Condoms Restocked at Singapore Campus Drugstore as Ban Is LiftedSharon Chen
Condoms were restocked at a National University of Singapore drugstore after the city’s oldest college lifted a ban this week.
“The university does not restrict the sale of condoms on campus, and vendors can decide if they would like to carry these items,” the school said in an e-mail response to queries yesterday. An earlier request was “a misunderstanding and this matter has since been clarified and resolved,” it said.
The university, ranked second in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds, has faced sex scandals involving students and staff. A law student’s scholarship was revoked last year after he posted his sexually explicit videos on a blog, the Straits Times reported. A law professor is on trial for allegedly giving a female student better grades in exchange for sex.
“The Guardian Health & Beauty store at NUS has restocked the family planning products on the shelves today,” Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd., which runs the drugstore, said in an e-mailed statement today.
The company said yesterday that family planning products were “prohibited” at the university. Condoms were removed from its shelves on Feb. 4 after communicating with the school, it said.
Dairy Farm shares climbed 2.7 percent to $13.65 at the close in Singapore, rising for a 10th day, the longest winning streak in more than two decades. The stock closed at the highest since at least October 1990.
NUS is facing increasing competition. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech last year the city will have two more universities.
Singaporean students are 30 times less likely to use condoms when having sex for the first time compared with their counterparts in other countries, the Straits Times reported Oct. 23, citing an annual survey by Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc’s condom unit Durex. The survey, carried out in 37 countries, found that the average age when Singaporeans had their first sexual experience was 22, the paper reported.
“NUS is afraid of the implications that selling condoms might have on students living in dorms,” said Darryl Tan, a life sciences major in his fourth year. “If you want to have sex, you’ll get it somewhere else. Taking condoms on and off shelves isn’t the right way to deal with such issues.”
Singapore is trying to boost its fertility rate to cope with an aging population and labor shortage, allocating S$2 billion ($1.6 billion) on matchmaking, housing grants, subsidized childcare and cash bonuses for parents. Economic growth eased to a three-year low in 2012.
“Anyone who is not ready to get pregnant will have protected sex, not just students,” said Athena Foo, a 22-year-old theater studies major. “Students are smart enough to know the risks and consequences. Even if they don’t sell it in NUS, it’s not as if the students can’t get it elsewhere.”