Aiseyman! This GE is so exciting siol~ With all seats being contested, it is a sight to see so many Malay-Muslim opposition candidates standing up to be counted to speak up for Singaporeans, and be the voice of the MM community. For far too long, the MM community has been under-represented in our country’s political conversation that it would be a step in the right direction for our community if more are willing to be involved in the governance of our country.
But with the increasing religiousity within the MM community, it is worth questioning if these MM opposition candidates truly believe in furthering the democratic process of our political system, or are they merely using the various political parties as a platform to air their grievances and further their religious agenda of pushing for a more conservative and Islamic society?
Just look at SDP’s Damanhuri Abas. Even though he represents a party that believes in the ideals of democracy, justice and equality, he himself is not a true believer of these values because he cherry picks who he thinks deserves to be treated as equals and who deserves to be discriminated against. On the one hand, he fights for the rights of Muslim NSmen and Hijabi Muslimahs, but on the other hand, he says that the law should continue to discriminate against gay men by retaining Section 377A.
Another example is NSP’s Nor Lella Mardiiah Mohamed. In the 2011 elections, she represented the party without wearing the hijab. This time round however, she is representing the party as a Muslimah wearing the hijab. While it is her prerogative to wear the hijab, one can’t help but wonder if this change is reflective of her increasing religiousity, and whether this will translate into support for the hijab issue and more broadly, issues that demand for more allowance of Islamic practices in our secular society.
What about WP’s Firuz Khan who appears to be a supporter of former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad? Like Mahathir, is he also a fan of race-based politics and the bumi-policy? If he is voted into parliament under the WP ticket, will he champion for more MM entitlements and privileges that will affect the delicate racial situation in singapore?
These are questions that the opposition parties or the MM candidates themselves must address so that voters know what these candidates truly stand for and whether they are deserving of our votes.