6/30/2009

Discrimination - Malaysian and Singapore models

We have discrimination on both sides of the causeway. In fact we have discrimination everywhere across the glode. Let's just look at some of the pertinent features of the two policies that discriminate its citizens. Discrimination Singapore style, not spoken too loudly but strongly felt by the Malay community, cannot be denied or brushed away. Among the other communities, they can hardly complained about discrimination as they were very well treated with hardly any discrimination at all. If they are discrimination, it is positive discrimination. In the case of the Malay community, discrimination is in the area of appointments in sensitive and strategic military appointments. If one look at this closely, one will notice that the discrimination was more of a contingency arising from the difficult relationship between Singapore and Malaysia in the early days. The tendency for the Malaysian side to target Malay Singaporeans was an issue that cannot be treated lightly or ignored. That was the gist of the discrimination policy. It was not intended as a racial discrimination policy to begin with. For that, the govt has tried in other areas to compensate for it by adopting affirmative policies to give the minorities more assistance and attention. Our policies towards the minorities is to favour them when all things are being equal. In contrast, the Malaysian discrimination policies were to favour the majority, with affirmative policies for the majority and discriminate the minorities in practically all fields. The discrimination is widespread and pervasive and without any need of disguise or apologies. Our govt, when questioned about the military appointments, has always been awkward and difficult. Hopefully, with time and better relations with Malaysia, and the different pace and development, we will become two distinct people with very different aspirations and inclinations that will put all forms of discrimination as a bad dream of the past. It is unthinkable if we were to practise the Malaysian kind of discrimination here. The best part of it is that the minorities in Malaysia are resigned to the discrimination policies and the govt is proud and think it is right to adopt those discriminating policies. PS. Are we able to discuss this issue in a mature manner without punching at each other?

31 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

Hi Redbean,

Singapore and Malaysia. To each, their own way in dealing with the problem.

I try not to talk too much about race and religion, so I will pass today. Anyway, my comp is acting weird today so I will do some exploratory surgery on the machine.

Anonymous said...

Realistically speaking, discrimination is inherent in beings. The only bad about humankind is that it is the only species that discriminates intellectually and consciously.

Though it seems that human being is the only species having conscience, it is also the species with conscious wickedness and evil. Human Nature is not all created good; I supposed.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Human species is the only species without conscience.

Animals kill to satisfy their hunger but humans kill to satify their inflated egos, wealth and pleasure. Thus the killing of sharks for their fins, whales for their oil, elephants for their task, other animals for their furs etc.

The extinction of some animal species are all due to mankind, not due to the predatory instincts of other animals.

Not only are humans devoid of conscience, it is the only species with conscious wickedness and evil as pointed out by Patriot.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

this is the greatest hypocrisy of human beans. one shark or animal attacked a human bean, a mob will be gathered to kill that animal.

human beans have been killing and eating sharks and animals daily, in the millions. all at peace.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Unlike Wally, I'm not gun-shy when it comes to race, religion or other "unpleasant" topics.

Before I slam something with my subjective and occasionally vulgar opinion, I always make it point to present the objective case first.

I've been a minority for most of my life having spent more than 50% of it abroad now — and not just in Aust.

To quote Ayn Rand: The smallest minority in the universe is the individual — and if that is true, the probability of being discriminated against by some bigger "group", "group-think" or such like is high.

I have also consistently defended the right of any individual to hold whatever idea they choose to — even those unpalatable or offensive ideas in their mind. Everyone has the right to think stupidly. Racism and racial biases are such ideas.

If you check human evolution, race was the LAST trait to be selected/adapted/evolved. Essentially we are one species; one race: homosapiens; the human race.

Discrimination in the Malaysian sense is inevitable because racially-biased ideas are embedded in their constitution. Cultures evolve slowly over time, but certain traits tend to be "sticky" and change even slower or stay around for more time than it is useful.

Useful? How can racism be useful? Clue: evolution. Long, long ago it made perfect sense to be cautious, even unfriendly to people who were "different" because there was survival value in such ideas. Those ideas perpetuated because of "survival value". The survival value is thus: it was hard to tell whether a "stranger" was friendly or hostile. Consider early man — tribal. Anyone "different" could be a threat. Tribes were constantly warring over property, hunting rights etc, conquest or defense against "foreigners" was the order of the day.

Unfortunately, a lot of that evolutionary hard-wiring is still with us. Couple that with stereotyping by adults teaching their children, mass media, old-wives tales and just simple out and out bigotry toward people of "other races". That evolutionary racist imprints have in many cases become politicised and countries commonly have policies regarding race: reparations for "enslaved" races, immigration, racial segregation, racial integration, affirmative action (overt favoritism to certain so-called "oppressed" races), social engineering (eugenics), constitutional biased (overt favoritism to certain so-called "superior" races)...and so on.

Forget the obvious irrationality of such ideas. I can't even find the appropriate vulgarities to express myself. I'm tongue tied...

Anyway, this is silly. Over the long course of time, ALL our ancestors did a lot of traveling and a lot of fucking, mixing up the human gene pool — to a point where it it damn near impossible to define who is of "pure" race any longer. Yet another fact to prove, yet again, how really stupid racial biasing is.

Because of free trade, wildly successful commerce, present day, 21st century Singapore is pretty good for being "colour blind". Yes, there will be people who'll disagree with me. However Malaysia is a sad case — their racist constitution and concomitant state policies are holding their entire nation and society BACK — which is one of the reasons why they are less economically successful than Singapore.

Since racism is a rally stupid idea, the only worthy place for it is in jokes. When we can laugh at the sillyness of it all, we know we have evolved from killing each other because of our different genetic physical attributes.

I have enormous respect and awe for Russell Peters. He has done more for race relations/ideas than any govt with tax-funded nonsense like "racial integration" and "racial harmony" programs.

redbean said...

in this 21st century, practically all tribes have been exposed to some other tribes. the initial inhibitions and fears should not be the same as the earlier tribes, fear and apprehension.

today we should treat any other person as another human bean, and how we accept or reject that person is a result of how that person interact with us, not because of his colour or anything else. if we stick stick to colour and creed, then things will remain as before.

Matilah_Singapura said...

There is only one tribe to fear, because they have all the power, and the legal means to wield it:

The government.

Francis Chua (Singapore) said...

Redbean said...
'this is the greatest hypocrisy of human beans. one shark or animal attacked a human bean, a mob will be gathered to kill that animal.

human beans have been killing and eating sharks and animals daily, in the millions. all at peace.'

That's correct.

Anonymous said...

To the blog author: if you want to claim that Malays enjoy positive discrimination in Singapore, please provide the evidence. I strongly suggest that you read actual studies such as Lily Zubaidah's or Michael Barr's. You don't seem to know what you're talking about beyond rehashing what the government and state media tell you.

Anonymous said...

Even your beloved Australia is becoming less of a "free" society. Victoria is proposing legislation to criminalize 'discrimination' (in response to the attacks on Indian students).

Victorian state government is keen on the political symbolism behind it - there hasn't been much opposition in the Victorian papers, maybe because all of them are left-leaning.

UK, Canada, and much of the European Union has already adopted similar legislation (and been thoroughly abused, too)- the problem with this kind of legislation is that it criminalizes everything, and then only adjudicate on a case-by-case basis.

But for the politicians, it is not only lack of discrimination that they want, it's also out of fear - better to have everyone homogeneous. Easier to manage, easier to control.

All these done in the name of equality, unity and love. It's like an emerging new state religion - everyone's equal (i.e. we're all automatons), everyone's happy (via doublethink), and everyone subscribing to the same dogma of universal acceptance, universal love, universal whatever.

It's like communism-redux.

Sometimes I wonder if tin-pot Asian/African countries are more congenial to freedom.

Anonymous said...

^ (for matilah_singapura)

redbean said...

to anonymous 6:48,

i speak thru personal experience and observations. let me quote a couple of examples. when in NS, i was fed with mutton curry everyday because my army colleagues didn't take pork. that was the early part of NS. i had cravings for char siew and pork legs when in camp.

and among my contemporaries, my academic peers, my malay friends were offered opportunities that were never offered to me. sometimes i wonder what opportunities will come my way if i were a malay.

i look at both sides, i know there are opportunities that would not go your way for reasons that were painful and difficult to explain. and i am not in a position to explain nor am i paid to explain such matters.

today, our malay brothers/sisters are quite distinct from the malaysian malays. in the 60s and 70s, there was nothing to separate them, both brought up under very similar environment. don't forget, we were malaysians then.

Anonymous said...

Hi Redbean:

Good Morning !

When I was conscripted in 1970, most of my instructors were Malays. Many were Regulars while there were also many serving NS. Very few Chinese Regular Soldiers and Police Officer(NS)then, however there were many Chinese Vigilante Corps(NS).

My Commanding Officer then was an Indian and soon after my ROD, the SAF Chief was also an Indian for a short while.

I noticed Racial/Religious discriminations first hand, and that was; Malay Recruits, not many, did apparently received more sympathetic treatments from the Malay Instructors and Senior Officers during mealtimes.

Been minority, the Malay Recruits tended to gather themselves away from the Chinese except for a handful who mixed well. That itself showed a 'natural' divide existed, not neccessarily discrimination. The Malay Instructors and Senior Officers(2Lt and above) were very concerned for the Malay Recruits at mealtime, it was apparent. That was good in my opinion, I only hoped then that all others could received similar care, but fat hope it was.

There was very few Indians, NS or Regulars, when I was in active service. But, no big deal.

The most weird experience I had then was having a Seventh Day Adventist(Religion) in my section who carried a twig for field training while others carried rifles. I strongly felt discriminated by the Army when compared with said Adventist as I never liked soldiering and should have had been excused from carrying Arms too.

patriot

redbean said...

we all look at things thru our own experience in life and we form our own views of things, right or wrong, biased or unbiased.

i started this blog as a govt critic, cynic and sceptic. but i do not criticised for the sake of criticism and there were many good things that the govt had done right given the circumstances and constraints then. i don't think any govt will do differently given the situation then as mistakes could be very costly.

Anonymous said...

Replying to redbean:

You have your personal experiences with missing pork.

These are official government policies in Singapore: Some Malay and other minority students are forced to travel outside of school to take their mother tongue classes because their schools don’t have language teachers for them; Malay parents who pay taxes do not get bursaries, government subsidies, etc. for their children because they send their children to madrasahs when many Christian missionary schools get government support while openly promoting Christianity in school grounds; there were and probably still are special government offices for handling immigration from China/Hong Kong; population policies including sterilization of the poor and uneducated in the 1980s that disproportionately affected the Malays; excluding Malays from certain NS vocations and officially questioning their loyalty to the nation. I could go on.

But of course, nothing is worse than not letting you have your pork.

redbean said...

hi anonymous, thank you for sharing your observations and experiences. some of the policies you mentioned affected even the non malays. there are policies that are good and bad for all the races too.

what i think is impt is that discrimination must not be an official policy and should be done away with at the earliest possible. some of the things done were very difficult to the policy makers. i don't think they want to enact those policies.

eating my normal food is only one of the examples. the minorities affected here could raise the issues and the authorities would have to answer and could not fall back on threats of violence against the minorities for sure. we will progress and move on as a people, as a nation.

redbean said...

hi people, i can sense the anger when this issue is discussed. we are all victims of some kind of discrimination. we can only talk about it and give notice. some will be acted on, some faster some slower. i hope.

ed said...

"It is unthinkable if we were to practise the Malaysian kind of discrimination here."

The same is being done here but without the word, 'bumiputra' to front it.

What do you call the 'speak mandarin and appreciate chinese culture campaign' without the same for other cultures?

What do you call, 'singapore not being ready for a non-chinese pm'?

What do you call, 'the mother tongue policy' being complemented by jobs that require 'mandarin speakers'?

What do you call the 'SAP school system'?

What do you call 'celebrating chinese festivities in central locations whilst keeping others in their traditional enclaves'?

What do you call the Serves you Right 'comedy' where malays are portrayed as obese rockers and parking attendants and indians as 'mamashop' proprietors whilst the chinese are portrayed as versatile?

What do you call the importation of chinese nationals?

What do you call the statement that 'singapore must always have a chinese majority'?

and many more....

This is 'bumiputra' without a name mate. And its effects on the young is sociologically and psychologically verifiable. Compare India and China and one can appreciate the value of multiculturalism and monoculturalism - one of the reasons why India, amongst a few others, are perceived to be the 'brains' in asia as opposed to china which is just 'brawn'.

And, by the way, chinese here are fond of saying that discrimination exists all over the world as a way out of bothering about it unless they get to experience it themselves when overseas. But we must remember that though there is discrimination all over the world, there are significant movements in existence to get rid of it in many of those places.

None exist here mate.

redbean said...

hi ed,

welcome to the blog. i am not going to apologise for the govt. they are paid to do the job and they have to make their decisions, right or wrong, good or bad.

my personal feeling is that any malay who is above average or better will instantly be recognised and wooed by the govt for higher appt. for those who failed or falled through the net, they will be just like the rest of us, having to find our own path.

if i were a malay, i will work doubly hard and be wooed to become a minister. and now the door is also opened for higher appts in the SAF.

Anonymous said...

Replying to Redbean again:

No need to apologize, Bro.

Just 1) think harder, critically and beyond the obvious pork chops you get from the state media and 2) vote wisely as soon your children will be among the minority of citizens in Singapore and a government that rules by expediency rather than empathy for the marginal will come back to haunt you and your offspring.

Anonymous said...

Why does Malays hav to work doubly hard ???

redbean said...

just an expression, to get good grades or do well in their profession to be noticed. the chinese can work doubly hard but may not be noticed. too many around.

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 947/948

> Even your beloved Australia is becoming less of a "free" society. <

Absolutely true. Which is why I walk the walk when it comes to the necessity for multiple citizenships.

> Sometimes I wonder if tin-pot Asian/African countries are more congenial to freedom. <

Yes — but not in the sense as most people understand it.

Social/liberal rich western democracies have huge resources for surveillance and well-trained people looking after the infrastructure — which included networks upon networks of security video cams, helicopters etc.

In tin pot dictatorships the society is poor, infrastructure is weak, security is lax — so it makes it a whole lot easier to remain under the radar. Should the worse happen and you get "caught" by the authorities, it is much easier and CHEAPER to bribe your way out.

redbean said...

in contrast with malaysia that discriminates and put obstacles to the minorities, the singapore govt, other than security consideration, has try to make things easier for the minorities, or at least would not make it more difficult for them. there are many assistance programmes for the minorities but no one will say it is enough.

Matilah_Singapura said...

You are still being vague and unspecific.
"Many programs" "makes things easier". What things? What programs?

Anonymous said...

re: matilah_singapura

"Absolutely true. Which is why I walk the walk when it comes to the necessity for multiple citizenships."

And hoping that you won't run out of countries to which you can escape.

I'm for migrating to the next galaxy and start human civilization anew.

redbean said...

i am not an MP. the details and the things that were done can be obtained from the malay MPs.

Anonymous said...

I am sick of all the discrimination on both sides of the causeway. Why can't anyone live in peace. Should get rid of the word bangsa/race. We're either Singaporean or Malaysian. That's it. As a Malay Malaysian living in Canada I do not see race as an issue here. I am SICK of this. There's always something on the newspaper about bumiputra, racial thing and anything to do with racial issues. Wake up MALAYSIA we're no longer in the early 1900.

redbean said...

hi anonymous, nice for you to drop in from canada.

you are right, like matilah said, we all belongs to the human race. but this racial politics in malaysia is getting wild and uncontrollable.

the recent case of a PKR aide being called for questioning as a witness by the MACC, walk in alive but came out dead. it is totally uncalled for. and while the people are asking for a criminal investigation, umno branch is staging a demonstration to protect the MACC and threaten violence.

a deadly crime has been committed by the govt agency and they are politiking on racial grounds.

very sad.

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