|Mother Teresa's headgear|
More surprisingly, we learnt from another panelist, Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Eugene Tan, that there is an "unwritten state policy" that front line officers working in the police force, nursing and at immigration checkpoints should not wear the tudung. One always thought that the staff had a choice of working at the front-desk, or at the back-room, the latter being a safer refuge from unreasonable and irascible customers. Incidentally, how can you enforce a policy that is not written down?
Another NMP asked if Singapore can move beyond the "crutches" of self help groups like the Group Representative Constituency (GRC) system which is supposed to guarantee minority representation in parliament, "Do we have enough confidence as a people to say - let's give ourselves a chance, and see if we can survive, see if we can enhance trust by trusting our basic instincts?" Ah, but he forgot the "unwritten state policy" behind the GRC system, which allowed Mah Bow Tan to enter parliament after being roundly defeated by Chiam See Tong with 60.3% of the votes in 1984. Singapore has indeed progressed in racial harmony, but trust in its own people is still wanting.