In the temasek times article.
Minister Shanmugam was quoted as saying the following.
He described her comments as reflecting a deep-seated racist attitude:
“Her comments reflect a deep seated racist attitude coupled with contempt for those who are less well off, or who wish to spend less. I had said, in 2002, in Parliament, that we should look deep into our hearts and ask what the attitudes of non Malays are towards our Malay brothers and sisters. We will be a truly civilised society only when we deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal.”
Well, while his comments are politically right, and it seems to sit well with the times. I would question the last sentence “We will be a truly civilised society only when we deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal.” I will address the latter part of the sentence, and then the former.
Well, “only when we deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal”. There is no such thing as equal individuals, everyone is born into different circumstances and makes different choices. No two people would ever be “equal”. Deep seated cracks in our society, comes from trying to strive for that equality. Even if you take two chinese or two indian people, they would not be equal, there are rich chinese and their are blue collar chinese as well. How different is that from malay people. Personally I feel that it is a common misconception; perhaps there may be an underlying trend, i may not know because i have not seen the statistics. It is also a misconception to strive to deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal. Maybe i’m right maybe i’m wrong, but personally, it is better to accept everyone as different. Accepting the differences means accepting the inequality, and that sometimes there would be snobs who think they’re better than anyone else. But if you leave this snobs alone, they might make worse comments for awhile, but for how long? After a short while, they’d realize that its REALLY stupid to play your own game to pretend you’re winning.
“Truly civilised society” is another issue that I feel strongly about. Firstly I’ll state that my personal view is that there is no truly civilised society. However, lets for the sake of argument, assume that there is one. We cannot correlate accepting everyone as equal in our hearts to a civilised society. A civilised society is described as the following: