Multi-racial representation in Singapore, not a given
PUBLISHED ON 03 Oct 2017
In his interview with Lianhe Zaobao published on 24 September, Mr Pritam Singh said that he, as a member of a minority community, would have no problem if all our leaders were from the Chinese community.
 
Is he serious? Does Mr Singh speak for the Workers’ Party?
 
Neither meritocracy nor our current multi-racial and multi-religious harmony are givens. 
 
Since our early years of independence, the PAP Government put in place policies to safeguard the rights of minority communities, with each community giving up a little to expand our common space. 
 
Policies like building integrated, multiracial HDB townships, educating all our children in national schools teaching in English, and creating GRCs to ensure multiracial representation in Parliament.
 
Such policies created the meritocratic, multi-racial Singapore of today. 
 
Mr Singh speaks of these things as though they are easy to accomplish, and to be taken for granted.
 
But Mr Singh’s colleague in Parliament – Mr Faisal Manap – has publicly lamented that being the only Malay-Muslim opposition representative in Parliament can be a “lonely” experience and that “it will be good…[to] do things in a bigger group”.  
 
Unlike Mr Singh, if Singapore’s leaders were to one day comprise entirely of members from the Chinese community, I, as a Chinese Singaporean, would feel disappointed and worried. 
 
This would certainly not be the Singapore that I wish to see. 

Can the Party’s leaders – Mr Low Thia Kiang and Ms Sylvia Lim in particular – clarify the WP’s stand on multi-racialism?
 

Written by Seah Kian Peng, MP for Marine Parade GRC


Image from MP Seah Kian Peng's Facebook


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