Rushed changes to EP exposes hypocrisy of selective meritocracy which has disadvantaged Malays

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By: Damanhuri Abas

I was at Reach Feedback session with Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and Mdm Rahayu Mahzam this evening.

The discussion on Elected Presidency (EP) was hot tonite. Salleh Marican of Second Chance fired the first salvo and stated that 3 years ago his business’s paid up capital qualified him for the EP contest, but it looks like his chance is gone now.

With bleak economic outlook, job prospects will be a serious issue that will beset Singaporeans. No clear way forward on this one as the Malay community is least independent of the government help.

The rushed changes to the EP and the strange interest and concern on the Malay community has inevitably exposed the hypocrisy of selective meritocracy that has existed for the last 50 years which scholarly works by Prof Hussin Mutalib and Dr Lily Zubaidah (related to President Yusof Ishak) have already exposed for years but ignored.

Thus I raised the issue of the the fallacy of meritocracy and discrimination that starts with the government – for their strange unjustified distrust of the loyalty of the Malay community.

This unhealthy relationship of distrust between government and the Malay community is toxic and must be eradicated. It has secondary effects on the wider community as imposed structural barriers denying Malays access to so-called sensitive position in government jobs get expanded into entrenched attitudes in the wider society. The Malays have done nothing to deserve this distrust.

Based on the performance of the Malay regiment who sacrificed their life for Singapore during the Japanese invasion of this country, our track record of loyalty to land and country are unmatched. To blanket the entire community on baseless grounds of disloyalty is unfair and unjust. We are denied our meritocratic right to have full unhindered opportunity like everyone else just because we are Malays. Examples include silly reasons of ship kitchen dietary constraints in the navy no longer cut any ice with a matured and thinking citizenry (http://theindependent.sg/lack-of-halal-kitchens-in-rsn-ships-is-not-the-issue-unfair-discrimination-of-malays-is).

So, please stop this outrageous justification to maintain discriminatory practices, because doubts on loyalty and distrust are the real excuses – and must end.

Yes changes are taking place but more can and must be done to stop discriminatory practices. The change must start from the very top beginning with the government. Real meritocracy must be implemented.

Only then, maybe, one day Singaporeans will truly be a one united people as what our kids recite daily in school.

I extend a special thanks to Dr Yaacob and Mdm Rahayu for accepting me and others into the session. They are more courageous than some others who rather call off such sessions so as not to face Dr Tan Cheng Bock.


Edited and republished from Damanhuri Abas’s Facebook.