Heng Swee Keat has gone on record as openly saying that Singaporeans are not ready to accept a minority raced candidate as their Prime Minister. This, despite 53 years of nation building, emphasizing the point that Singapore is a multi-racial society. And despite the fact that it was Heng’s own party who decided a Malay President should be at the forefront of Singapore itself.
In a forum held at the NTU on Thursday, Heng was asked by an audience member on current issues surrounding DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who has been found to be a popular choice among many Singaporeans to take on the top job, on hwy he was not considered. Heng’s reply was that while young Singaporeans can put race based issues aside, the older generation are still resistant and unable to accept this. Tharman had come out tops in election results during the 2015 GE, and was also found in a survey conducted by Blackbox in 2016 that he was also a top choice amongst Singaporeans.
Heng again rolled out the PAP standard answer, by saying that his interactions on the ground shows that many Singaporeans are still not convinced of a minority raced PM. Of curse, his interactions on the groud is not verifiable, we just have to take his word for it. And in explaining away why then Singapore President is reserved for a Malay during the last PE, Heng responded that it was precisely because of Singaporeans not ready for a minority leader that the post had to be specially reserved for one.
Contradictory? Try to make sense of Heng’s comments.