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Issue Date: 30-Oct-2017
Citation: TEO HUI YAN SARAH (2017-10-30). A HISTORY OF STATE FAMILY PLANNING IN SINGAPORE, 1966-1987. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Due to the acrimonious circumstances of Singapore’s independence, a rhetoric of survival propagated by the Singapore government emerged. The political leadership believed the only way for the nation to survive was to attain domestic stability and economic prosperity. Consequently, the achievement of economic development and internal security became the two main governing priorities for the Singapore government. This thesis traces the history of state family planning in Singapore from 1966-1987. It asks what were the governing priorities of the government and how these objectives were translated into fertility policies. State family planning commenced as part of the quest for economic development, domestic stability, and ultimately survival. To understand the government’s governing priorities and values, and how these impacted fertility policies, this thesis utilises Neo Boon Siong and Geraldine Chen’s Dynamic Governance: Embedding Culture, Capabilities and Change in Singapore as an analytical tool. Neo and Chen list five core values that governance in Singapore is based on: honesty and integrity, people as the main resource, results orientation, self-reliance, and domestic stability. Of the five, people as the main resource, self-reliance, and domestic stability are relevant for this analysis on the intersection of governing priorities and state family planning. State family planning reflected the core governing values of people as the main resource and self-reliance which the government felt were important ingredients in the long-running pursuit for survival. In the earlier phase of state family planning (1966-1975), antinatalist policies targeting all married couples, were implemented with the aim of ensuring immediate survival. The later phase of state family planning (1984-1987) focused on safeguarding future survival which could possibly be jeopardised by prolonged low fertility rates. This more recent phase saw the creation of pronatalist policies directed at the affluent and well-educated.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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