THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

Granny regretted aborting her third child due to ‘Stop at 2’ policy in the 1970s

Posted by temasektimes on May 31, 2012

I wish to share something told to me firsthand. I am in the service industry and have to serve customers and so today I was just talking to an old lady, who seemed to be in her 70s or 80s, and before long, it became a chat that she was pouring out part of her younger days life story.

We initially talked about how children were very smart nowadays to be able to use all the technological gadget and eventually she asked casually where I stay, to which I replied her and she said that she thought I stay in Hougang, (I am working near Hougang despite staying far away) where there was recently so much excitement over the by-election.

She then said these exact words:

“The opposition party had won, again, no surprise, but I do feel that it is good to have an opposition voice, otherwise to have only a single ruling party will mean that party will be able to do everything and anything it likes”

At this point, she did not mention where she lived or whether if she had voted in that By-Election but if she did, it will be easy to guess which party she actually voted for.

After a short while of praising the winning party, she went on to ask me if I am a Singaporean, to which I replied that I am a pure Singaporean. She said she asked because she thought I looked like a PRC (unfortunately, many have thought so before).

And then she went on to lament that there were so many PRCs and Pinoys working here now and if it was true that it was the sliding birth rate that we had to hire so many foreigners, then there should not have been the “Stop at 2” policy during her time when she was young.

And she followed with these exact words:

“You know everybody was so fearful of the impact of that policy. We were so worried about the future of our 3rd children onwards. In fact, I was with a 3rd child at that time, but because of that “Stop at 2” policy, I was very concerned about my child’s welfare and education and whether if that child would have a good future, that I aborted my 3rd child. I really regretted that decision, and now they say we need to have more children because of our declining birth rate, and even encouraged us by giving us rewards for having more children. And when that did not work, foreigners are hired in, which in turned compete with Singaporeans for jobs. So why have that policy in the first place?”

I could tell from her expression that she was filled with sorrow and pain when she said those words but I just remained silent and listened on as she poured out her woes to me. She eventually started talking about experience through World War 2 but I had to excuse myself halfway as another customer needed my help.

But it did leave me to wonder, did that policy really leave such a fearful impact on our parents and grandparents back then, so strong the message the policy brought across the whole of Singapore that this grandmother told me she actually had to abort her 3rd child?

Did that policy have any role in our current birth rate dropping so drastically that our government is screaming out the necessity and justification to open the floodgates to all those foreigners?

Last but not least, in this recent Hougang By-Election saga, how did my own mother, who used to be a staunch supporter of our ruling party and who had even once scolded my late father for supporting the opposition long time back, suddenly come to be cheering for WP when she saw from TV that they had won?

I leave the readers to ponder over the above and once again, I was just relating the exact conversation I had today with an old lady shopping together with her grandchildren.

DANIEL ONG

50 Responses to “Granny regretted aborting her third child due to ‘Stop at 2’ policy in the 1970s”

  1. Cynthia said

    Dear old lady, PAP want more children but NOT our children. To PAP, we are low quality people that they want to replace.

    People who still support PAP, wake up now.

  2. stevenado said

    It has been our garment policy…we know best..since you elected us…we decide you listern..
    Today it does not work anymore…sad to hear….it was FEAR all the time during that time…
    Opposition means alternative voices.

  3. spotlessleopard said

    Not only STOP AT TWO DESTROYED FAMILIES….THE EUGENICS POLICY OFLKY DESTROYED YOUNG PEOPLES’ LOVE…and split up many lovers especially those from Malaysia and singapore…they were refused residency just because they were “poorly educated or had low end jobs”….LKY effectively prevented the marriage and Union of Low end Workers ….and this cruel policy resulted in many suicides….off course such tragedies never made news…

  4. Mikey said

    This writer is a moron..

    Still need to wonder meh?

    Of course it’s totally related to the stop at 2 policy!!

    PAP fixes fuckups with even larger monumental fuckups!!

  5. yayaya said

    i’m the 3rd child borned in the 80s and ya, my family is fined for having me. few hundred dollars which is big money back then. luckily my family see me more important than the $ (grateful) if not i might be a mourning spirit haunting those who killed me indirectly (government)

    • Henry said

      Glad your parents paid $$$ to PAP for having you. Many of us lost unborned sibblings and babies due to that policy. If only our leader(s) have the courage to stand out and apologize and make amends instead making us pay more … better to say sorry now than to bring the deep regret into the neitherland.

    • Jack said

      same here, I am also the 3rd unwanted child to the Country,

  6. alan said

    You give a prediction 40 years ago dont expect 100% all correct am i right. What i know is most of the stuff are nicely done thats why have me and you and even our wife and children.

  7. P Koh said

    I was nearly a victim of the “Stop at 2” campaign and because I was young then and did not even go to high school, I could not fully understand what LKY was promulgating and actually “Stopped at 2 a.m.” and I got a third child. This third child nearly could not get 1st preference to join his elder brother in school but fortunately on the day of registration for Primary One, the MOE relented and allowed him to be registered. Sometimes ignorance can turn out to be a blessing.

  8. asd said

    DANIEL ONG: pls move on with life. don’t blame about what has the policy contribute in 1970. if you start talking about it that way. whatever implement at that point of time did solve the problem occur during that time. if you want you should talk about why people now don’t give birth and why in the past people giving birth. Social value change, economy change, time change and etc… let focus on what we can do now to correct the policy.

    foreigner is not a bad thing but anything too much is never a good thing.

  9. Anonymous said

    Old lady must be really old when she’s pregnant with her 3rd child. If she’s 10 years-old during WW2 to remember it, then she’s probably in her 40s during the 70s?

    • Not old at all said

      Stop at 2 policy started in 1972, she could be in her late 30s to get pregnant with her 3rd child.
      Most children should be able to remember their childhood vividly at the age of 5.

  10. dan2429E said

    …never never abort any child due to any stupid govt policy in curbing population growth…..
    …a child is God’s gift…..
    …and should never be trivialized…..

  11. Use Your Brain! said

    Obviously this article is meant to stir up the emotions of people. That is clear from your choice of words and expression. It is good to be critical of government policies but finding fault everywhere and every place and in every time and stirring up people’s emotion instead of offering constructive thoughts serves no purpose but only to create disporportionate perspective. Think you are doing Singapore a great service? Seems like government bashing is the fashion, isn’t it?

    The past and the present are not the same. The needs of the past and the present are not the same. It’s irrelevant to talk about the past. This article is a disservice to the people of Singapore. Today the government is offering incentives for people to have more children. Avail yourself yet to the incentives?

    That ‘old woman’ sounds more like your usual opposition party supporter with your usual talk.

    So what is the reason for the sliding birth rate today? You’re attributing it to the ‘stop at 2’ rule? Man, think again. We are talking about people today not giving birth at a time when the government has a number of incentives to encourage you to give birth, and not the baby boomers. Why do you not mention the various scheme that are in place including the Child Development Credit scheme, cash gifts etc.

    Falling birth rate is a global phenomenon. Governments that address this issue earlier will have a better chance at success in dealing with the problems that will arise later that is associated with an aging population.

    • Dont Talk COCK if You ARE DAFT 60.1% said

      U still dont get am I right to say this?what are the things that contributes to poor birth rate now.And what really attributes for the Govt to import more foreigners in to boost our Birth rate.If the Stop at 2 policy was not implented,God knows how many Singagporeans are there now ranging from the age of 30-40 born on the 1970-1980 for example.Do you think those born on that years would majority vote for the Govt like you do?As DAFT as you??

      Even with what the Govt gave us now for example as u stated-Child Development Credit scheme, cash gifts etc..would it be enough for a Family to survive at this current state whereby Inflation is skyrocketting?The burden of raising a child starts when the kids already start schooling.Do you think a medium income family whom listen to the Govt NOW and have 3-4 kids NOW would not have problems in future?You would rebulk my sentence by saying you can go through it why not others right?so you are telling us that u are wearing size XL underwears as big as the Govt does and u expect us to also fit in ur underwear when our size is M or S?You get my hint?

      Cant you realise NOW that so many PRO PAP SUPPORTER have already lost faith on the GOVT accept for you whom only GOD knows where you came from or maybe ur one of the PAPIES coming here to defend ur Master.What happened now is due to what the GOVT did in the PAST.THAT IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.

      The nick u used suits u anyway-PEACE

      • Rustle said

        Let me get this right for you.
        There are many reasons for falling birth rate and that ‘stop-at-2’ rule might have contributed to a smaller population but is not the reason for the falling birth rate. Without the stop-at-2 rule, the current problem we have would just be postponed to a later time. That’s all.

        You don’t need to have 3-4 children. You just need 2 to keep the population at replacement rate. Is the birth rate of Singapore even at this replacement rate? Birth rate starts to fall when a society progresses, when women become educated and join the workforce, when people postpone their marriages and postpone having children in favour of career development etc. And some people would rather own a dog than have children.

        It used to be that the mother stays at home to look after the children while the father brings home the bread. People live a simple life together on a small income and grandma chips in to help. Nowadays people live apart from their parents and both husband and wife are working.

        Life’s basic needs are not many. It’s all about expectations.

        And no, I do not wear an XL size underwear. I live a very simple lifestyle. I don’t drive a car nor dine in restaurants. I don’t wear branded clothes and I live in a simply furnished HDB flat with my family where we have simple home-cooked meals together almost every evening.

        I am not one of the ‘PAPIES’ and I don’t have a Master.🙂
        But I have confidence in the PAP and no faith in the WP.

      • Rustle said

        @Dont Talk COCK if You ARE DAFT 60.1% said

        Just to let you know, “Use Your Brain!” is also Rustle.🙂

    • Henry said

      You sound highly pragmatic and emotionally senseless … which some can understand. Agree that past is not the same as the present – but many of us appeal for a better decision in the present so that our, including your, future generations do not regret 40 years later. Good Luck.

    • Good luck said

      Go check it up how Aust govt help their people on giving birth and bringing up the child.
      Good luck to you in having confidence in PAP.
      Hope your children will benefit years later from the results of your confidence in PAP now.
      Have you ever wonder why both husband and wife need to work now? Last time where got so many maids and working mothers?

  12. Affected Singaporean said

    I share the similar pain of this grand mother
    My wife and I had to painfully abort a third child
    more because of the fear that the child will not
    be given an education being the third child in the family.
    We deeply regret the decision and we are still angry at LKY for forcing this policy. Ministry of
    Health even sent nurse to ask my wife to legate.
    We did not but we never try for a third child
    LKY should not be so short sighted and now we are flooded with PRCs to bolster our declining Ethnic Chinese population.
    For those of you, who still young and were not
    Affected by this ” Stop at 2″ policy, you will never understand our sorrow and anger at the PAP govt. We have moved on, but we will never forget or forgive LKY for this policy.

    • P Koh said

      I had an office colleague who had 8 children and when his third child was to be registered for Primary one in the 70’s, he was refused the registration under priority scheme because of this “Stop at 2” rule. The registration officer told him to produce a “Legation Certificate” before they are prepared to register his third child. He replied “I am already an old man and you still want me to legate.? Have a heart sir,please let me enjoy a few more years of sexual activity before I go to heaven,”

    • speechless said

      At least after abortion, still can have kids when the rules are being lifted up, though i bet for some unlucky ones… after abortion can never have kids. those tat go thru sterilization at there time, must be cursing and swearing now.

      people at that generation are not ‘very educated’ n bold enough to voice out, with the heavy usages of internet and social media, we are seeing more side of the truest facts compare to in the 70s when radio, newspaper – managed by govt is the main source.

      different generations, different kind of lives. for e.g.: look at china in the BC centuries, it is even worst. Emperor can just kill anybody without reasoning, look at the great wall – how many lives is lost, look at the Qin’s tomb filled – how many ppl are buried alive…

      Past vs current vs future… we can’t changed the history, there’s nth we can do, but, we can improved our lives… and come GE2016 will be our VOICES…

  13. I love PAP said

    this policy is akin to Nazism. Why Singaporeans that time din revolt? coz they were cocksuckers. so now repent and we need more FT. It is till to this day pure genocide of true breed singaporeans. and 60% still support them. wat a fucking joke.

  14. aH lOOT said

    Stop going to KTV lounges and Geylang. Stay at home and make babies so that you can send the prc PACKING HOME. The PAP is best party governing Singapore the envy of the world.

    • Best in the eyes of beholder said

      There is no best ruling party, only better than lousy ones.
      If they are the best why they armed with two heavyweight ministers still lost Aljunied GRC in GE2011.

  15. Jack said

    Our government have to waive the domestic helper levy (and reverse on the mandatory weekly off day), build more childcare centres, more subsidy for child education. Surely, that help the young parents of today

  16. bb said

    In every policy the gov implement they never study the upside and downside of the policy-hence more mistakes and sg citizens are paying the price. Now they sg the ppl who cause the low fertitlity rate-not pappy gov.

    But have some comfort all over the world the gov are all incompetent because they are the elite and ruling class and they have all the benefit and leave all the dirt to its citizens. Whether it is greece, France, UK and even US it is politically elite who caused all the troubles. Is it the ppl in Greece create the problem. NO it is the politicians who caused all the sufferings to the ppl. The rich has all ran away.

    SG ppl must bre prepared when all the ruling class runs away with all the money.

  17. Soo Kiat, Tan said

    Actually, I blame my stupid wife. Of course I am more stupider then her at the end. You see, when we had our third child, my wife did a laigation so as to enable my eldest child get a school nearer to our flat, stop at two laigate at three. The joke is my eldest child was sent to a school in Jurong West while we stay at Serangoon. The fact is that even if he took the first bus, he will never make it to school on time.Then better still a dying man told us we will travel only one bus to school or one bus from home to office. Look like now we take three – feeder in Toa Payoh, main bus to Juong and finally Jurong feeder in Jurong, WTF

  18. leedavid said

    Well said, leave it to the reader.
    sad is the name, unhappy is the game. I dont blame the gov cause at that time, the birth rate was high. No person could know the problem would change other round. But looking at the way in MONIES they were giving, they did tried to reverse the WRONG- RIGHT. But TOO LATE….

  19. Anonymous said

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_control_in_Singapore

  20. Rustle said

    Hey moderator.
    Why can you not pass my reply for posting? If you post an article for people to comment, then you should allow differing views to be posted. Please!

  21. Rustle said

    No wonder all the comments here are skewed. You accuse the local media of unfair and unbalanced reporting and yet here you are, suppressing views that conflict with yours. Ahahahahahaha. What a joke and a mockery.

  22. 龙的传人 said

    Luckly stopped at 2 , if no ,now full of ppls .
    Not work ,not food ……,then say pap not good . Wat kind of nations u r ?

  23. Bertrand said

    What’s comforting to see is there are lots of us, if not all, in this forum who are truly passionate about our country and her well-being. We care enough to voice our opinions and share our differences. If only we can steer away from negative aggression and channel those energies to more constructive means, can you imagine the possibilities for the future of our beloved nation?

    Hindsight is always 20/20, if we knew back then what we know now, would we have made the decisions we made then? Most likely not. Take for example, when we were kids, our parents loved us so much they wanted to give us what we like, so they allow us to indulge in fast foods. If they knew then that fast foods are terrible for our health, they wouldn’t have even let us go near those restaurants. Rather than brood over decisions made in the past based on past situations, try focusing on the future and think of constructive ways and means to improve the conditions.

    The influx of foreign talents or foreign immigration is not isolated to Singapore only, Singaporeans are emigrating elsewhere at the same time foreigners are immigrating to Singapore. This is a global phenomena. In our current high-paced and technology-centric era, this exchange facilitates collaboration which is a necessity for progress. Without the education policy in the past to mandate that we learn the English language in schools instead of forcing us to master the Malay language like our neighbouring countries, would we have been able to find employment in multi-national corporations and travel extensively that our professions entail today?

    Looking at this from another perspective, the demand to immigrate to Singapore is so high due to the quality of life, economic stability and social security that we so enjoy. How did we get to be one of the most desirable destination for immigration without the policies and hard work of our government and the people over the past few decades?

    Singapore cannot become what it is today with good government alone. We must have good people working in tandem with the government. If we do not misdirect our passion into senseless aggression, but turn it into constructive, positive energy, the possibilities for our country are endless.

  24. alan said

    缭乱民心, This author is seriously an idiot.

    • Dun read lor said

      Qing zhe zi qing – if you are focus, you will stay focus.
      If this author is an idiot, seriously what will be his reader?

  25. Francis said

    A retired SP principal lecturer once told me that the group of them who were holding senior positions decided to have only ONE child during that time! He regretted bitterly but I am happy to know from his Xmas card that he now has a grandson.

  26. JJmoney said

    Psychomaniac who killed her baby because 1) she’s selfish or 2)the govt “scared” her into doing so. First, is her own responsibility and nobody else to blame. Second, what the article *begs* you to assume, is just not believable because this is not China one child policy. Apparently, she still do not accept responsibility for her own actions after so many years since she/article blames everyone else but herself. Sick attention whore.

    Linking this crazy bitch to the government, foreigners, pinoys, PRCs is just wrong.

    • Ng said

      People of that generation who were lowly educated or iliterate can be fearful of many things the govt said. Till today there are many who still believe that your votes are not SECRET and they are fearful.

  27. who is pure? said

    I’m former Malaysian converted to Singapore citizen in 1990s and served NS, can you enlighten me if I’m considered “pure”?

    I don’t want to infringe on the purity of the Singapore race, and do not dare to do so.

    • Ng said

      I remember there was a time when Malaysians were not popular. Back in 70s, 80s. I saw notices at bus stops and everywhere “rooms for rental” stated that they do not want Malaysian tenants. People in Boon Lay complaining about their behaviour, throwing rubbish, coffee powder on their washings out of the windows. Over the years, the Malaysians gained acceptable because they have proved to be responsiblie, hardworking employees, considerated neighbours, great friends and colleagues. Many married malaysians . Now people prefer to rent their flats and rooms to Malaysians. As for me, I love Malaysians.

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