Responding to WP Sylvia Lim’s call in Parliament for a review of various race-based policies and to do away with the CMIO model to move towards being race-blind society, a Facebook page called Sembang Masyarakat asked if the special position of the Malays is being questioned.
The post expresses concern that the proposal would result in the abolition of the special position of the Malays.
Here’s the post reproduced:
Recently in parliament, there was a call for an open review of policies based on race or religion. The model of classifying the population by race (CMIO) was seen as ‘problematic’ and the different race-based self-help groups were recommended to be reformed and amalgamated into the national body to distribute aid regardless of race or religion.
On the surface, the proposal seems sound towards having Singapore move towards a race-blind nation. But when delving further into the recommendations, it raises concerns and implications that would have the potential to raise tensions amongst the different races in Singapore and deepen the fault lines as follows.
- The consequence of the proposal would lead to the Special Position of the Malays as well as the other minorities as stated in Article 152 in the constitution to be abolished.
- Currently, with Article 152, the government guarantees that they will always look after the interests of the minorities. Therefore, the model of classifying the population by race (CMIO) is so that the interests of the minorities can continue to be protected as well as identifiable and not just to create divisions amongst Singaporeans with one another.
- Historically, the statement about the government’s responsibility to protect the interests of the Malays was incorporated in the preamble of the 1959 Constitution and is now written as Article 152.
- For the Malays, it was the most important document to recognize them as Indigenous People of Singapore. Abolishing this Article would eliminate the formal recognition and acknowledgement of the Special Position of the Malays in Singapore. If indeed Article 152 is abolished, the Malays up North would have their last laugh.
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