[Update: Added statement from NTU]
Singapore’s government has been pushing its citizens, including younger ones, to consider starting families to boost its flagging birth rate, so it comes as quite the surprise when a poster reportedly found in a top university in Singapore is encouraging students to do the exact opposite.
The poster which champions antinatalism — the philosophy that giving birth is morally bad — was posted on Thursday on Reddit’s r/Singapore thread by a user called u/CannedSoupSurvivor (lol) and has received some 1,600 upvotes as of press time.
Meme-lovers will quickly recognize the Skeptical Baby meme used here in the poster, with various reasons why giving birth to a child is bad, including exposing a human to potential suffering such as rape, torture, working 9-5 (ha!) and — our personal favorite — unfulfilled desires.
The poster ends off with a call encouraging students and faculty members to “become an antinatalist today” and “do not procreate”.
“If you really love them, do not give birth to them,” the poster ended.
Comments on Reddit were quick to denote the extreme nature of the poster but compared it with a more well-meaning message beyond the approach to get people to think of not having children due to selfish reasons.
The antinatalism movement advocates adopting existing children instead of procreating new ones, and went viral recently after an Indian man, Raphael Samuel, was reported to be taking legal action against his parents for giving birth to him without his consent.
This is not the first time such a poster has been placed in the NTU campus, with a similar-looking poster being placed a few months back, as spotted by an eagle-eyed user who wrote the caption “omg sis I love my school”.
That poster was also reposted on the r/antinatalism thread on Reddit, with a caption pointing out the dichotomy between the antinatalism movement and Singapore having one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.
Coconuts Singapore understands that posters placed in the NTU campus need to come with official stamps to show approval by the school board before they are allowed to be shown. Both posters do not contain such stamps.
“The posters were not submitted for the university’s approval, and the content does not reflect the university’s views,” said an NTU spokesperson on Saturday night to Coconuts Singapore in response to our queries.
“We are looking into this matter. Any unauthorised posters will be removed,” the spokesperson added.