TRE’s editorial article said Halimah’s father was an Indian Muslim. This is a quote from the article,
ST report: Halimah’s father an Indian Muslim
‘In 2013, when Halimah Yacob was selected to be the new Speaker of Parliament after the former one, Michael Palmer, resigned from politics due to his marital affair with a PA woman, ST wrote an article to feature Halimah (‘A strong advocate for workers, women and minorities‘, Jan 2013):
In the article, it was revealed that her father is an Indian of Muslim faith. He passed away when Halimah was 8 years old. She studied hard and later graduated with a law degree from NUS. Her first job was as a legal officer with NTUC….’
This revelation would pose a lot of serious questions as to Halimah Yacob’s eligibility as a Malay candidate for the EP election. The question on the definition of being a Malay would now be in the spot light. What or who is a Malay and who should determine or qualify a person as a Malay, the Malay community, the govt or the AGC office or the EP election committee? This seems easy enough by picking up one of these agencies or whichever agency that is suitable. The difficult part is whether the Malay community would accept any candidate or any agency to speak on their behalf on such a serious issue.
Accepting Halimah as a Malay would in itself create more difficult problems in the future. If a candidate of mixed parentage like Halimah, an Indian Muslim father can be accepted as a Malay candidate, would a Chinese Muslim father, a European or Eurasian Muslim father also qualified under this ruling to be called a Malay? How far would the Malay community go to accept a person as a Malay now that there are 50% Malay, 25% Malay, 75% Malay and many other variations of Malayness?
My personal view is that the worm in the can is growing too big to be of any comfort to the govt or to the Malay community. How to resolve this Pandora of the EP would need more than a rocket scientist or a genius to do it. In the days of LKY, he might be able to talk his way out of it without anyone daring to stand up to challenge his view or decision. Unfortunately no one in the govt today has such an authoritative stature to pull out a rabbit from a top hat and call it a dove.
It would be interesting to see how the govt is going to untie this knot if Halimah is put up as a Malay candidate, or any candidate with such a similar birth right. Anyone thinks this is easy to resolve and put right?