NMP cries during speech on elected presidency
She cried as she gave a passionate speech yesterday in support of a reserved election.
Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong had not intended to speak at the debate on the proposed constitutional amendments to the elected presidency.
The lawyer admitted that she was uncomfortable about discussing race and religion, or talking about the problems of other races.
But after hearing the debates over the past three days, Ms Chia said she decided that she had to speak up.
Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong. PHOTO COURTESY OF YUSARN AUDREY
On Tuesday, PM Lee Hsien Loong announced that the 2017 polls will be reserved for Malay candidates.
Barely holding back her tears, Ms Chia said she hoped that Singaporeans would not politicise race and religion.
"Talking about race and religion is tough, but we have to talk about it," she said.
"We've got to face it squarely. If we don't have a better solution, let's make do with what we can."
In a speech in both English and Mandarin, Ms Chia talked about her childhood, when she played with friends of other races.
She said: "I never thought about their colour. I never thought we were from different communities. My only thought was that we were all Singaporeans - and I was very proud of that."
But she acknowledged that there are problems and society is not as perfect as she thought.
She said in Mandarin: "As a Chinese, despite growing up in a multiracial society, I could not fully understand my fellow citizens' difficulties.
"I'd like to say that everyone is equal, but is it true?"