Skip to Content

When it comes to marriage and other personal issues, race matters in Singapore

Closed
by August 19, 2016 General

A newly-wed couple kiss during a photography session at Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2014. — Reuters picA newly-wed couple kiss during a photography session at Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2014. — Reuters picSINGAPORE, Aug 19 — Singaporeans still prefer someone of the same race when it comes to things like marriages in the family, helping them run their businesses or to share personal problems with, a survey on race relations in Singapore showed.

In general, the survey also found that respondents from minority races were more accepting of the Chinese, compared with the Chinese being open to other races, for various roles and relationships. The survey was commissioned by Channel NewsAsia and the Institute of Policy Studies which involved 2,000 respondents, weighted to Singapore’s demography.

Although the overall finding was that Singaporeans try to live out multiracial ideals, less than a quarter (21 per cent to 24 per cent) of Chinese respondents said they would accept Malay Singaporeans and Indian Singaporeans marrying into their family.

In comparison, Malays were more receptive to other races — 63 per cent would accept a new Chinese family member, and 41 per cent would accept Indians. The figure for Indians was 50 per cent towards Chinese and 30 per cent towards Malays.

In terms of personal relationships, Chinese respondents were also less likely to share their personal problems with people of other races. Less than half of them (43-48 per cent) would confide in people from other races, while between 53 and 84 per cent of Malay and Indian respondents said they would do so.

In terms of economic activity, such as getting someone to help manage a business, there was a general preference across all races for getting a Chinese to do the job.

More Malays preferred Chinese (82 per cent) to Indians (47 per cent) in helping them in their business. It was the same case among Indians, with 72 per cent open to Chinese help, compared with 42 per cent for Malays.

Racial preferences were less noticeable when it came to social interactions. About two-thirds of Chinese respondents were amenable to Malays and Indians sharing a meal at their homes or playing with their children and grandchildren. This proportion was higher for Malay and Indian respondents — between 77 per cent and 89 per cent.

Eight in 10 of all respondents also said they were not told by their parents not to mix too much with people from other races when they were growing up and they have made friends with people from the three main racial groups.

About 60 per cent of respondents who have children also said they have spoken to their children about the differences among the races, the customs and practices of other races, as well as why racism is bad for society. — TODAY

Previous
Next