I had never felt that I had a Chinese president, or a Malay president or an Indian president before.
The feeling was always a “He’s our president.”
I have never felt that my friends are my “Chinese” friends, “Malay” friends or “Indian” friends even once.
They are simply, my friends.
I never had to make a distinction between races before.
I wasn’t brought up that way.
I was raised to our National pledge of
“We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion. To build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.”
For the first time in life, I felt that we had to make a distinction between races because our next president had to be a specific race.
And for that I feel sad and angry.
If my fellow Malay Singaporeans have felt that there is a need for a Malay president because they are not treated fairly because of their race, I apologize for my lack of empathy. I have always thought we are all Singaporeans, united, and are treated the same regardless of race.
However, I do believe my fellow Singaporeans pride themselves on the work that they can achieve and do not feel entitlement or be given preferential treatment because of their race.
Thus we do not require a position to be set aside for them because of their race.
To think Singapore has always prided herself for being a mediocractic country.
Such a shame.