A netizen shared this conversation with his son:
Son: “Papa, why are some jobs and roles in Singapore defined by the skin colour or race?”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Son: “Singapore going have a new president right?”
Me: “(In my mind oh Sh*t….how to explain) I’m not sure what you trying to say, son”
Son: What does “I’ve been certified four times by the Community Committee as a member of the Malay community” means?
Son: “Then why gor gor army camp only has Chinese and Indian.”
Me: “When you grow up you will understand”
How to answer? Am I suppose to tell my him President election is reserved to Malays yet the person is not even a Malay. “I’ve been certified four times by the Community Committee as a member of the Malay community”. I didn’t know race can be certified? How to explain? If i explain this he will start asking me how to get certified. (My son used to said he wants to become president)
The regretful conversation only highlights the disparity between the intent of the Singapore pledge, which goes “regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality”, versus the reality in Singapore society.
Are we a far way to go till racial harmony and equality?