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The SDP commends the police for approving the application for a permit for the launch of our Malay policy paper A Singapore for Singaporeans: Addressing the Concerns of the Malay Community.$CUT$
We are encouraged that the authorities have shown maturity in dealing with an issue that has long needed public airing.
(Even though indoor forums where speakers are locals do not require a permit, subjects regarding race or religion are exceptions and require police approval.)
The SDP had conducted a public forum to discuss Malay issues last year to a packed house and demonstrated that open and honest debate of race and religion can be held in a civil and dignified manner (pictured below).
While the PAP keeps the discussion of Malay issues confined to within the Malay community, the SDP maintains that what happens to Singaporean Malays affects the whole of society and must be therefore debated openly at the national level.
The reason is clear: The only way that we can build a united people is that we all care for one another. What happens to our fellow Malay citizens must be of concern to our Chinese and Indian Singaporeans. Likewise, Malay Singaporeans must reciprocate that bond as nationals of this Republic.
If we don’t seek to understand the problems that beset Malays in Singapore, the frustrations of the community will fester. Frustration begets distrust begets disunity.
Hitherto, the Government has made discussion of race and religion taboo. This is unfortunate as the problems don’t disappear, they are merely repressed only to surface later in unexpected and undesirable ways.
The SDP has shown that the matter can be broached in a mature and responsible manner, and we intend to continue doing this at today’s launch of our alternative paper.
We are happy to note that the Government acknowledges the SDP’s approach to the matter and has approved our application. We hope that this decision is not a one-off but a genuine maturation of our political system.
“A Singapore for All Singaporeans: Addressing the Concerns of the Malay Community”
Event: Launch of SDP’s Malay policy paper
Date: 7 September 2013, Saturday
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Venue: Bras Basah Complex, Action Room, #04-41 Location map