When I read the article though, I thought it was a little bit out of line…especially when it comes from a very well-respected man of a high stature.
I am not about to comment on the grounds of religion as I think that is something extremely personal. What anyone does with their own interpretation of God is between the individual and God alone. Whether the fellow Muslims want to exercise how strict they want to be in practising the religion is not for me to judge.
What appalled and caught me off-guard, as well as had me shaking my head were the following quotes:
1. “A poll says 90 percent of Chinese Singaporeans say they will elect a non-Chinese as PM. Yes, this is the ideal. You believe these polls? Utter rubbish. They say what is politically correct,” he stated.
I cannot believe he said that! I mean, this was the guy who used to preach racial harmony, and as a nation, we grew up learning to respect the beliefs and traditions of those who are different from us – “regardless of language, race and religion” to quote from our pledge. While I still do believe racism still exists deep beneath the surface of the society to a certain extend, such words from a man of influence should never come out of his mouth. It becomes a means to propagate racism. What he said will, in my mind, further instigate already the deep-seated issue of Racism. It will very well slight the presence of minority Malays, Indians and those defined as “others”.
What he effectively had said is that, unless you are a Chinese (and I guess that includes those from the Republic of China who become a Singapore citizen ), there is no space for you to be a PM.
That is just very unhealthy.
2. He also defended the policy of promoting marriage between highly-educated Singaporeans, a policy seen by critics as a form of social engineering, and dismissed the notion of love at first sight.
“People get educated, the bright ones rise, they marry equally well-educated spouses. The result is their children are likely to be smarter than the children of those who are gardeners,” he said.
“It’s a fact of life. You get a good mare, you don’t want a dud stallion to breed with your good mare. You get a poor foal.”
This, to me is very disheartening. It tipped the big insult scale more than anything else. I resent the fact that he thought “children of those who are gardeners’ ” cannot be any smarter than the “highly-educated” ones. If everyone thinks like that and actually embraced what he said, I wonder what kind of society we will be breeding as our future generations. (I see snooty, ill-mannered, selfish, social retards). It is an unjust sweeping statement.
I personally do think that the job of a gardener is NOT less noble. In fact, the likelyhood of a gardener’s child actually working harder to get himself educated to earn the priviledge would potentially make him a better human being, Or that this gardener child could be a “highly-educated” individual who just chose to be a gardener. Either way, it hardly makes this person or his future brood less intelligent, me-thinks. If anything, more deserving. Being smart is subjective.
I respect that man for building Singapore as to where it is now, but I cannot subscribe to his values and ideals. At this point, it feels wrong. I can see how his speech will become a cause for concern for it will spark off a greater divide between race and religion, rather than bridging the gap.
For now, I choose to ignore it. It is hard to take a smart old man, given his current age at present, too seriously.