Harry Hard Truth
About two months ago, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew made this remark:
I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese with Indians – than Muslims.
I would say, today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.
I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”
Be less strict on Islamic observances and say: ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you’.
Which naturally evoked strong reactions from the Muslim community in Singapore. Yesterday, Harry acknowledged in a press statement that his view was out of date.
Some sort of retraction
It falls short of an apology. In fact, there wasn’t a mention of a retraction. Just simply that his view was “out of date”.
He still holds on to his beliefs.
This is what he said:
I made this one comment on the Muslims integrating with other communities probably two or three years ago. Ministers and MPs, both Malay and non-Malay, have since told me that Singapore Malays have indeed made special efforts to integrate with the other communities, especially since 9/11, and that my call is out of date.
I stand corrected. I hope that this trend will continue in the future.
His views was recent. It means he still has deep-seated prejudices against Muslims in general. Muslims in Singapore are very tolerant in their views.
I have friends of different races and religions since I was in kindergarten school.
The simplest thing that he could do was simply to apologize. The Malays here are quite forgiving.
Predictably it was a show of how Muslims are integrated in Singapore.
According to Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Yaacob Ibrahim said:
… is a continuous process
And on the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York on Sept 11, 2001, Malay-Muslim community had “redoubled outreach efforts”.
That is assuming the Muslims did it. So far, nobody have been tried in a court of law for the attacks.
Elections round the corner
It’s election time. What would most politicians do before and during an election? They start saying things that are soothing and pleasing to the voters.
If the elections weren’t near, I seriously doubt that Harry will issue a press statement on the issue.
By the way, whether Harry apologizes or not, my vote will never be for his ruling party.