In their speeches to debate the President’s address, several Members of Parliament made reference to ancient history of China, and in particular to Emperor Tai Zong and his court official Wei Zheng.
Chen Show Mao, Ellen Lee, Sam Tan and Baey Yam Keng made references to this in choosing to focus on drawing lessons from this Chinese emperor’s governance.
I would like to remind these legislators that Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-cultural society, and so dwelling too much on ancient China’s history would be to make too much of an assumption that everyone understands this history.
What’s more important is, such over-emphasis may be construed as being insensitive to the other races that live with the majority here in Singapore – the Chinese. But then, how many Chinese Singaporeans know the ancient history of China?
People who hold public office should be mindful not to alienate the minorities in making references or drawing lessons from histories of other countries. It quite easy to forget the minorities who share the same space with the majority,