Singapore Requires Parents To Declare Race Of Child At Birth - commentWhen the topic of choosing the race of the child came up in my circle, I immediately discounted it as rubbish. If anything, this is going to be indicative of the degree to which people might choose a particular race because it might have been promoted as advantageous or ‘cool’ prior to said choice. I said that this ‘race’ thing ought to be consigned to the garbage bin of history.
What people don’t get is that ‘race’ is a function of shared locality - save genetic similitude. For instance, the Indians or Chinese or Africans are as so because of their shared locality. So, with the diasporas of the past, the race of the person ought to move on from replicating the past in foreign climes to taking the present as a ‘racial’ starting point. Hence, in Singapore, the only race there ought to be is that of ‘singaporean’.
And what is ‘singaporean’? It is an amalgam concocted via the formula of egalitarian multiculturalism where Malays, Indians, Eurasians, Chinese, amongst others, fuse in persona and perspective to create a singular race via the facilitating mother tongue of English. I’m not surprised that the government did not pursue this line of thought as it was politically prudential to associate the ‘chinese’ of singapore with ‘their culture’ for political longevity whilst beefing up their numbers. But why isn’t the so-called ‘opposition’ taking this line of thought? Ah well, i said, to my associates, these blokes and blokettes think themselves ‘opposition’ simply because they oppose the perspectives of the government of the day and not because they truly attempt to understand the meaning of democracy. Putting these fascist democrats aside, I view English as the mother tongue of the yet-to-be Singaporean race not because it was the mother tongue of their ancestors, but because it serves as the incubatory conduit via which egalitarian cultural fusion is facilitated. Thus, the Singaporean of the morrow would, being an amalgam of the various ethnic groups of yesteryear, would indeed be able to appreciate that such a mother tongue was essential for her/im to become the said amalgam that s/he is.
That said, if anyone asks me what my nationality is, I often respond with a, ‘singaporean in locality, not personality’, as people would make sense of the term ‘singaporean’ from the ‘singaporean’ of today as opposed to the amalgamative singaporean i’m talking about. However, if cultural fusion was left to take its course from the past through to the present, then I would be most happy to respond with a ‘Singaporean’ whilst being able to rely on others making sense of the term through an appreciation of the fused sensibilities of the cultures of all.
But, unfortunately, that is not to be.