In fact, there was an outcry by the public at large about the unfair use of taxpayers’ money to subsidise leisure activities for graduates, especially since they already had a higher income.
Some were also displeased about the fact that civil servants who were single were given three extra days of leave to go on SDU-organised cruises.
The Social Development Network (SDN), formerly known as "Social Development Unit" (SDU), is a governmental body under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports of Singapore (now the Ministry of Social and Family Development), which works closely with the community and commercial sectors to foster opportunities for singles to interact in social settings in Singapore.
Besides coordinating and facilitating dating activities offered by the private sector, it also serves to educate the public on singlehood issues.
In 2003, SDU reported a significant increase in marriage figures for its members over the years, from 2,789 in 1999 to 4,050 in 2003.
Over the first 2 decades since the SDU was first set up, SDU reported that more than 33,000 members were married (This includes many young Singaporeans who would have got married irrespective of SDU being in existence or not).
Lee had also expressed worry that the dearth of children produced by graduate women would lead to the faltering of the economy and ultimately a decline in society.
Although Lee had not explicitly stated that the SDU would be set up in response this problem, he had promised that tough measures would be taken by the government to curb the problem.
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.The SDU was thus formed in January 1984 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.Despite the promising numbers reported by SDU, statistics at the national level do not mirror the trends within the SDU.According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, there was only a slight increase in marriages from 22,561 in year 2000 to 22,992 in year 2005.