MM’s remarks on integration: he got it wrong?
MM is mistaken about his views that Singapore Muslims have a problem integrating with the other races.
I only became aware of this issue about two years ago when a Malay I shared a table with at a hawker centre told me how his Malaysian Muslim friends visiting Singapore felt very uncomfortable sharing a table with non-Muslims.
He mentioned this when we were discussing the differences between a Singapore Malay and a Malaysian Malay.
Integration takes many forms: a willingness to eat at the same table, engaging in causal conversation, greeting each other and being friends and so on.
I have many Malay friends and we don’t face any so-called integration problem! To even suggest that is utterly absurd.
Even with Malays, who are strangers to me, I have never for once felt that they preferred to be excluded from my company or snub my attempt at small talk.
Being a commoner, I see things not from a pedestal but from ground level as I interact with Malays all the time.
Malays value traits like courtesy, neighborliness and hospitality so it’s inconceivable that they purposely set out to be exclusive.
I don’t know where MM got his information from.