The Chinese was the worst affected in MTL
As a group, the Chinese was the worst affected group by the Mother Tongue Language policy. Other than the numerous dialects spoken at home, many homes were using Malay or English, or any other languages except Mandarin. Mandarin was a foreign language to the majority of Singaporean Chinese who were mostly southerners. The peranakans spoke a mixture of Hokien and Malay and English. When the policy was introduced, many Chinese children were caught in a very difficult position. The worst affected are the Babas and those who used mainly English at home. Many have opted for Hopson’s Choice and migrated, for the sake of their children’s education. For without a good pass in Mandarin, the door to tertiary education is closed. More importantly, the children would have to struggle with more tuition to try to make the grade. It was misery and a painful childhood to many Chinese children. If any, the Chinese should be the group that would be shouting discrimination and being put in a very disadvantageous position vis a vis the other races. The Malays should have lesser difficulty in MTL as Malay is their mother tongue and spoken at home. I think the Indians too have quite a comparable problem with the Chinese as many spoke different dialects as well as English at home. Some of them also ended up migrating. They too did not shout discrimination. They have accepted the MTL policy grudgingly for national integration. If the Chinese and Indians would have taken the MTL policy badly and protest strongly, the situation could become ugly. Thank god that the MTL issue has subsided and is now part and parcel of life here. There are still problems and are being sorted out. For the Chinese, dialects are disappearing with the passing of the grandpas and grandmas and the younger breed are now speaking English and Mandarin. The new citizens from China would only have to struggle with English. I am not too familiar with the situation among the Indians. Tamil is not the only dialect that is being used at home. Now with the influx of the Northern Indians, there may be contention for the recognition of other Indian languages other than Tamil. This could present another situation as more non Tamil speakers become citizens. The situation among the Malays should be fairly the same then and now.