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.