Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ungracefully senile

After a long spell of silence (shown by the lack of postings in this blog for some time now), Dr Mahathir has once again gone on his Singapore bashing trips again. This time, it is the Malays in Singapore that he has targeted. Paraphrasing him, he said the Malays in Singapore form the minority race and they have to 'kowtow' (i.e. beg, be subservient to, etc.) to the majority race, which is the Chinese. Mahathir could have lived in Singapore for a time. He was trained in Medicine in Singapore many many years ago, but I have lived in Singapore all my not inconsiderable length of life.

I went to school in Singapore all my life, counting Malays among my classmates. I sat beside one in class in Secondary School and was proud to call him a best friend. I have come across many Malays, and indeed people of other races such as the Indians and Eurasians. I even have an Indian colleague, whom I have coffee with, in our 'off hours' at work. Some of them were laid-back and provide a different perspective on life, others were just a competitive as any of the best in school, and indeed at work. I have come across a couple of Malay girls who excel in their studies. And all of them are proud of being whatever race they belong to. I don't know about other Singaporeans, but I am colour-blind when it comes to people of other races. To me, they are just another human being whom you may meet, share common interests and obligations, do better in certain areas but maybe not in others. Some maybe even live in the same neighbourhood. None of them need to kowtow to anyone. That isn't the culture, it isn't something that comes natural to any of us. We are proud about who we are, including those in the minority races. Some Malays do face financial difficulties, but so do many Chinese and Indians. Some may resort to begging, others turn to crime, yet more seek help, which is widely and readily available among their respective communities and beyond. Even some Ang Mohs among us need help from time to time.

So far as my experience goes, this is how it is with all Singaporeans, because I am at heart, very much a heartlander.

The hearts of Singaporeans went out to the some foreign workers who were hacked and injured very seriously in Kallang not too many weeks ago.We are generally a compassionate and helpful lot. Of course there are the genuine rotten apples among us, but which country can claim otherwise?

Iin Singapore, nobody is obliged to kowtow. We are no longer a British colony. We are not a subservient people under colonials. It's been like that for more than 40 years.

So I am mystified who Dr M is referring to. Maybe he has been away from Singapore for too long, and/or he is growing senile, imagining things that are not there. Dr M seem to be lost in history. I wish he would grow old gracefully, but it appears that he cannot help saying that some people are better than others, including himself.

In Singapore we don't kowtow

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