Aspiring Presidential candidate, Mr Salleh Marican wants to donate his salary to charity if elected while Mr Farid Khan says he will focus on countering the threat of radicalism by working closely with the Government and the various groups to build trust among people of different races and religions.
Despite their noble intentions, netters gave the perception that all Singapore care about is if they are Malay enough, to qualify as the second Malay President of Singapore.
Being Malay has nothing to do with your IC. That is just the government’s (and previously Colonial) lazy way of categorising its citizens for its administrative purposes.
Being Malay is an identity, it is cultural, it is language, and it the community.
The latest tweak in the Constitution was made to preserve the multiracial nature of the institution, because ‘studies’ showed that Singaporeans tend to vote along their racial identity and thus needed to be nudged to practice what they preach – a multiracial community.
Why do you even bother asking if the person is Malay enough?
The essence of the minority rule is, to ensure that the official races in Singapore i.e. Chinese, Malay, Indian, Others all have an equal chance of qualifying to be the President of Singapore.
So what if MENDAKI has a rigid definition of your race? We have enough anecdotal evidence to show that it’s silly – Why then do you want to follow their silly definition?
Malay-Muslim self-help group Yayasan Mendaki has a set of criteria for its financial assistance schemes for students administered on behalf of the Government. Among other things, the recipients “must be of Malay descent” as stated in their identity cards. It spells out a list of what it considers to be “Malay descent”, and this includes 22 ethnicities including Acehnese, Javanese, Boyanese, Sumatran, Sundanese and Bugis. Students with “double-barrelled” race are eligible if the first race is listed on the identity cards as Malay, said a Mendaki spokesman. For example, a student who is Malay-Arab would qualify for the schemes but an Arab-Malay student would not, he added.
Aspiring candidates for the presidential election have to see the office, not as a job but a calling and the President has to ultimately unite Singaporeans, beyond just the Malay community.
Asking an individual from the community if he/she is Malay enough question is harmful and are generally asked by people who have more to gain by distracting and fragmenting the Malay community further.
It achieves nothing.
Salleh Marican, Farid Khan and even Halimah Yacob (if she runs) IS Malay enough to me
They speak the language, they dress the part, they celebrate Hari Raya, even the people that they interact with on daily basis even thinks they are Malay.
Ethnic identity is a “matter of socialisation”. “It has nothing to do with skin colour or other so-called racial features.
What we should be asking is, what are their credentials?, Are they saying things just to play to the gallery, is their heart in the right place?
Have they consistently stood by and work for the community all their years or are they just doing this now because they want to be considered for the Presidency.
Do they represent meritocracy, equality and progress, values and ethos which Singaporeans hold dearly?
Can they unite Singaporeans, young and old? Can they uphold the highest level of integrity required and inspire others to do the same?
We are still months away from September and there would probably be more candidates coming forward.
The next time someone tries to engage you on the PE by asking if the potential candidates are Malay enough, ask them if they know what being Malay means in the first place.
The beauty and strength of the Malay race has always been its unity in diversity with regard to customs, practices and everyday living. The kinship ties between the various communities in different countries, particularly in the Southeast Asian region known as the Nusantara, is what defines Malay as a collective ethnic group
F*** Mendaki and their shallow and rigid definition of what is Malay.