SINGAPORE – The formation of a committee to address the concerns of Malay-Muslims over how their loyalty to the nation is viewed is “not necessary”, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said on Thursday.
This is because even though there might be “perceptions in the community” that must be dealt with, there have been improvements in the achievements of the Malay-Muslim community that should not be ignored, he said, echoing the comments made by Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar (Ang Mo Kio GRC) in Parliament on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of an Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) event, Dr Yaacob said: “Yesterday, MP Intan Azura responded… that we accept that there are perceptions in our community. We have to deal with those perceptions, but at the same time we must not ignore the achievements that we have made.
“This is important for us, so we want to continue to tackle this problem. But the way we want to tackle it differs from the Honorable Member, because we feel this is not a big issue in the community as the statistics speak for itself.”
Dr Yaacob was referring to Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap of the Workers’ Party, who had called for the formation of a committee to tackle issues faced by the Malay-Muslim community in Parliament on Monday. Mr Faisal had cited the findings of the Suara Musyawarah committee, which said Malay-Muslim participants felt left out in certain policies and practices that “question the loyalty of Malays to the country”.
But Dr Yaacob rebutted this on Thursday, saying: “Thousands of Malays have done well based on the meritocratic system, they have achieved what they want to achieve and we will continue to go along that path.