Not a Question of Loyalty

In mid-January, three well-off businessmen in Singapore sat sharing an evening meal. All three, who are ethnic Malay, minimized the challenges facing their community, which makes up about 15% of the republic's population. The way forward is for Malays to solve their own problems, said one, a contractor, summing up the group's attitude: "You cannot fault the government."

What a difference a month makes. In mid-February the contractor, his plump face creased with concern, worried about a deterioration in ethnic harmony. Says one of his friends: "The community here has now been traumatized by the issues of loyalty...

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