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The SDP will be launching our Malay policy paper this Saturday. The single most important motivation for writing this paper is the concern that the Singaporean identity is being eroded with the influx of foreigners.
Titled A Singapore for All Singaporeans: Addressing the Concerns of the Malay Community, the paper calls for the proper regard for, and of, our Malay community which forms an integral part of our national culture and identity.
Neglecting the Malay-Muslim community will also mean destroying a part of who we are, and have come to be, as Singaporeans. It has grave implications for our future as a people.
But A Singapore for All Singaporeans is more than an affirmation of our nationality, it is an alternative blueprint to building a truly multi-racial and multi-cultural society that lives up to the promise of our national pledge: We the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people regardless of race, language or religion…
Many Singaporeans complain that they feel alienated and have become strangers in their own country with the current population policy. This is a result of the sudden and massive increase in foreigners on the island.
The antidote is not to become xenophobic. It is to develop an inclusive system. When we do this, we build trust and cohesiveness amongst the various races in our country. With trust comes loyalty. Only then will we be able to hold together if and when a crisis befalls our nation.
To achieve this noble and necessary objective, we must tackle the underlying causes that put the Malay community in Singapore at a disadvantage.
For example, we examined the number of scholarships awarded by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and counted the number of Malay recipients. (PSC scholarships are awarded to promising students at the pre-university level to groom them for leadership positions in the Public Service). Of the 380 awarded holders between 2009 to 2013, only 6 (1.6 percent) were Malays.
Are Malays less hardworking or less intelligent than the majority Chinese – and by such a large margin – and therefore undeserving of the scholarships? Or is there some other dynamic at work that is causing such a skewed outcome?
These questions will be discussed at the public forum on Saturday. More importantly, we will present realistic and viable solutions to address such shortcomings in our system.
Other topics that will be discussed are the economic disparity between the Malays and other ethnic groups in Singapore, the lack of Malays in our armed forces, and the narrow definition of the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools.
The other issues tackled in this paper include pre-school education, madrasah schools, the Tertiary Tuition Fund Scheme, healthcare, housing, and social spending issues, each topic accompanied by concrete and viable proposals.
As stated at the outset, of central importance in presenting this alternative paper is the fact that Singapore’s future depends on building a strong Singaporean identity that must necessarily include the Malay community.
Already, nearly 40 percent of our population are non-Singaporeans. This number threatens to increase if more foreigners flood this island and native-born Singaporeans leave. When this happens, we will not know where is home and who is the Singaporean.
Let us begin the process of building A Singapore For All Singaporeans.
“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