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Go Forth, Be Fruitful and Multiply!

Bali’s Governor Abandons National Family Planning Model Telling the Balinese to Have at Least Four Children

In a bold departure from national population policy, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has issued instructions to Bali’s Regents and Mayors to immediately cease support and socialization of the National Family Planning Campaign of limiting Indonesian family size to just two children.

A spokesman for the Province, A.A. Ngurah Oka Sutha Diana, said on Thursday, June 27, 2019, the Governor’s instruction to abandon national family planning directives was contained in Instruction Number 1545 of 2019 on Instructions on Family Planning for the Balinese People.

As reported by Kompas.com, the Governor of Bali’s instructions are claimed by Provincial Officials to protect the "reproductive rights" of the Balinese people and are based on time-honored familial traditions and intended to sustain the cultural dominance in Bali of a quality endemic population.

“The advancement of Balinese reproductive rights is based on the view that the Balinese have the right to have more than two offspring, or even four children, that (in the Balinese tradition) can be named Wayan, Made, Nyoman and Ketut,” said Sutha.

Meanwhile the head of the Population, Civil Registry and Family Planning office in Bali, I Gusto Agung Ketut Kartika Jaya Seputra, commented separately that the population of native Balinese-Hindus has been on the decline for the past several years. Adding: “We all know that the population of “Nyoman’s” and “Ketut’s” (third and fourth born) have become more rare. Because of this and in accordance with the Governor’s instructions, we are going back to recommend that the Balinese have four children.”

He explained that the past program of encouraging people to only have two children has produced a worrying tend in the Island’s demographics.

Seputra said the Governor’s instructions were not simply to have four children, but to also pay attention to planning births, distancing in time the birth of each child, understanding the ideal age for childbirth, and other aspects of family planning "Bali style."

At the same time, there has been little or no comment from the Governor’s office on supporting his desire for larger families through free-education programs starting from grade school through high school or even tertiary levels, child care programs, social welfare programs, and public housing on a traditional village level.

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