Singapore’s Lee: ‘we can integrate all religions and races except Islam’

Singapore’s Lee: ‘we can integrate all religions and races except
Islam’

Thomas Lifson

 

Lee Kuan Yew ranks as one of the most successful statesmen of the 20th
century, having led Singapore to independence, and built a thriving prosperous
mini-state with a world class economy, out of an ethnically diverse population.
He retired as the world’s longest serving prime minister, and at 87 years of
age, has little to lose in speaking his mind.
Thus, his candor in discussing the assimilation of Muslims is perhaps
understandable, but stil startling in a world of political correctness and
compulsory sensitivity to Muslims, who are never expected to reciprocate.
Singapore has a substantial Muslim minority, mostly Malays but also some Indian
Muslims. Throughout its history, Singapore has striven to keep ethnic tensions
minimized among its diverse population (ethnic Chinese being the largest group
[74%], followed by Malays[13%], Indians, and others — including many
westerners). At one point in the 1960s, Lee spearheaded a merger with
majority-Muslim Malaysia, but it quickly fell apart.
Now, Lee has published a book on Singapore’s future, and he is speaking
his mind
:
In the book, Mr Lee, when asked to assess the progress of multiracialism in
Singapore, said: “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not wish to
offend the Muslim community.
“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and
if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier
integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese
with Indians – than Muslims. That’s the result of the surge from the Arab
states.”
He added: “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races
except Islam.”
He also said: “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but
they are distinct and separate.”
Mr lee then went on to speak of how his own generation of politicians who
worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together.
He said: “But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and
non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately
so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide.”
He added that the result was a “veil” across peoples. Asked what Muslims in
Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied: “Be less strict on Islamic
observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.'”
Hat tip: Andrew
Bolt

 

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