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8/10/2008

Least favourite child

I would not dare to attempt to write about what it is like as the least favourite child as in Nur Dianah Suhaimi's article. You need to be in that person's shoe to know and feel what it is like. It is good that on our 43rd birthday, we can talk about it in the mainstream paper. It was a very sensitive issue for the last four decades and we are loosening up a little and tipping our toes into this issue warily. There were stereotyping for sure. There were also genuine concerns and historical concerns. The inability to participate fully in all avenues and areas of a nation's development is very painful. And this is especially true for the Malay elite who think more and could rationalise more. Many questions were asked and many were unanswered, or difficult to answer, or poorly answered. National service, to don on the military uniform to serve the nation, a statement of loyalty and trust, cannot be dismissed lightly. To be left out of this process is a very difficult thing to accept and to many, unacceptable. And it is good that the Malay community want to serve and fighting for their right to serve the country in the most honourable way. Nur Dianah's father did not serve NS like any other Singaporeans. And this is bugging him and his family for being left out for no fault of his. And for those who are serving NS, but in the Police Force, the slight is also being felt. Could we come up with a better and more acceptable solution to this problem? We have made some inroads and some progress over the years, but not enough. Until the sense of being left out, being the least favourite child is removed, the solution or status quo is far from adequate. Now, with so many talents and so much being paid to these talents, this is an issue that is worthy to crack their talented minds instead of being stressed over mundane issues that no talents can also do better. We as a nation need to embrace every member of our citizenship equally as one of us. No buts. Don't ask me for solutions. I am not up to it and neither am I being paid for it. We need to help our Malay community to chase their aspirations like any other Singaporeans unhindered by any roadblocks.

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