Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Intan Azura Mokhtar should say.



"The family I grew up with was a contrast to the fertile images of Malay families - overproducing and threatening to overtake the Chinese majority of Singapore according to Lee Kuan Yew - because of the family planning policy that increased the costs of raising more than two children, especially for the poor. And we were poor – both my parents had to work.

I am telling you about how I grew to like physics because today few students, let alone Malay female students, like to study math or science. I am telling you about my education level, because today few Malays, let alone Malay females, pursue university education. If you are a female Malay, listen, you can also have a family, and further your education.

I became a teacher because I had shorter working hours than if I were to say, work as an engineer, which has too much of a glass ceiling for women anyway. Singapore likes to pride itself on the quality of its teachers but somehow there are some that escape scrutiny and quality control. 

I’m afraid you’ll think I got married too young, so I’ll add a qualifier here to show the relativity of the age of marriage. I had a baby almost immediately after marriage because Malays think their first child is a blessing so few couples use contraception and we don’t get much education on that in school or in the media anyway.

I only have a few months experience on the ground but I know the most common task of an MP can only go through if it’s not an opposition MP writing it. I’m concerned about education, women and children because that’s what female politicians are supposed to be concerned about, although other candidates do not have to be concerned with issues relating to singlehood, the privileging of Mandarin, and the high salaries of MPs. I’m aware but I may not necessarily speak out in Parliament against the high costs of living, public housing and education. 

Vote for me because I am the only female, Malay, Muslim candidate. Thank you."

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