a decent apartment.
China is at least 10 to 20 times bigger than Malaysia, and its population of around 1. 4 billion people is 50 times more than Malaysia’s, so how can Malaysia afford to have overcrowding? Due to the excessive population, deficiency in food supplies and provisions would occur whereby many people would starve and die. Because spare land would no longer exist, many people would be rendered homeless. Unemployment would skyrocket because there would be so few jobs catered to an extremely large population.
Overall, the country would be suffocated and the economy would come to a standstill. It would happen similarly in other nations should overcrowding prevail and eventually, the world will sink into an economic stagnancy whereby it would be extremely difficult to even jostle the economy into progress and recuperation. Furthermore, the global crisis would extend to self-annihilation of the human race due to widespread starvation. Are you prepared to consider this scenario as the potential reality of the world we live in, ladies and gentlemen?
Marriage can only sometimes last for a short period—and then there is divorce which may lead families to be at loggerheads. According to the Community Development Minister Heng Seai Kie in Malaysia, 2938 divorce cases were filed in 2009. Later in 2011, 7900 divorce cases were filed which was proven to be a shocking increase in divorce rate in recent years. Divorce is ‘colourful’ in that it might be caused by a variety of factors. 41. 8% of the couples divorced due to lack of mutual understanding.
This was followed by 11. 4% due to irresponsibility, 8. % due to interference of in-laws, 6. 5% due to drug addiction, 6. 5% due to infidelity and others. Many couples are initially on good terms in the beginning of their new life. Because of the confidence that neither them nor their relationship might be vulnerable to deteriorating change, most of them rarely consider the future obstacles that might pose a threat to their marital life which they would need to deal with. Thus, many couples are not at all prepared for the drastic and temporary changes and circumstances that might potentially change them and their marital relationship.
These changes and circumstances might come in the form of challenging workplaces, sudden disputes between friends or between the married couple or the headache of needing to come up with a big sum of money to pay for the children’s tuition fees. The high pressure generated from continually being confronted with these problems leads to irritability and greatly reduces reciprocal interaction, culminating in a much more blunted understanding of one another. By the time frustration is all that is left between the married couple, divorce becomes an inevitable option. On the other hand, difference in culture is another divorce factor.
Inability to accept the reality of having to adapt to a new environment, meet new people and start a new life would make one half of the couple weary of the other half. As a consequence, they would argue on even the pettiest things such as deciding on where to go for a family outing because the one half who cannot accept living in a new town would voice out his or her disagreement and resort to blaming the other half for even bringing the family to this new town in the first place. Furthermore, parents may sometimes turn to drugs which are meant to relieve pressure, despite its addictive quality.
As a consequence, addiction arises and the married couple is thus alienated, only to be “intimately married” to drugs. This alienation is an undeniable major factor in exacerbating marital relationships and resulting in ultimate separation. While the couple’s relationship is at risk, drugs jeopardize heavily the children’s welfare. While the intensity of the divorce’s impact on the children varies depending on the circumstances on which the divorce is made, it is indisputable that the children who grow up in such a ‘broken family’ background are affected emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
This would in turn serve as a dangerous impediment which prevents them from growing to become capable and complete individuals in society who are able to manage their careers and their personal lives well. The world’s stance in the issue of gender discrimination has generally taken a positive turn as it steps into the modern century. Women were regarded as much more inferior compared to men in the olden days, and this was undoubtedly a fixed social convention. Apart from not having equal rights such as the rights of education and speech, the ideal image that should be portrayed by women of the old age was one of deference and subservience.
Marriage at that time emphasized deference and subservience to be a woman’s duty and this emphasis has been hinted implicitly long before the couple’s marital life started, in the wedding vows the couple made in an institution of religion. One concrete example would be the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer which stands as a reliable testament to the old world’s traditional views on women’s status. The bride’s wedding vow stands thus: WILT thou have this Man to thy wedded Husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony?
Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live? For virtually all their married lives, women were strictly bound to the occupation of taking care of their houses and children. Freedom for women of the olden days came by rarely or none because they lived in a society where social and gender classes were encased in a rigid hierarchy and negative public judgments might lead to social humiliation which would mean a disgrace to them.
Being independent and assertive would mean being censured by the public; and thus, in order to avoid such a social suicide, confinement to a woman’s required obligations through ordinary marriage would appear as a much more favourable option. Nowadays, however, things become different. Due to the advocacy of women rights and independence over the years, it is now widely recognized that women are equal to men. Being now equipped with knowledge, women have both the capability and confidence to enter and play a significant part in the job market.
At the same time, with their newly gained independence and rights, women become much more assertive and as equally aggressive and determined in pursuing what they want—a privilege which would have been completely denied to them in the past. While the word ‘obey’ as sealed in the bride’s wedding vow was required of women in the olden days, in the minds of modern women, this word has long been abolished and considered an outright insult to their integrity, rights and independence.
One prominent example would be Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding. For the bride’s traditional wedding vow, Middleton omitted the word ‘obey’. It accurately reflects the modern gender phenomenon where women expect their husbands to not only love them, but also respect them as equal individual beings. Overall, the world has changed in that both men and women generally exhibit dominant, assertive and independent characters where they are determined on achieving what they want in life and they abhor being controlled by others but themselves.
This would cause unwanted ruptures in both lover and marital relationships because both parties want so desperately to assert their independence and dominate that they refuse to compromise. The key to establishing a good marital relationship is to be able to accept the person for who the other half is and taking turns make small concessions that would eventually benefit and satisfy both parties. Thus, apart from the usual qualities of love, trust and respect, selflessness and empathy are needed.
And it is precisely these two last values that are wanting in modern people as their dominant character makes them selfish and primarily aware of their own interests and not as well of others’ around them; in this case, the potential other half’s welfare becomes a burden and marital relationship with its unavoidable characteristic of long-term compromise falls secondary. This is why marriage becomes quite unattractive to many young people of the modern era: because they have no time and energy to tend to others but themselves and their own interests.