Not all Malays are Muslims and not all Muslims are Malays. Even though most Malays are Muslims and vice versa, it is important for the government to be conscious of the distinctions between the 2 communities instead of always lumping the 2 together. By continuously portraying the Malay Muslims as a homogenous community, the government fails to identify the complexities of the Malay and Muslim identities and shuts down alternative voices from within the communities in favour of the dominant government rhetoric.
1.With the cancellation of the Watain concert, the government assumed that all Malays are Muslims and from a photo of a group of Malay fans pointing te middle the finger, they claim that the actions of these Malay (Muslims) will create tensions with Christians and that the Christians might also point middle finger to Muslims next time. Read here for more details.
2.How the government deals with the problem of drug addicts is another example. By setting up the group ‘Dadah itu Haram’, the implicit assumption here is also that all Malays are Muslims. First the language is in Malay, and the use of the word ‘Haram’ implies the concept of something forbidden in Islam. Even if they argue that there are many Malay drug addicts, when it is framed in the Islamic context, it only amplifies the issue.
3.The setting up of Mendaki only for Malay Muslims alienates and prevents Malays who are not Muslims, and Muslims who are not Malay, from getting the help they need. There have been so many instances where Indian Muslims have been turned away and denied help from Mendaki because they are not Malay, yet, they have to contribute to the MBMF.
4.Our current President Halimah Yacob has a Indian Muslim father and Malay mother and would usually be considered an Indian Muslim. Yet for the convenience of the PAP at the last Presidential elections, she qualified as a Malay so that she can run and win at the elections.
The government needs to untangle the Malay and Muslim identities from each other because treating them as a homogenous community only fosters discrimination within the Malay community and in Muslim organisations focused only on helping Malays.
#MuslimsunderrepresentedinSingapore #MuslimsmisrepresentedinSingapore #MalaysunderrepresentedinSingapore #MalaysmisrepresentedinSingapore #MalaynotMuslim #MuslimnotMalay #governmentbias #wearenothomogenous