What an awful message to greet me this morning – my PM identifies me as a “Singaporean variant of Chinese culture”. Am I “an ethnic Chinese” just because my skin colour and appearance are similar to that of 中国人?
Last I checked, my blood didn’t carry “Chinese culture”. I learned Mandarin in school, certainly not from my Straits-born parents. (Thank you MOE, it’s always good to learn the language of another culture. Thank you PAP Govt, I think bilingualism is a good policy.)
Hello – let’s not pretend. CIMO is a political construct designed by our former colonial masters and preserved by those who took over from the British because it served their political ends. But being “Chinese” is not a scientific fact and one does not inherit Chinese culture through genes.
To serve the agenda of my political leaders, my children have been labelled as “Indian” under the CIMO classification, just because their paternal great-grandfather was a dark-skinned man born in British India, and despite the fact that he never ever carried an Indian passport.
To all those Singaporeans who are happy to be called “Chinese” and who consider themselves as carriers of “Chinese culture” – good for you. But not for me.
I am a Singaporean. The only race I will concede to, is being human.
Jeannette Chong Aruldoss