I live in a country where I am dignified as a minority, not persecuted. When millions of Singaporeans come together to sing the National Anthem in my own native language, I could not but feel a sense of pride in me.
I have never felt my loyalty being questioned in any way, having been born, grown and live my life here as a Singaporean Malay.
I am really saddened and disturbed by the constant negativity and lack of moral compass shown by certain individuals on the issue of minority discrimination. With the new norm, I would have hoped that mature, constructive discussions would prevail to solve whatever challenges there may be. Statements peppered with hate, innuendos and resentment to create discord (when there is none) for a misguided personal agenda is debilitating and short-sighted.
This false notion that Malays are being discriminated is fear mongering at its worst. Our community have thrived on an equal footing and it is not because we have a privileged position in society as an indigenous race, but because of our own grit, determination, hard work and strength that defines us as a community.
Nevertheless, I do acknowledge that for some individuals, the sense of being discriminated is real. But society calls out those who blatantly discriminate others on basis of race or religion. When the law has been crossed we must let the law take it’s course and not advocate for vigilante justice. The law helps to address where it is best to address by penal or community based sentencing. In sensitive matters like race and religion we should never allow anyone to take the law into their own hands. This is our hard won system for our inter racial and religious peace. The 60s was hard to put behind but it must not be forgotten.
When we look at other governments and how they deal with minorities, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for being born and raised here as multiculturalism and multiracialism are not mere rhetoric or political slogans, but are actually the core foundations of our system of governance.
- As a Singaporean Malay, my race may be a minority in numbers but not in status. As Singaporeans, we are all equal, regardless of race, language and religion and there is no pretence in that nor in the policies implemented.
- Isolated cases of discriminatory practices do not define the whole nation. I chose to see the bigger picture rather than focus my energies feeding on negative emotions of perceived hypocrisy and double standards.
- My race had never been used as a convenient tool to achieve a political objective and as a community, neither would we allow that to happen. The policies implemented by the government thus far has been to allow for greater representations by the minorities, not to impede them.
- I do not need to be pacified into having my community statistics be made available for all military positions but I am incredibly proud when their successes are highlighted and that is enough for me to know that my race has not been denied the opportunity to be in key sensitive positions.
- I ask that Singaporeans not be tempted to think that my race is unreasonable or self-piteous. We are not. We want to be able to continue contributing towards the progress of Singapore without being accorded any special position or be treated differently.
Fact of the matter is, I do not need someone that seeks to feed on negativity, speak on behalf of the community. That person does not represent me and neither does he represent the community. If there are problems – we don’t complain about. We solve it! And together with every one of us who have succeeded in Singapore pitching in. That is what a Community of Success is – that is how we chose to define ourselves.
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of our team or its members.