Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Balanced ethnic mix- at any cost

I had heard, of course, about Singapore’s ‘Ethnic Integration Policy’ which seeks to regulate and maintain a balanced ethnic mix of Chinese, Malays and Indians. But, while on a recent visit there, a friend of mine explained to me that the proportion of 75% Chinese, 15% Malay and 10% Indian was enforced strictly at the macro-level as well as in public housing estates across the country. So, if you are an Indian and want to sell your flat, you need to find another Indian to buy the flat so as to comply with the regulations and to not disturb the ethnic mix in the neighbourhood. The policy is applied uniformly and consistently across all ethnic groups.

As my flight took off from Singapore, I flipped through one of the local newspapers and, as is my morbid habit, turned to the obituary notices. There were about 20 insertions in all and I counted 15 Chinese names, 3 Malay names and 2 Tamil names.

Can this be true ? How Orwellian ! These guys are ruthless and efficient. They will go to any extent to maintain their ethnic mix!


Anonymous said...


Shruthi said...

Heh heh :))

Raj said...

Shruti, Sowmya : Yes, Big Brother regulates at every stage