As a Malay, I am insulted by the comments of the Ambassador-at-large Prof. Chan Heng Chee in http://rilek1corner.com/2015/10/05/singapore-ambassador-at-large-scrapping-cmio…. She want to defend the outdated CMIO categorisation that is her problem but what right does she have to say that scrapping it would cause so-called “unease” among minorities. She is Chinese. Not minority. Why she speaking like she macam faham?
Worse still, she say “The majority community doesn’t feel uncomfortable. It’s (with) the minority community (where) you have to keep emphasising it’s equal language, religion, culture (and) race”. She is trying to say what? Minority races are petty? Minority races always comparing themselves with the majority? That minority races always imagining inequalities and discrimination? Then the majority race very good not racist at all?
I want to say she is very wrong. She is from majority and she is elite. She doesn’t represent us. She ambassador she got talk to people on the ground in Singapore? Who make her expert on minority issue? She ambassador so what? Don’t mean everything she say is correct.
I tell you, don’t be blinded by what she say. This is only wayang for them. Like she say, the CMIO categorisation is a “signal” to the minority that “every race has the same standing” and that “their place in society has not been threatened”.
A signal. She knows reality is not like that. A signal because the categories are the PAP’s idea of what makes up the different communities, not what the communities really are. The categorisation is a construct that makes people fall within neat categories, that, most of the time, don’t fit them well. What is a Malay? Who is Malay? The rich cultural heritage of people that come together from different parts of the nusantara are lost because of this categorisation. Bawean, Bugis, Java, Johor, Aceh – so convenient all become Malay.
This easy categorisation benefits the PAP government, not us the people. Who knows in the future Filipinos also come under the categorisation because they can easily say that Filipinos and Malays share almost the same language and physical appearance. Even now Singaporean Chinese also cannot tell the difference until they hear the accent when we talk.
It is not ony a problem culturally. There are many legal effect on people too.
Just because you are categorised as Malay, you have lower chance of owning a HDB flat in a neighbourhood you desire. HDB ethnic quota also a problem when you want to sell your house. You go serve NS and chances are that you will be posted to Civil Defence instead of Commando. Why in Civil Defence no ethnic quota? Why the PAP government can be fine with the over-representation of Malays in CD?
Maybe you have not realise before but you should know now that the CMIO categorisation is a very convenient tool to discriminate against our community. To keep us economically backward, so that the majority elites can prosper.
The ambassador talk so much about the supra-ethnic identity but if the PAP government is really serious about forging a national identity after SG50, they should do away with the race categorisation. We will not lose our ethnic identities. Actually the opposite effect is we will explore our ethnic identities and be more in touch with it. There will be a more equal playing field. Our race will not be a factor when we decide to buy a house or when called up to serve NS. Only then will a true Singaporean identity emerge.