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Thursday, January 14, 2010

News ~ IC With 'Double-Barrelled' Race

Wednesday, 2010Jan13

Finally! This has been long overdue.

Click on image below to enlarge for a better read.


Putting a race to a name:
Mixed-race children to have 'double-barrelled' IC race

by Neo Chai Chin
05:55 AM Jan 13, 2010

SINGAPORE - Children with parents of different races will in due course be able to share dual heritages on their identity cards (ICs), by way of "double-barrelled" races.So, a Caucasian-Chinese child will be able to state just that in his IC - instead of Chinese, Caucasian, or Eurasian. And a child of Indian-Chinese parents will not have to choose which parent's race to adopt in his IC.This new development comes in the wake of relaxed rules that went into force on Jan 2 that require mixed-marriage couples to register their newborns' race at birth, taking on either parent's race.Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee announced this in Parliament yesterday. He was responding to Member of Parliament (Bishan-Toa Payoh) Hri Kumar, who asked if mixed-marriage couples could state both races on their child's IC. Associate Professor Ho said the Government has decided to allow this after careful consideration. Two conditions will apply to this policy, however parents have to decide the "dominant" race of the child, which will be the first component in the race combination.And only two races will be permitted as the relaxation "cannot be allowed to go on ad infinitum"; children of three or more races will have to pick which two to include.Assoc Prof Ho said Government agencies will announce "in due course" when the "new approach" would take effect. Singaporeans are currently classified under 95 races in their ICs. Chinese, Malays and Indians account for 99 per cent of the population, while Eurasians and Arabs form the bulk of the remaining 1 per cent.While it is believed the changes will have an impact on Government policies for public housing and which mother tongue a child studies in school - hence the need to specify a dominant race, as Assoc Prof Ho explained - an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority spokesperson said ICA only records one's race, and does not control how other Government agencies use the records.Would race classification then become "an artificial exercise (where) you pick a race of convenience", given the greater flexibility, asked Mr Hri Kumar, who is married to a Chinese and has a daughter.Assoc Prof Ho replied that race classification is needed in multiracial Singapore, and the Republic's approach is better than countries that "do away with recording and reflecting race to be politically correct".Singaporeans like branding consultant Kim Faulkner, 48, welcomed the "double-barrelled" race option. "My kids go to local schools and there are increasingly more mixed race children in the school," said the mother of three, who is married to a Briton.Ms Faulkner said she would opt for a "double-barrelled" race in her children's ICs, as it "more accurately reflects their ethnic heritage".But technician Lina Adam, 38, was undecided. Married to a Chinese, Ms Lina, a Malay, said she would decide when her two-year-old daughter applies for an IC at the age of 15. Having two races "could confuse the kid even more", she said.

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