Talk:Population control in Singapore

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To be incorporated[edit]

Patronising/poor writing[edit]

After World War II, from 1947 to 1957, Singapore's version of the post–World War II baby boom occurred.

Singapore's version? puhleez Piarco girl (talk) 13:41, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Well a global phenomenon certainly did not happen only in Singapore. How would you suggest to change it? elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 05:10, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, remove the repetition of World War II. It's clumsy. Secondly, why do you mention 1947 to 1957? We know that 1947 is after the second world war, so it seems redundant. Why 1957? The birth rate might have peaked then, but it was still one of the highest in the world for a few years yet.

It's rather insulting to say "Singapore's version" of the baby boom. It sounds like this is a US encyclopaedia explaining foreigners to an American audience. Surely it wasn't "Singapore's version" but what happened in Singapore was part of the global trend. You might even say that Singapore led the baby boom, because its birth rate was so high. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Piarco girl (talkcontribs) 07:22, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

That is what the data gives us. 1957 was some sort of landmark year for Singaporean statistics. I have no idea why -- I can only work with the sources given me. "Post–World War II baby boom" is the article title. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 06:19, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

"I can only work with the sources given me."

No, you can find others. You can be curious. Also, the title of the article you refer to may be "Post-World War II baby boom" but you don't have to use the title text in the link to the article. Piarco girl (talk) 04:10, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm busy. You can shortlist sources you think interesting here. Also I looked up multiple sources and they all seemed to have data sets that go for 1947 to 1957 for some particular reason, and then 1957 to 1970. I suspect that some sort of policy change in 1957 must have changed the way data was organised. I already wrote 30KB of this article myself. My intention was not at all to be the primary author, merely its starter. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 11:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I see. You want the glory of starting the article, but you want everyone else to turn your turgid prose and odd sourcing into something worthwhile. It you're going to start articles, then at least learn how to write clearly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.163.207 (talk) 03:15, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
No not at all. See WP:STUB. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 22:34, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Did you read WP:STUB? It says that you should "write clearly and informatively". Sadly, your prose is Orwellian, But not in a good way. Please read "Politics and the English Language" before attempting any further writing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.183.249 (talk) 11:01, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
All too familiar. :) (Language Log, btw is run by linguistics' top academics.) elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 11:58, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
And that blog is much better written than anything you ever wrote on this article. Learn from it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.166.100 (talk) 03:58, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
So if you wanted to know how to fly a plane, who do you think would be better to learn from? A pilot with thousands of hours experience in the air, who had landed and taken off hundreds of times -- or a top aerodynamics academic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.183.249 (talk) 10:43, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Overlong and offsubject?[edit]

I think most of this article is about population control rather than eugenics, and that there is far too much background. Piarco girl (talk) 08:30, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

The "ideal" article size is 30-40 KB. How is it too long? elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 10:13, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

It is too long because most of it is about population control rather than eugenics, and there is too much irrelevant background material. Piarco girl (talk) 12:46, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

As I recall both policies were intertwined. Eugenics is "the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 18:51, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Why not change the article title to "Eugenics and population control in Singapore"? Piarco girl (talk) 02:51, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I've renamed the article. Look at Eugenics in the United States for what a focused article on eugenics in a country should contain. This one is mostly about family planning, although there's not a huge distinction between that and human population control as practiced in some countries which favor central planning; see sub-articles there. There are some elements here that can be properly called eugenics, but nowhere near enough to title the whole article that way; see WP:COATRACK. FuFoFuEd (talk) 01:21, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

The definition of eugenics: "the social movement claiming to improve the genetic features of human populations through selective breeding and sterilization". The programmes appear to mostly fit that. LKY and GKS believed that being educated was a genetic, or at least widely-hereditable, feature, their sources for this view are supported by sources. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 06:11, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

LKY and GKS believed that being educated was a genetic, or at least widely-hereditable, feature,

You are confusing "being educated" with "intelligence". School-age education is compulsory in Singapore, so "being educated" has nothing to do with eugenics. It's the law. Piarco girl (talk) 04:32, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Not at all. Being schooled and being educated are two different things. In any case you can improve the article yourself. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 11:33, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Neither "being schooled" nor "being educated" are heritable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.183.249 (talk) 09:12, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

POV, confusing[edit]

Basically only the Graduate Mothers Program, and to a lesser extent its (unnamed?) successor which was based on income (but with accusations that it was just a proxy for pro-Chinese racism) are described as eugenics in a couple of books I've looked at and added as citations. Is the Two/Three+ program referring to the latter 1987 stuff or what? FuFoFuEd (talk) 02:59, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Is your only objection your title? I would like Singaporean editors to pitch in. I can only work with the sources given me. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 04:19, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, the SDU has been described as both a eugenics programme and a social engineering programme. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 04:28, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
You're deftly ignoring what I wrote, while you edit war on the tags. I don't claim any expertise on this, but you haven't even answered by my basic question above about the Two/Three+ program, nor have you provided any time framing for those programs in the lead. Were they ephemeral as the GMP? One cannot in good consciousness write an article on Germany and pretend that only Nazi Germany should be described in it (and with no years specified) because that's all the sources you have on hand. I won't reinstate the tags, but I'll come back to this article after doing more reading on the topic myself. Your article reads like propaganda piece. FuFoFuEd (talk) 05:48, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I've comprehensively described most of the programmes I can think of. You are welcome to edit the lead, identify problematic language, and basically rework the article, but I can't fix the article if you can't tell me what to fix. The motivations for "Stop at Two" start in the late 1960s, blooming into a full programme by 1972. This policy was later reversed starting in the 1980s. As is described in the article. (How should it be made more clear?).
Note, that the government has always constantly interfered with the population's birthing habits. Even the modern programme encourages educated couples to date and fall in love through the Social Development Unit (renamed the "Network" in 2009 in a re-imaging campaign), to rectify the tendency of educated people to marry later and marry less. Even Lee Kuan Yew as of 2008 was known to hold eugenics views. The primary school policy of the GMP was ephemeral, but parts of it survived into the 1990s and the present day. The dates are clearly described in the sections.
Singapore's history becomes abundant in sourcing after independence, naturally. Maybe the Brits had their own programme -- but it's not as famous to Singaporeans. These measures are. They are even cited from government press sources as mistakes. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 06:07, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Also the article is far from complete and I have tabled three sources yet to be incorporated at the top of the talk page. You could use those, as I believe some of those might help solve your concerns. For example, I have not yet discussed Goh Keng Swee's involvement in some of the policies -- and by the way, GKS is a man I greatly respect. I plan to provide more viewpoints and more analyses, as well as the government's own retrospective viewpoint. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 06:18, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Poor writing: overlong sentences[edit]

The government created a large array of public education material for the Stop at Two campaign, in one of the early examples of the public social engineering campaigns the government would continue to implement (e.g. the Speak Mandarin, Speak Good English, National Courtesy, Keep Singapore Clean and Toilet Flushing Campaigns) that would lead to its reputation as "paternalistic" and "interventionist" in social affairs.

Sixty-four words! A boring start, a ramble in the middle, but quite an interesting end. Piarco girl (talk) 06:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

But this one is an amazing 68 words.

When demographic transition statistics are examined — in 1960, the total fertility rate was approximately ~6 — Asian MetaCentre researcher Theresa Wong noted the period in which birth rates and death rates for Singapore fell dramatically occurred over "much shorter time period than in Western countries," yet such a short time frame is also seen in other Southeast Asian countries, where family planning campaigns were much less aggressive.

Piarco girl (talk) 06:24, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, duh.[edit]

The first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, believed that it was better for the public good and governance of Singapore if the demographics of Singapore were pushed towards such optima as having more highly-educated individuals;

How many politicians would disagree? What's notable about that?

And why the clumsy and pretentious language: "pushed toward such optima"?

This article is full of such poor writing. And that's a pity, as the subject is really interesting.

George Orwell described this writing style perfectly: "Words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Piarco girl (talkcontribs) 06:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Lee Kuan Yew was the major driver of the policy, naturally. And there were several optima that LKY aimed for. You can be be bold if you want. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 06:57, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I'd love to. But I write and rewrite for hours every day at work. I don't really have the time and energy when I get home for editing and revising Wikipedia. Much better to point out problems with the article so original writers have an idea what needs improvement. Piarco girl (talk) 07:42, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

important not to downplay published government opinions[edit]

Especially since there were many statements that became impressed upon the public consciousness. Start with this reference. LKY had been implementing eugenics policies for a long time before 1983; the Stop at Two programme (which was remarkably interventionist) contained many elements of these, as the source will explain. elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 18:41, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Percent or percentage point[edit]

The birth rate rose and the death rate fell; the average annual growth rate was 4.4%, of which 1% was due to immigration;

This is ambiguous. It could meant that the population grew annually by 3.4% naturally, and by 1% through immigration. Or it could mean that population grew by 4.356% naturally, and by 0.044% through immigration. If it's the former, better to say "the average annual growth rate was 4.4%, of which one percentage point was due to immigration." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Piarco girl (talkcontribs) 04:49, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't believe this[edit]

Family planning was introduced to Singapore in 1949 by volunteers that started clinics offering contraception, but despite government financial support there was no official government policy on family planning till the 1960s.

People have been informally planning families using contraception, artificial insemination, withdrawing from sex, and abortions (legal or otherwise) for thousands of years. I find it difficult to believe people in Singapore only started in 1949.

Also, volunteers are people, so it's "who" not "that".

If the government gave money to family planning clinics, then that sounds like government policy supported family planning. (Unless of course the family planning clinics defrauded the government, which seems unlikely.) But in the 1960s, the government made it a priority, and spent lots of money on encouraging family planning.

Vague writing: Who perceived it?[edit]

Rapid population growth was perceived as a threat to "political stability and living standards" that lead to population overcrowding that would overwhelm employment opportunities and social services in education, health and sanitation. [5] Despite their fall since 1957, birth rates in the 1960s were still perceived as high.

Who "perceived" it was a threat? Who "perceived" the birth rates as high? 219.78.183.249 (talk) 11:28, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

The introduction is wrong.[edit]

Family planning was introduced to Singapore in 1949 by volunteers that started clinics offering contraception, but despite government financial support there was no official government policy on family planning till the 1960s

Singapore's municipal commissioners voted in May 1949 to make family planning advice available at municipal infant welfare clinics. This was two months before the Singapore Family Planning Association was formed.

The Singapore Free Press, 28 May 1949, Page 6 12-10 VOTE FOR BIRTH CONTROL
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/freepress19490528.2.62.aspx

By September, three municipal clinics offered family planning advice. But the Singapore Family Planning Association's clinics were still being planned.

The Straits Times, 16 September 1949, Page 5, BIRTH CONTROL: Women in cars also seek aid.
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19490916.2.78.1.aspx

The first SFPA clinic, staffed by volunteers, opened on 4 November 1949. Two more followed the next week.

The Singapore Free Press, 3 November 1949, Page 5 Family planning: 3 new clinics
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/freepress19491103.2.85.aspx

Official approval of family planning

The Straits Times, 14 October 1950, Page 7 GOVERNOR PRAISES FAMILY PLANNING
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19501014.2.105.aspx

Government increases financial support for SFPA

Singapore Free Press, 10 January 1951, Page 5 Govt. doubles grant to F.P.A.
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/freepress19510110.2.66.aspx


Government completes plans for Family Planning campaign in November 1960

The Straits Times, 14 October 1960, Page 4, 1,000 volunteer for campaign
http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19601014.2.28.aspx — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.183.249 (talk) 07:13, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Article title - Should move back to Family planning in Singapore[edit]

This article was Family planning in Singapore until a few months ago. It should move back to that title. Or, if it is to cover population policy exclusively, should probably be at the more neutral Population policy in Singapore. Since sometimes the policy has been population control, sometimes it has been population expansion the current title is not representative of either the topic covered, or of the range of policies. Zodon (talk) 05:37, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Interesting point. But the linked article on human population control says this: "Human population control is the practice of artificially altering the rate of growth of a human population." Trying to raise the number of births is as much an attempt to control the population as trying to reduce them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.78.162.133 (talk) 01:54, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Population control in Singapore/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jaguar (talk · contribs) 16:12, 5 December 2014 (UTC)


Will complete this within a day or two, at the most. Jaguar 16:12, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose is "clear and concise", without copyvios, or spelling and grammar errors:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Has an appropriate reference section:
    B. Citation to reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:
    B. Images are provided if possible and are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

Initial comments[edit]

  • The lead has issues; per WP:LEAD only the title of the article should be in bold and at the moment there are four highlighted terms in bold
  • The lead is disorganised - try merging two paragraphs into one so it makes at least three, well written paragraphs
  • "The government eventually became pro-natalist," - when?
  • Some phrases that do not go into enough detail can leave the reader clueless, for example "After the outcry in the 1984 general elections it was eventually scrapped" - what outcry?
  • Too many citations in the lead. Per WP:LEADCITE references should be kept at a bear minimum
  • "Singapore experienced its highest birth rate in 1957 at 42.7 per thousand individuals." - unsourced
  • The Stop at Two section's bullet points could be converted to prose. Also some claims are unsourced
  • "establishing the Social Development Unit" - why is this in bold?
  • In the The demographic transition and the Graduate Mothers Scheme section, try merging the last two paragraphs to increase readability
  • There is a prose concern template in the Policy comparisons between Have Three or More and Stop at Two, starting 1988 section. I agree with it :L

References[edit]

Close - not listed[edit]

I'm really sorry to do this, seeing as that you have had to wait a while before this could be reviewed but in its current standing this article does not meet the GA criteria and the amount of work that needs to be put into it will take longer than an expected review. The main issue is the prose; at the moment the lead does not comply per WP:LEAD and there are also various other parts of the article which consists of bullet points - it has to be converted into prose to improve readability and flow. Feel free to renominate this article when yu think all of the above has been attending to and if you'd like, I could review it again. Regards 22:44, 6 December 2014 (UTC)