Monday, November 25, 2013

Ethnicity is Poison

Source: The Real Singapore


What does it mean by "pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality"?

When I was in BMT, my company had really outstanding malay muslim soldiers who were all-rounder and great leaders. They did well in their IPPT, SIT test and received great feedback from the peer appraisal. The best recruit being a Chinese could have been easily explained, but it was hard for me to understand why (for my platoon) only the Chinese and Indians made it to OCS and the Malays were all posted to SISPEC when they were clearly more outstanding than us in all aspect. I was disappointed but I couldn't care much because I was happy that I was in OCS.

Then, when i was in OCS, the thought came back to me again as i was indenting food for my company one day. During BMT, we had to always pay attention to how many non-muslims and how many muslims are there when we indent food. I looked around, there were no muslims in my company. There were some in other companies, but it definitely doesn't reflect the composition of our population. At that point of time I didn't think too much of it, because frankly as a Chinese, I don't really care because it's not me who's discriminated against.

When I was training in Air Force as a trainee, the thought came back to me again. At SAFTI, there was a muslim food corner. There wasn't any at the Air Force School. Again, I didn't really care but I was starting to feel disgusted at how we are discriminating our muslim friends. I had classmates in JC who shared that they were really disappointed that they couldn't pass the test to be a pilot. Some of them were told that they failed the test, some were told that they were rejected because they failed the security clearance.

There was once when the Chief of Air Force came for a visit to conduct a forum and we were told that we could ask him questions. Our instructors wanted to be sure that our questions were appropriate, so they requested that we had to submit our questions to them for vetting before they could be approved for asking.

I thought if I asked "why are there no muslim in the Air Force", it might be a little too harsh, so i rephrased a bit, it was "why are there so little muslims in the Air Force". The instructor read it and returned it back to me, saying that it was too sensitive and told me to ask something else. He said "we all know why. it's better not to ask ". So my question became "so what's next for RSAF". I never got to asked the CAF.

I went to another instructor with the same question, she was the strict and law-by-law kind, so i thought she could give me a proper explanation. Her reply was "what do you mean by there are no muslims? there is one pilot who is muslim. check your facts first before you say such things, you will get into trouble for saying things like that" Ok, so there is one muslim pilot in the entire Air Force, that just confirmed that there is discrimination.

Every time I recite the national pledge, I wonder why are we saying it when we don't even mean it. Regardless of race, language or religion? Based on justice and equality?

We have been extremely lucky that our muslim friends have been really tolerant and have not reacted badly to this issue, but who knows what might happen in the future? This is like a time bomb that may explode any time. If there are people who can "make mountains out of molehills" out of Purple Light and dirty ceilings, imagine the potential of this issue.

Ethnicity is poison. Let's just remove our ethnicity from our IC and just call ourselves Singaporeans.

By Anonymous (Scared of ISA)