Race Categorisation Puts Minority Groups At Ease

The Chinese, Malay, Indian, Others (CMIO) categorisation of races may seem irrelevant to young Singaporeans now, but it would spark unease among the minority races even today, said Professor Chan Heng Chee at the Community Leaders’ Conference yesterday (4 Oct).

Prof Chan, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged against abolishing the model, saying it is what sets minority communities here at ease. Given that Chinese Singaporeans are the majority group, scraping the categorisation might lead to the culture becoming dominantly Chinese.

“Every race has the same standing. It is very important going forward,” said Prof Chan.  For these communities, knowing that they will be treated equally is very important, she said.

"You have to keep emphasising it is equal language, equal religion, equal culture, equal race.”

What are your thoughts about the categorisation of race?


  • “Scrapping race categories ‘may spark unease among minorities’” (TODAY Online, 5 October 2015)
  • “Race categorisation puts minority communities at ease: Chan Heng Chee” (The Straits Times, 5 October 2015)
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