Mr Zainal Sapari is now facing the blunt end of questions directed at him by angry netizens after he shared his views on Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob’s Malayness and his views on having an Indian Muslim contest as a Malay candidate in the upcoming reserved elections.
Mr Zainal Sapari shared a Yahoo News article on his Facebook on 14 July, which stated that Article 19B of the Singapore Constitution now allows “any person, whether of the Malay race or otherwise, who considers himself to be a member of the Malay community and who is general accepted as a member of the Malay community by that community” to run for the upcoming reserved presidential election.
Mr Zainal also appears to subscribe to that definition, which he repeated in his Facebook caption.
This has earned him disappointed and angry responses from netizens, who slammed the vague and politically convenient definition.
A commenter on Mr Zainal’s post, Mohamed Aidil Subhan commented, “That’s just too vague a definition. Is it even a definition to begin with?”
In response, Mr Zainal wrote, “Basically, it means that your race need not be stated as ‘malay’ in your NRIC or birth cert to be considered as a malay candidate.”
This was followed by a sharp retort from Nailul Hafiz, who pointed out that the vague definition would affect how Mendaki gives financial help to Malays only:
“Mr Sir, my apologies – very confusing to me and many that I had spoken to. Especially when they can be President on a Malay ticket and yet Mendaki rejects them on the TTFS because their IC doesn’t state Malay. Anecdotes are abound. I am hoping that the parliament could make these things clear before pushing through such legislations.”
Another commenter, Harphal Singh also addressed this point on Mr Zainal’s Facebook tread, “A Malay friend who is Javanese told me his father put Malay in his IC so that he will qualify for financial aid reserved under the constitution for Malays. My Indian Muslim student could not get financial assistance from mendaki because of this. The govt constitution allows the money set aside only for Malays not Muslims.”
Mr Zainal has not answered Mr Singh and Mr Hafiz’s comments.