Friday, 14 October 2016

You don't need much space to have sex

Josephine Teo on ‘no flat, no child’ belief
Sr Minister of State Josephine Teo.ST FOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
"You do not need much space to have sex"
That was the feisty rejoinder from Sr Minister of State Josephine Teo, who oversees the National Population & Talent Division, to a question on whether young people are not getting their flats early enough to have children.

The suggestion was that this could be a chicken-&-egg problem. To qualify for the Parenthood Priority Scheme, which gives 1st-time married couples 1st dibs on getting a flat, they must be expecting or have a citizen child below 16.

But to have a child, some say they need to have a flat first.

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Josephine Teo 12 October 2016

Social media was abuzz with The Straits Times coverage of my interview. They might not have captured everything in the way I intended. But in all seriousness, we need an honest conversation on how, as a society, we can get ready for Millennial families.

Every way I turn, I see more of our Millennials boldly stepping up to overturn long-held assumptions about what #Singaporeans can and cannot achieve. They inspire me a great deal. You probably know such Millennials too.

The pioneer generation helped to create a #Singapore that no one could have imagined. I am ever grateful. And yet, at the same time, when I look at our Millennials, I am brimming with hope that a new generation of pioneers is emerging, specifically, in terms of how they will meet both family and career aspirations in new, imaginative ways.

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Josephine Teo: Sex and babies in the Lion City

In an interview on marriage and parenthood issues last week, the mother of 3 teenage children tackled issues ranging from infertility to why the Government should not be "too kaypoh" (Hokkien for busybody).

She noted that the Singaporean love story has a different arc from that of countries in the West. "In our case, man meets woman, man falls in love with woman, man proposes to woman, they then plan the wedding & do the house," she said.

"In France, in the UK, in the Nordic countries, man meets woman, tonight they can make a baby already. They love each other. Both of them partly have their own family, so it is a matter of living in yours or living in mine, & they also don't have to worry about marriage - that comes later," she added.

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With a straight face, Mrs Teo declared: "You need a very small space to have sex."

So how about having a couple declare that they wish to have a child in two years and get the flat first?

"What if they can't conceive? Take back the flat from them? How do you know they really tried to conceive? Can we check whether they use contraceptives? Cannot, right?" she replied, amused.

Instead of having the Government poke its nose into the bedroom, Mrs Teo relied instead on persuasion. She urged women to have babies early as they would not know if they are fertile or not.

related:
Ideal to have flat first and then baby, say couples
No flat, no baby? Having child while living with parents


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‘You don’t need much space for sex’, Singapore minister tells young couples

A SINGAPOREAN Senior Minister seems to have ruffled feathers in the city-state after telling the young population they do not need much space to have sex, as concerns mount over their abilities to secure housing before starting families.

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division, said this when asked about the government’s scheme to prioritize first-time married couples in obtaining homes.

In order to qualify for the Parenthood Priority Scheme, the couples must be expecting or have a citizen child below 16, the Straits Times reported.

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What should come first, a baby or a flat?

A Singapore minister has reignited debate surrounding the country's slowing birth rates
"You need a very small space to have sex"
Those were the words of Singapore's Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo during a state media interview on marriage and parenthood issues. Like many wealthy countries, Singapore is facing the challenge of an ageing population and low birth rates, so its government is actively encouraging young citizens to get on with starting a family.

The candid politician, who is in charge of population matters, was asked if part of the reason why young Singaporeans were not having children was because they were having to wait too long to get their own homes. If they're still living with their parents, it's hard to do what's necessary to have a baby, the argument goes.

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All the facepalm reactions to Josephine Teo's 'You need a very small space to have sex' comment
Guess a small space in any HDB flat is all you need. Photo: yeowatzup/Flickr

This morning, an article on The Straits Times quoted Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo as saying, 'you need a very small space to have sex' — and with a straight face. That was in response to the topic of whether young couples are not getting flats early enough to have children (as seen by all the oversubscribed BTOs and the long wait for construction works to be completed). On the other hand, in order to qualify for the Parenthood Priority Scheme and get first dibs on a flat, first-time married couples must either be expecting or have a citizen child below 16.

So... flat first, or child first? Well, according to Teo, the answer is, you don't need much space to have sex.

This quote by Teo — who oversees the National Population and Talent Division — has since drawn flak on social media, with many netizens throwing in their two cents' worth on the issue. Like these below.

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Sex-in-small-space comment gets a lot of online space

'Damned if you do or don't'. It was a statement that launched a thousand memes: "You need a very small space to have sex."

The words, spoken by Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo in an exclusive interview with The Straits Times, were meant to encourage a discussion - particularly among young Singaporeans - about marriage and parenthood.

In an opinion piece which accompanied a package of stories on Wednesday, she said: "Millennial Singaporeans, who number nearly a million, are not about to start families because someone exhorts them to. If and when they decide to, it will likely be because they regard marriage and parenthood to be achievable, enjoyable and celebrated."

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“Sex in small spaces” perfect example of diseconomies of scale

Jos Teo’s latest faux pas highlights everything that is wrong with the PAP government and the civil service.

In case you’ve been out of the country and without internet access, Jos Teo who is Minister of State and heads the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) was quoted in a Straits Times article saying “You need a very small space to have sex.” Needless to say, that line has become the latest meme on the Singaporean blogosphere and she has come out to say that the line was taken out of context and her intention was to the highlight the fact that in other countries, such as certain ones in Europe, having children is not something that always follows marriage and/or the purchase of a home.

As I remarked to a colleague the day after her comments were published, the real reason why people are making fun of her comment is not just because of the comment itself (which, to be honest, is darn funny) but because it serves to highlight the problem that our Ministers have when it comes to cherry-picking examples to make their point (think Shanmugam’s defending the death penalty for drug trafficking or every time someone warns about taxes going up when there is suggestion to increase the social safety net).

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My Girlfriend Said She Needs Space

Your girlfriend probably began the “I need some space” conversation by saying, “We need to talk…” or “I need to talk to you about something,” which most-likely made you feel sick to the pit of your stomach.

All of a sudden, you went from feeling safe and relaxed around your girlfriend to that horrible feeling of panic where you know that you are losing something that is extremely important to you. You can see it in her eyes that she no longer looks at you in the same way.

There are many reasons why a woman will ask for space from a guy, but here are 5 of the most common reasons:
  • She wants to find a replacement guy before really breaking up with you
  • She’s bored
  • You haven’t done what is required to make her want to settle down with you for life
  • She doesn’t want to accidentally become pregnant to you
  • She doesn’t want to teach you how to be the man she needs

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Making Sweeping Statements about Other Countries

“In France, in the UK, in the Nordic countries, man meets woman, tonight they can make a baby already. They love each other. Both of them partly have their own family, so it is a matter of living in yours or living in mine, and they also don’t have to worry about marriage – that comes later,” said Mrs Teo.

But I think it is a universal rule that succumbing to one’s lust and passion (and forgetting about everything else) does not pave the path for a healthy and long-lasting marriage.

I also do not believe that the citizens of France, the UK, and Nordic countries can settle with their partners comfortably for a lifetime without any kind of family planning. They probably plan differently, considering the different policies that their countries have for them, so regardless of country, financial planning is still important.

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SHD SINGAPORE ADOPT THE NORDIC & FRENCH METHOD SUGGESTED BY JOSEPHINE TEO?

Whilst there should be policies in place to help to ease the course of living, such as tweaking of the policy on HDB pricing and lowering of the GST, ultimately, the we should be cautious and careful about tailoring social welfare policies directed specifically to boost its population, such as directed welfare spending. Should there be social safety nets such as social security and insurance? There should. However, I am concerned if policies such as the Nordic-style healthcare, paternity leaves or subsidised education or directed welfare spending to encourage reproduction and boost population are being proposed.

My concern is as such, while there should be a system of safety nets in place, Nordic style healthcare policies or targeted welfare spending might encourage or promote the proliferation of sexual promiscuity in our society. If the way healthcare is done Nordic style, would it encourage recklessness in sexual behavior, in the knowledge that abortions would be available, at low costs? Although at first glance, the issue might seem to be about one of abortion, the consequences of reckless sexuality extends beyond that of abortion. Sexual recklessness would also lead to the increase in the proliferation of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), broken marriages and lives.

According to HealthResearchFunding.org, women who undergo abortion are 3x more likely to commit suicide and 10% for teenage girls. The research also indicates that there is an 81% increase in risk percentage of mental health issues for women who undergo abortion versus one that don't

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Josephine Teo said you don’t need a flat before making babies, S’poreans disagree vehemently

Josephine Teo, the Senior Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office gave a candid interview to two Straits Times journalists last week, discussing her views on sex, and starting a family. She was talking about the birds and the bees because she is the politician in charge of population matters, including marriage and parenthood.

Here is the quote that set off a thousand netizens.
“You need a very small space to have sex.”
And you know it’s a quirky statement, when even the newspaper had to preface the quote with this sentence.
“With a straight face, Mrs Teo declared”.

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Sex & The Minister

I address this blog to my fellow younger citizens, Singaporeans of my children’s generation, born in the 1990’s. “Sex in small places” concerns them. Beyond the funny responses and factual criticisms is a bigger issue at stake – the mindset of the ministers they vote for, whose thinking will influence their future, their lives. It’s much more than just sex and is surely no small matter.

Josephine Teo had all the time in the world to reply to the “question on whether young people are not getting their flats early enough to have children.” But
with a straight face, Mrs Teo declared: “You need a very small space to have sex.”
She cannot try to wiggle her way out by claiming that her reported words “might not have captured everything in the way I intended.” And, now, wants to switch to “an honest conversation on how, as a society, we can get ready for Millennial family.”

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Donald Low Facebook

I don't think Jo Teo's comments are offensive. In fact, I think she raises an important question about what kind of society we ought to be, and what kind of policies we need, to make child-bearing and parenthood a lot easier for Singaporeans.

What I found disturbing about her comments though is her representation of the Nordics and French. She suggests that unlike the pragmatic and constantly worrying Singaporeans, the Northern Europeans and the French seem a lot more "relaxed" or carefree about making babies. And she implies that Singaporeans could be a bit more like them. What, you may ask, is wrong with these comments? After all, they are well-meaning.

Her characterization of French and Nordic couples is obviously a stereotype. But assuming the stereotype is partly true, the more serious objection to the comments is that they fail to address the underlying question of WHY the French and Nordics are a lot more willing to take the plunge to have children without the worrying and extensive preparations that Singaporeans seem to undertake.

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#SexInSmallSpaces
  • the platform gap between the MRT train and station
  • MRT during peak hours.
  • Yellow Smoking Box
  • Singapore BTO Flat.
  • in the booth of her car.
  • Its literally blowing up after what the minister said. DAMN FUNNY
  • Inside your body
  • Josephine Teo's brain
  • one-liner and completely miss the point of the story.
  • MP's office

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"Honest conversation" needed: Josephine Teo responds to online furore over 
  • S'poreans would like to know how did she starts her family and why she chose that?
  • Is she assuming S'poreans are not having sex due to space constraint or is she asking Sporeans to "Just do it " ?
  • WE need to converse with intelligent & caring people. NOT who only look after the 70%. Geddit?!

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mrbrown on Twitter

In honor of Minister Josephine Teo, here are some of my suggestions. Feel free to tweet your #SexInSmallSpaces ideas.
  • Rubbish chute, inside a car, cardboard box, Ikea cupboard
  • Aircon ledge
  • rooftop pump room
  • hdb AHU compartment

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Josephine Teo: you don’t need much space to have sex
Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo – who oversees the National Population and Talent Department – said that one “needs a very small space to have sex”

She was replying to a reporter’s comment last week that one needed to have a flat before having children, and if a change in system could possibly result in a higher birth rate. Teo’s response has since gone on to drawn considerable flak on  social media.

Robert Guo said that the key issue here was more about “stablity and certainty” than anything else before one considers starting a family. Yeow H Tan also echoed this view and asked it they “care[d] for the well being of the child without a proper house to grow up in?” While Teo has said in the same interview that marriage and having children is a personal choice, Netizen Derrick Poh said that “not everyone has the luxury to wait for 3-4 years to have a baby while the government builds the flat”.

TRE reader Bruce Wee said that the root cause of this was the current BTO system where a couple orders a flat earlier than their marriage, as compared to the previous walk-in selection system. Wee added that young couples may jump into premature relationship commitments, or have strained relationship with their in-laws.

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“You need a very small space to have sex”, Josephine Teo shoots down complaints from young people

“Should we apply for HDB?” (instead of “Would you marry me?”) would be how many young Singaporean men may propose to their girlfriends. Statistics do show that more couples are applying for a flat together before walking down the aisle.

Hoping that this Singaporean trend will translate into more babies for SIngapore, the HDB introduced the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) in 2013. The scheme gives priority allocation for new HDB flats to first-timer married couples with a citizen child below the age of 16 (including those expecting a child), by setting aside a proportion of flats for them, to better meet their housing needs.

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo in responding to complaints that such flats do not get allocated fast enough for couples to have babies said, “You need a very small space to have sex.”

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100% of Singaporeans agree with Josephine Teo that you don't need much space to have sex
Minister say one. So it must be true!

Singaporeans from all walks of life are taking their hands out of their partner's pants to applaud the latest statement by Senior Minister of State, Josephine Teo that will surely boost the fertility rate in Singapore.

In a nationwide survey of 6 people at a HDB staircase landing in Bedok, 100% of them agree with Josephine Teo's statement that you don't need much space to have sex in Singapore.

When interviewed at the HDB staircase landing, Mr Lai Zuo Ai, a local university student who was buttoning up his girlfriend's blouse, said: "I tell you, doing it at the HDB staircase, the sound system tok kong (very good) you know! The echo you hear already confirm high!"

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Singaporeans react to Jo Teo’s ‘you need a very small space to have sex’

“Should we apply for HDB?” (instead of “Would you marry me?”) would be how many young Singaporean men may propose to their girlfriends. Statistics do show that more couples are applying for a flat together before walking down the aisle.

Hoping that this Singaporean trend will translate into more babies for SIngapore, the HDB introduced the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) in 2013. The scheme gives priority allocation for new HDB flats to first-timer married couples with a citizen child below the age of 16 (including those expecting a child), by setting aside a proportion of flats for them, to better meet their housing needs.

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo in responding to complaints that such flats do not get allocated fast enough for couples to have babies said, “You need a very small space to have sex.”

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Couples need a flat before they can have kids? No… you need a very small space to have sex

In January 2013, the Housing Development Board introduced the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) to give priority allocation for new flats to “first-timer” married couples with children. Under this scheme, 30% of BTO (Built-to-Order) flats and 50% of SBF (Sale of Balance Flats) flats will be set aside for this group.

Former Minister of National Development, Khaw Boon Wan said he adopted this new scheme with two important social objectives in mind: encouraging marriage and encouraging couples to have children as soon as they get married.

For married couples to get a flat in Parenthood Priority Scheme, they must be first-timer applying as a married couple. In addition, the couple must either be expecting their first Singapore Citizen child at the time of the application, or have at least 1 Singapore Citizen child aged below 16 (natural offspring from the lawful marriage or legally adopted).

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Andrew Loh Twitter

Indeed you don't need a lot of space. A test tube or even a petri dish will do. Bozo

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Minister Josephine Teo: “You do not need much space to have sex”

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo went kinky in her interview with state media Straits Times and told the reporter that Singaporeans do not need to get HDB BTO flats to have children. The Minister in-charge of population matters even suggested have children out of wedlock, which according to her, like the people in France, UK and the Nordic countries:
“You do not need much space to have sex"
In France, in the UK, in the Nordic countries, man meets woman, tonight they can make a baby already. Both of them partly have their own family, so it is a matter of living in yours or living in mine, and they also don’t have to worry about marriage – that comes later. So how about having a couple declare that they wish to have a child in two years and get the flat first?

What if they can’t conceive? Take back the flat from them? How do you know they really tried to conceive? Can we check whether they use contraceptives? Cannot, right?”

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SINGAPORE EXPATS FORUM

She's never had a Singapore MIL.

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JOSEPHINE TEO: YOU DON'T NEED TO HAVE SPACE TO HAVE SEX

That was Mrs Teo's response to a question on young people in Singapore have been putting off making babies until they get a flat.

To qualify for the Parenthood Priority Scheme, which gives first- time married couples priority on getting a flat, they must be expecting or have a citizen child below 16. She encouraged women to have babies early as they would not know if they are fertile or not until they try.

About couples who wish to get a flat first and have a child within 2 years, Mrs Teo said, "What if they can't conceive? Take back the flat from them? How do you know they really tried to conceive? Can we check whether they use contraceptives? Cannot, right?"

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Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo: You don’t need much space to have sex

She said: “you don’t need much space to have sex.” in respond to a question that young Singapore people are not going to make baby until they get a flat.

Those couple that plan to get a flat first and make baby within 2 years this is the reply from her: “What if they can’t conceive? Take back the flat from them? How do you know they really tried to conceive? Can we check whether they use contraceptives? Cannot, right?”

She encouraged women to have babies early, they might not know if they are fertile or not until they try.

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Singaporeans Bemused that Big-Hipped Mom-of-Three Jo Teo Needs only a “Very Small Space” for Sex

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo has made clear her belief that Singaporeans should put sex before space.

This caused some displeasure among segments of society, and shock and bemusement among others considering how wide-hipped Ms Teo is. Speaking about whether young people are not getting their flats early enough to have kids, Ms Teo said:
“You need a very small space to have sex”
Reacting to this comment, some have questioned just how the mother-of-three managed to pull off her child-bearing ways with such great success.

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IKEA Singapore’s cheeky ad makes light of Josephine Teo's ‘sex’ comment
IKEA Singapore’s ‘very small space’ selection. (IMAGE: IKEA Singapore Facebook page)

IKEA Singapore has uploaded a tongue-in-cheek GIF that appears to take a dig at Senior Minister of State’s Josephine Teo’s recent comments on couples needing only a “very small space to have sex”.

The cheeky animated image, touted as IKEA’s “very small space” collection, features four pieces of furniture – including a small wardrobe – rocking back and forth. Posted on the IKEA Singapore Facebook page, its caption reads, “We are all for making better use of small spaces.”

On Wednesday (12 October), The Straits Times published an interview with Teo in which she was asked whether young people are not getting their flats early enough to have children. This prompted her to reply, “You need a very small space to have sex.”

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Sex and the city-state: Size isn't everything in Singapore

Singapore's efforts to boost its fertility rate have just entered a new dimension - a much tinier one.

"You need a very small space to have sex," Singapore senior minister of state Josephine Teo was quoted by the Straits Times newspaper as saying in a bid to challenge old habits and encourage young couples to have babies even if they have not settled into their own flat yet.

The wealthy Asian financial hub has the fifth lowest fertility rate in the world, at 1.3 births per woman, World Bank data shows. The population of the city-state, which faces labour shortages and aims to curb immigration, grew 1.2 percent last year, the slowest in more than a decade.

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SOME REASONS WHY JOSEPHINE TEO “TURNED OFF” SINGAPOREANS

Singaporeans woke up to a groundbreaking revelation today.

You don’t need much space to have sex. Or so Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State at National Population and Talent Division, says. She was responding to a reporter’s question on whether young people are not getting their flats early enough to have children.

Singaporeans, naturally, skewered the usually media savvy politician for her faux pas. Reactions were snide to downright personal.

related: SEX IN SMALL SPACES ISN’T THE REASON WHY MILLENNIALS ARE CHILDLESS

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HDB flats don’t make me horny, Mrs Teo

Oh Mrs Josephine Teo. I know it is tempting to drop the sound-bite about how much space you don’t need to have sex. But don’t go down that route of locker room talk. Having a child is not just about having the space to bang, and your now-immortal quip misses the point (and the opportunity to have a serious talk).

Sex makes babies, but Singaporeans (all humans, actually) don’t have just sex to have babies. Were you under the impression that more sex=more babies? The math doesn’t work that way. You could make this nation sex-mad and horny (think of all the porn we’ve banned), but our Total Fertility Rate (TFR) will still remain dismally low.

Having sex and having babies are on two separate decision trees. You can have sex and not have babies. You can have babies without having sex (and I’m not talking about the Virgin Mary).

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I may not need much space for sex, but my child needs space to live
It’s true though, you don’t really need much space to get intimate with each other!

Singaporean couples have just been told by the Senior Minister of State, Josephine Teo, that we only “need a very small space to have sex”, so we should not wait to get our own flat before thinking of starting a family.

Sure, we don’t necessarily have to chase each other through an open grass field or dance around a tree before consummating, and there are many creative sex positions we can try out that can be done in the kitchen, bathroom, or bomb shelter — but what we truly want is our very own space to raise our children.

This tiny island is home to over 5 million people and the struggle for privacy and personal space is real. Whether you are from Singapore, France, the UK, or a Nordic country, it is your personal choice and right as a citizen to be given the opportunity to buy your own house and have a baby when you are ready to do so.

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Minister Josephine Teo Calls Singapore Women “Mother Hens”, Ruffling A Few Feathers

In another attempt to encourage Singaporean couples to play their part in increasing the total fertility rate, Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo appears to have stepped on some toes by comparing women to fowl.


In a lengthy post earlier this month on her Facebook page headed “WILL MOTHER HENS BE LAYING MORE EGGS?” (emphasis hers), she proceeded to quote a personal Lunar New Year anecdote before making a smooth transition to the topic of fertility, reminding millennial Singaporeans to pursue familial goals such as starting a family, on top of their career goals.

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Josephine Teo in Singapore 10 February

WILL MOTHER HENS BE LAYING MORE EGGS?

This #LunarNewYear, I was delighted to distribute hong-baos to several new additions to the family.

There was doe-eyed Reyes, the toddler son of Cousin Shanice whose brother Cousin Wee Yik also has a new baby girl. Much to the delight of Uncle Arthur and Aunty Mary who have been waiting for years for a grand-child to call their own, Cousin Wee Cheon and his wife finally “produced” a baby girl. Amidst the sea of auspicious red attire, the cries and gurgles of these kids brought much cheer.

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