CNA-IPS survey reveals generation gap in fight against racism


Respondents were also asked a number of questions about whether the evolution of Singapore’s Chinese-Malay-Indian-Other (CMIO) racial framework would be good or bad for society.

About half of all respondents thought none of these developments would make a difference.

The researchers said the highest level of support was for Singapore to officially recognize cultures other than Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians, with 49% saying it would be good or very good.

A roughly similar proportion, 42%, supported this type of decision, in terms of identity documents allowing categorizations like Peranakan, Javanese and others – cultures that are currently subsumed under Chinese or Malay categories.

On the question of whether Singapore’s CMIO framework on race should remain, only around three in 10 respondents felt it should be abolished.

A larger proportion of Indians (45 percent) supported this sentiment more than Chinese (29 percent), Malays (33 percent) or those of other ethnicities (22 percent).

Despite this, more than half (54%) of respondents indicated that it would be beneficial to identify as Singaporeans regardless of race.

However, only around three in 10 believed that Singaporeans should primarily speak English rather than their native language.

“Thus, while respondents are okay with abstract changes to their identity, they are less comfortable with the other implications of overcoming racial and cultural differences,” the researchers said.


Regarding the workplace, respondents were less accepting of Malays and Singapore Indians as bosses.

While 89% of respondents agreed with Malays as colleagues, only 75% would accept them as bosses.

Similarly, while 87% of respondents accepted Indians as colleagues, only 74% would accept them as bosses.

Respondents showed strong acceptance of Singaporean Chinese as bosses and colleagues, with figures for both above 95%.

Respondents were less accepting of new citizens as bosses and colleagues, especially those from the region.

While respondents were open to the idea of ​​having a new citizen of Western origin as their boss (63%), they were less so for new Chinese (55%) and Indian (51%) citizens.

Respondents were more accepting of having new citizens as colleagues, but preferred working alongside those of Western origin (74%) or China (74%) than India (70%).


The survey revealed that new Indian citizens were the least preferred tenants, whether as tenants of a spare bedroom or the entire property.

Only 32% of respondents said they would rent a spare room in their house to a new Indian citizen, compared to 48% from China and 45% of those from Western backgrounds.

And while more than half were willing to rent property to new Chinese citizens (57%) and those of Western descent (59%), less than half (44%) were willing to have new Indian citizens. as tenants. .

When it comes to local tenants, most respondents said they would be willing to rent their room to a Chinese from Singapore (90%), while only half of them were willing to consider Malaysians from Singapore (51%) and Indians (45%). ) as tenants.

The numbers were similar when respondents were asked about renting their entire property. While 92% would accept Singapore Chinese as tenants, just over half were willing to accept Singapore Malays (62%) and Singapore Indians (58%).

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