Professor Tommy Koh lit a fuse to a potential powder keg today when he claimed that the MFA doesn’t have enough Malays. In his post, the Professor muses that Malays need more representation in the Ministry and that he hoped that more would apply to join in the future.
As expected, Netizens came out of the woodwork to throw in their lots.
Not surprisingly, Professor Tommy Koh’s comment was met with resounding approval from the majority of Netizens.
Not only from the Malay community, but also from those belong to other races as well.
I’m actually surprised at the positive response honestly, as I’d have bet good money that the responses would be overwhelming negative.
Meritocracy. That was the buzzword I’d have expected to be thrown around for the detractors.
While the naysayers didn’t turn up in numbers, they did use the argument I was expecting.
Meritocracy is the basis of Singapore but with the amount of highly educated Malays in the country, that line of thinking doesn’t seem to hold much water. Surely out of the thousands of highly educated Malay Singaporeans, a lot of them would merit a job in the MFA?
Coincidentally, that’s also the line of thinking for a couple of Netizens.
For them, it might be the MFA’s hiring policies that could be the cause, urging those in power to take a look at it and revise it if need be.
Whatever the case may be, it can certainly be argued that the damage has already been done.
One Netizen’s comment surely echoed the sentiment for most Malays after hearing of this.
If the MFA’s policy is discriminatory (that’s a big IF), what’s the point of applying right? It’s already hard enough getting a decent job here, why bother applying for a position where you’re not wanted?
That actually is the sentiment for a sizeable amount of Netizens.
They’re of the view that the hiring personnel (and policies) at MFA are elitist, thumbing their noses at applicants who don’t have stellar academic performance.
Perhaps that’s true, but honestly, it can be really hard to tell without MFA revealing their hiring guidelines and all.
An ex-MFA staff bemoaned that he’s not surprised. He claims that it was an issue in the 90s that’s still unaddressed more than 30 years later.
If that’s true, it’s certainly shameful that nothing seems to have been done to reverse the trend. Or perhaps there were internal initiatives that failed?
Either way, the fact of the matter is that there’s still a dearth of Malays in the MFA.
Others meanwhile, tried to give suggestions on how MFA could go about on correcting this.
If I remember right though, I do recall government ministries and agencies taking part in roadshows during my polytechnic days. That was years ago though, so maybe they’ve stopped doing it recently.
Other Netizens also seized the opportunity to highlight similar issues with other governmental ministries and agencies. They bring up the fact that the RSAF and some vocations in the SAF itself don’t have Malays serving.
It’s certainly a legitimate gripe and one that merits a through review, especially in light of today’s modern climate.
It might have been prudent policy for excluding Malays in the past, but there should be no doubts now that Malay Singaporeans are loyal and willing to die for the country, just like other races.
Perhaps now that the topic’s been brought up by Professor Tommy Koh, actions will be taken.
We can only wait and see.