Singaporeans can accept a non-Chinese PM

Singaporeans can accept a non-Chinese PM
Singapore's first president Yusof Ishak.
PHOTO: Zawiyah Salleh

I believe that Singaporeans of diverse backgrounds will accept a non-Chinese prime minister in the near future ("Singapore could see a non-Chinese PM"; last Friday).

Singaporeans have come a long way since Singapore became a republic in 1965, upon its secession from the Federation of Malaysia.

Our first president was a Malay, Mr Yusof Ishak. He was followed by a Eurasian, Dr Benjamin Sheares. We also have two presidents of Indian origin: Mr Devan Nair and Mr S R Nathan. All of them served our nation well, and were held in high esteem by Singaporeans of different races and religions.

Singaporeans are becoming more colour-blind, and this is evident in both the government service and the corporate world, where many non-Chinese hold key positions even in predominantly ethnic Chinese business organisations.

This state of affairs augurs well for the future and helps reinforce Singaporeans' desire for meritocracy and a sense of unity, which is the cornerstone of our strong multiracial society.

It will be a national loss if capable and dedicated people are deprived of the chance to serve in the highest office of the land just because they are from a minority race.

Therefore, all Singaporeans, regardless of race and religion, should work towards a true Singaporean identity and the improvement of our society. This is achievable only in a colour-blind environment.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

This article was first published on July 28, 2015.
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