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Why parking attendant must be a Malay? A children’s book which is a microcosm of racial relations in SG

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Facebook user Walid J Abdullah in sharing a couple of pages from a local children’s book suggested that it was a microcosm of of racial relations in Singapore. The picture featured a mother and her kid happily playing in a playground. They look Chinese. There is also a Malay woman on the page. That woman is portrayed as a car-park attendant.

“A Malay wearing a business suit would perhaps be too unrealistic for the author,” said Walid in suggesting that this was multiracialism, Singapore-style”.

Just in case you can’t see his post, this is what he said.

A children’s book from Singapore. Main characters are Chinese. One Indian supporting character. And just to complete the image of multiracialism, a Malay lady- parking attendant – is featured. The character does not say anything at all, has no relevance to the story, and appears only on this page.

Of course, it must be a parking attendant. A Malay wearing a business suit would perhaps be too unrealistic for the author.

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I can imagine the author going: ‘there is a Malay featured what! What more do you want??’

And the pro-status quo Malays going: ‘If Malays are featured, you complain. No Malays, you complain. What do you want?’

Well, I can’t speak for others, but what i want is justice and fairness for everyone. No stereotypes. But maybe, that’s asking for too much.

This children’s book is just a microcosm of racial relations in our country. You can extrapolate it to, say, the Elected Presidency??

Multiracialism, Singapore-style!

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