New year, new work

I have been working hard since the work week began. No, really. Just ask the cats.

What I'm working on right now takes a lot of, um, soul-searching and brain power, so I haven't really had the energy to write anything for this blog.

For example, I was going to write about how 'mixed-race' (what an ugly term!) children are plonked into a race category by the Singapore government, but Yawning Bread and my father beat me to it. My father's letter to the Straits Times was printed today: "A missed opportunity".

I don't entirely agree with the last couple of paragraphs as published, because I think you can be Singaporean without being in Singapore, but other than that it's pretty much what I was going to say. I've had my own (minor) struggles with the Immigration and Customs Authority to recognise my 'race', so I've long recognised the daftness of this particular government requirement.

Apropos, I also just finished reading Farish A. Noor's What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You: The Annexe Lectures Vol. 1, which has a chapter, "The Lost Tribes of Malaysia", on the meaning(lessness) of racial categories bestowed upon us by British colonialism. In grossly simplified terms: 'race' is a legacy of the colonial census, and not a very well-thought-out one at that, though today in Malaysia still effectively buttressing the colonial policy of 'divide and rule'.

I've been saying that as far as this racial labelling in Singapore officialdom is concerned, we should all just tick the 'Others' box --- and carry on.



At 1/19/2010 9:29 am , Anonymous malcolm said...

I really like what your dad wrote in the article.

And I remember that at your book launch, your dad raised to his hand to ask a question.

I thought that was really sweet.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]