HERMAN: We’ve four main ethnic groups in Singapore and that’s widely acknowledged. Each of the people from these ethnic groups identify themselves as such, and that’s the way things have been done for the longest time already. Even within the Chinese group, there’s Hokkien and Teochews, and for the Malays here, there’s Javanese and Bugis people. You can even find these details on our NRIC.
So to fault Ms Singapore World Charity Maru for identifying with her “Kachin” ethnicity isn’t wrong. We would call her a “Singaporean Kachin”, just as we would call Beng a “Singaporean Chinese” or “Singaporean Hokkien”. I do believe that Ms Maru is sincere when she talks about how happy she is in Singapore and the virtues of living in our fine country. Back home in Myanmar, her native Kachins are largely marginalized because they are a minority ethnic group.
With the diversity of culture in Singapore, it is truly a home where Ms Maru can fit in. We should welcome her as such, and not persecute her for being proud of her heritage. We should be proud of our own heritage, just as Ms Maru is, and we should all be proud to be Singaporean, new citizen or not.
This letter is a reply to: Miss “Kachin” World Singapore Just Gave PM Lee a New Citizen Slap in the Face