Although migrated and settled into the heart of Muslims, Lee Kuan Yew is ignorant about Hearts and Minds of Muslims

Launching a new book

Image by J e n n i f e r_ L e via Flickr

Although migrated and settled into the heart of Muslims, Lee Kuan Yew is ignorant about Hearts and Minds of Muslims

Source_Star letter,”LKY’s concerns about Islam unjustified“, by IMRAN PRICE

MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has urged Singapore Muslims to “be less strict on Islamic observances” (The Star, Jan 24) to aid integration and the city-state’s nation-building process in a new book, Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going.

It is also reported that he believes that Muslims “are distinct and separate”, unlike the other races and religions in Singapore.

Having lived in Singapore for 16 years until recently, I think he is wrong. The Minister Mentor should know that lecturing the Malay/Muslim community to be less “Islamic” is likely to have exactly the opposite effect.

The fact is that the number of inter-marriages between the races in Singapore is on the rise. There is absolutely no basis for his claim that Muslims have less friends of others races and inter-marry less than other races.

On the contrary, a 2007 study found that the majority Chinese were much less inclined to intermarriage than the minority races in percentage terms.

The same pattern was identified by Prof Saw Swee Hock in his book The Population of Singapore published in 2007.

He suggested that inter-marriage by Chinese only accounted for about six per cent of marriages, whereas in the Malay community the ratio was closer to 26%, and even higher for the Indian community.

LKY’s concerns about Islam are unjustified – there is nothing in Islamic theory or practice that would prevent the Muslims of Singapore from being integrated into the mainstream of society. It is a great shame that he is not championing the richness of Singapore’s racial and religious diversity.

His comments about Singapore’s neighbours being on “a drive to put us down because we are interlopers”, will do nothing to help improve relations and will do harm to Singapore’s much improved relationship with Malaysia.

(LKY admitted that Singaporen are interlopers?)

The younger generation in Singapore do not have the same fears about their neighbours as their parents’ generation.

IMRAN PRICE,

Petaling Jaya.

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4 Responses to “Although migrated and settled into the heart of Muslims, Lee Kuan Yew is ignorant about Hearts and Minds of Muslims”

  1. Mary Watt Says:

    Not everyone is approaching these comments in the same way – an alternative outlook can be found here, written by an anthropologist, Assoc prof Gabriel Marranci

    http://marranci.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/strict-less-strict-restrict-the-diatribe-on-muslim-integration-in-singapore/

  2. Strict, less strict, restrict: the diatribe on Muslim integration « Dr Ko Ko Gyi’s Blog Says:

    […] Although migrated and settled into the heart of Muslims, Lee Kuan Yew is ignorant about Hearts and M… (drkokogyi.wordpress.com) […]

  3. drkokogyi Says:

    Lee was identified himself as an agnostic but also as Buddhist/Taoist. No problem when his descendant converted to Christianity. But fail to understand even his Muslim friend, co-politician…as I had read that during the dinner, his Malay Muslim minister brought in his plates and kitchenware and eat the food he brought in. Instead of understanding the religious belief of his close subordinate…apologize for not arranging halal food…he was upset and even dare to insult that when young, both of them eat together and took liquor together. He failed to understand his minister matured in religious belief, esp as a Muslim leader, he tried to proof that he was a good and poise leader worthy to vote for. His action would even indirectly attract the votes for PAP, Mr Lee’s Party.

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