ONCE a year, Singaporeans are presented with a view of the problems that may beset the tiny republic when the prime minister addresses supporters of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), senior civil servants and the judiciary at the National Day Rally. Premier Goh Chok Tong used his fourth rally speech last Sunday to titillate the largely-male audience with ''Singlish'' and Hokkien expressions, telling them the Government would introduce no policies that turned men into ''spare tyres'' in a family. However, the vision Mr Goh projected was essentially negative and harsh. He began positively, with a pledge to pay civil servants a special bonus as the economy would grow by about 10 per cent. Not surprisingly, this got a rapturous response. He then asked those who were not so well off (such as taxi drivers and teachers) to compare their lot with their counterparts elsewhere. ''How many of them own shares?'' he asked, referring to last October's sale of Singapore Telecom shares to all adult Singaporeans. The Government was also redistributing wealth by selling government-built shops and hawker stalls to sitting tenants at huge discounts. But Mr Goh then set about explaining his vision of Singapore's future, founded on ideal Asian family values where men were in charge but women held things together. It was a vision that worried many independent-minded Singaporeans who called it ''a black speech indeed''. Mr Goh particularly picked on mothers of illegitimate children, indulgent parents who raised fat children, working couples whose children were raised by maids or television rather than grandparents, and advertising agencies who projected a Chinese boy as uncharacteristically aggressive towards his father. In what struck many as a racist example, Mr Goh then praised the ''shame'' felt by emigre Hong Kong couple, Shui Chung-on and his wife Fong Shui-fun, when their 17-year-old son Shui Chi-ho was flogged in June for vandalising cars. He contrasted it with the parents of American Michael Fay ''who spoke to CNN and blamed everybody but themselves''. But it was single mothers who bore the brunt of Mr Goh's criticism which was not worded harshly but was significant for its simplistic and single-minded prejudice. ''We must hold the man responsible for the child he has fathered. Otherwise, we will change for the worse a very basic sanction of Asian society,'' he said. ''We do not accept unmarried single-parent families. Unmarried mothers have been able to buy flats direct from the HDB [about 1,000 have done so]. This rule implicitly accepts unmarried motherhood as a respectable part of our society. This is wrong. ''By removing the stigma, we may encourage more women to have children without getting married.'' Henceforth, unmarried mothers would only be able to buy Housing Development Board flats on the resale market, where prices are double the HDB's. Mr Goh's determination to stamp out single motherhood is curious, as he himself said only one child out of 100 was born out of wedlock. His citing rising numbers of single mothers in the United States and Britain suggests he fears such trends taking root in conservative Singapore. As things stand, however, single mothers receive no welfare cheques and get no tax breaks for their illegitimate children and any hope of changing PAP policy on this is beyond imagination. A women's rights supporter who asked not to be named said: ''Are they lumping single-again mothers with teenagers who are pregnant not by choice but by force of circumstance? So those women will have to have an abortion, which may be against their religion, in order to escape being penalised?'' Family counsellor Anthony Yeo foresaw the danger of illegitimate children in Singapore being stigmatised by future policies that would discriminate against them in school. ''If they carry on the way the PM was talking, innocent children will grow up feeling unwanted in this society. But that is not the concern of the PAP. They don't want such people anyway. They have a naive and simplistic way of looking at things. They want a perfect Asian society.''