S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.05 (1996)
싱가폴의 인종과 민족문제
Problems of Race and Ethnicity in Singapore
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.05 No.4, pp. 165-213
- This paper deals with the ethnic situation in Singapore. In all the countries of Southeast Asia, the Republic of Singapore is the only country where the ethnic Chinese are a cultural and racial majority. This study is closely linked with my other study ("Religion and Culture in Singapore")which I have already finished in 1995. Unlike many countries which have seen "race relations" as something to be played down or hopefully dissolved altogether, Singapore has chosen the path of quite deliberately and consciously stressing ethnicity as the main means of social classification, a policy that has profound implications for cultural life, educational planning and the entire organization of society. In this respect, one of the most pervasive features of post-independence Singaporean multiculturalism has been the tendency to de-emphasize the heterogeneous character of each race in favour of a more simplified, multiracial CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Others) quadratomy.
At present many data show that in Singapore there is a strong evidence of ethnic stratification in terms of employment status, educational attainment and occupational statuses. Regarding the relationship between ethnicity and religion, Malay ethnicity is a hold factor binding Malays to Islam. Of all the different ethnicities in Singapore, Chinese ethnicity is the one which holds its members most loosely in terms of religious affiliation. Of all the races in Singapore, the Malays with a minority syndrome are the most disaffected. But the sources of Malay dissatisfaction seem to be largely economic, rather than political. There are some evidence suggesting a high degree of political assimilation among the Malays mainly as a result of the PAP"s far reaching programme of social engineering. In brief, national ideology of multiracialism and the booming economy under the guidance of the authoritarian and sincere ruling elites have so far acted together to minimize the negative effects of economic inequalities on race relations in Singapore.