Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beating on a Dead Horse

Nominated Member of Parliament Mr Viswa Sadasivan made his maiden speech in Parliament and called for it to ensure that national policies be founded on the principles such as racial and religious unity.

Mr Viswa then made several suggestions such as examining the current emphasis on racial categorisation and encouraging political associations to better reflect the tenets of the Pledge. This is an upshot against Parliament as most people believe Mr Viswa is criticizing the Singapore government for policies that discriminate against minorities like the Malays.

A whole host of government MPs came out to defend the Singapore government, including Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. MM Lee said that the Singapore government has been accountable in its actions and has worked towards ensuring that no race is discriminated against in Singapore.

Now I’m not saying Mr Viswa is wrong and that there is no discrimination against minorities in Singapore, anyone who has been through national service knows it’s much harder for a Malay to go up the ranks than a Chinese, but he is beating a dead horse here. Most Singaporeans knows there is discrimination, and most Singaporeans could not care less.

I will admit I’m one of them. I’m Chinese and if Singapore has a policy that will discriminate against a Malay or an Indian but will benefit me; do you think I will care? Yes it is unfair but it is to my advantage, so why would I in my right mind protest against a policy that either will or may benefit me in the long run?

Is there discrimination? Yes.
Do Singaporeans care? No.

That is why I say Mr Viswa is beating on a dead horse.


Anonymous said...

It's normal for an MP who represents the minority to speak up on behalf of his people. But to ensure fairness for all races is not an easy task for any government to handle.

Take for example, did not the Malays enjoyed education subsidies in the past while the Chinese and other races had to bear the full fees? Even now, there are subsidies for tertiary tuition fees for them. Take a look at the Mendaki website:

Where does the fund come from?

The Fund is from the Singapore Government.To start of, the government gave MENDAKI an initial sum of S$10 million. A further S$7 million was given in December 1991 due to the increased number of Malay students eligible for tertiary education. This fund is not taken from the Mosque Building and MENDAKI Fund contributed by Muslim employees. The surplus from the administration of the TTFS is then used for other education-related activities conducted by MENDAKI.

Given the ratio of Chinese to Malays in Singapore, of course its higher probability that more Chinese will succeed in achieving high ranks in the SAF.

Still, slowly but surely, Malays and other minority races are finding their way up the higher eschelons too. We can talk all we want about such issues of equality but it'll take time to achieve what we hope for.

Ghost said...

Sorry but I have to disagree with you. I don't think there is any doubt there are discrimination policies against minorities in Singapore. Anyone who has been through NS knows that the fact that there are more Chinese officers than Malay officers is more than a problem of the ratio of Chinese to Malays in Singapore. As for the talk of needing time for equality; you can have all the time till the end of the world and it still would not arrive in Singapore.
And I, as a Chinese, like most Singaproeans do not care.

Anonymous said...

You're right. I'm a minority. I will not care if it's the Chinese who are discriminated against if it's the other way round, as long as my race is not affected.

And neither will I care if a Chinese NMP brings up the subject in Parliament.

I believe it's all right as long as my race isn't affected. I hope for the best for the Chinese, if not, then I don't really care also.

Ghost said...

And that, for better or for worse, is how most Singaporeans veiw the situation