The Singapore Parliament was speaking about the aspirations of the Singapore Women.
WP MP Faisal Manap brought up the aspirations of the Singapore Muslim women.
He highlighted the importance of inclusiveness for Muslim women which would allow them to fulfill their career aspirations while meeting religious obligations (i.e. to wear the tudung at work)
It was a fair point, except that he seems to needle these ‘Malay-Muslim’ issues consistently every chance he gets – a point, which Minister Masagos highlighted.
In 2014, he called for the formation of a committee to tackle issues faced by the Malay-Muslim community because participants felt left out in certain policies and practices that “question the loyalty of Malays to the country”.
In 2015 and 2016, he called for inclusion of Malay officers on Navy Ships and other sensitive positions in the Military
As the only Malay Opposition member, he had every right to bring this up in parliament. After all, as a politician, he has to work to keep up his political mileage with his Malay voters.
But why is he constantly harping on this issue whenever he talks about the Malay Community?
What about other equally important and challenging issues that the Malay community is currently facing?
What about Malay entrepreneurship, upskilling of the Malay community, Malay home ownership. The Malay community significantly lags behind other races in education, health and housing and is over-represented in crime, drugs and prison statistics.
Are these issues not worth championing for, in parliament?
What good will it do for the community if they can wear the tudung on the front line, but struggles to keep pace with the rest of the races in our society.
How different is this from the political party, PAS, in Malaysia, who pushed for Hudud laws every election, organised rallies for thousands of people, championed laws prohibiting the proximity between men and women but conveniently ignored other pertinent social issues in their community such as education and standard of living.
Singapore cannot be successful and Singaporeans cannot be happy if there is any section of the population which is not doing well.
Because we are such a small population – we breathe and live each other’s air. If that under-performance is defined by race or religion, it will even be starker.
As much as we want our brothers and sisters to be able to fulfil their religious obligations, it is in our national interest, to make sure that everybody succeeds and that the under-performance is not defined by race and religion.
You want to push for the tudung issue, sure.
Make sure you champion other cases as well. Otherwise, you are nit-picking on popular issues and not really looking out for the Malay community.