SERI KEMBANGAN, August 19 — The Malay community in Singapore were taught by the republic's founding father to fend for themselves, said Amanah's Salahuddin Ayub.
Citing this for the community's competitive edge in Singapore today, he credited the late Lee Kuan Yew — a contemporary of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — with creating the laws and infrastructure that allowed Malays to be successful there.
“This is how Singapore taught their people, by giving them the rod to fish and not supply the fish every time their people needed to cook on their homes,” said the Amanah deputy president.
Lee made it so that Singaporeans had to compete based on merit rather than race, Salahuddin said before adding that many young Malays in Singapore were now in key positions in vital sectors including the military and the government.
“They are fighting to seek merits and not become a race which needs to be shown sympathy or a subsidy race, which is the practice here,” he said in his speech at the Wanita Amanah Convention here.
He then urged his party members to emulate Singaporean Malays in striving for success.
Salahuddin also praised Singapore Speaker Halimah Yacob, who is in contention to become the republic's second Malay president, after Yusof Ishak.
He said Halimah achieved her success based entirely on merit rather than being handed the opportunity.
Salahudin then criticised the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition for cultivating defensiveness within the local Malay community and for depicting the Malays in Singapore as marginalised.