Dear A.S.S. Editor

It is only a matter of days now before we know whether we will have an election to determine who the next President of Singapore will be. What is already a known answer long time ago, is that the next President is a Malay, no matter how we look at it. Indian bloodline, Pakistani bloodline, or any other bloodline, we are told all the potential candidates are as Malay as they can be.

I am not someone who will complain or even say anything about race matters. In fact, I am a Malay, I know I am, I speak Malay and English only since I was young, I have no other knowledge of a different race in my family, but a long time ago, I was denied help from a government body that helps the Malays, because my father has on his IC, Ceylonese as race. My grandfather, apparently, was born there, before settling here as a Malay when he was a young boy. But that is another story. What gets to me this time is that we actually need a 16 member committee of sorts to identify who we are.

So, who gave them the rights to determine who we are, based on their whims? It is already bad enough that we are constantly told of stories of racial injustice and perceptions, whether true or not. We have had many campaigns reminding us about racial awareness and equality. So, it is now ok to be judged on being a Malay just because the government wanted to have a President to their liking? How does this not go against the very fabric of racial equality? Are we being told now that we should treat all race equal, but Malays can never be Presidents on their own merit?

I may never be able to see the big picture, what the government always say is important in their decision making. But I cannot be the only one left disappointed by this coming Presidential Election. And maybe, all those years ago, if the Presidential Election was reserved for a Malay candidate, I would have been classed as a Malay too, not Ceylonese.

Suhaimi Osman

A.S.S. Contributor

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