In Singapore: Are Filipinos Malay?Posted: September 4, 2011
Race…Been wondering which one to put a tick mark?
Under the ‘RACE’ field, there are only 5 items to choose: Caucasian, Chinese, Indian, Malay and Others.
And for Filipinos (true-blooded, with no significant traces of Caucasian, Chinese or other Asian or Western or even African blood in them), most of the time we will choose ‘Malay‘ as our race. This is what we learned at school. This is what our teachers taught us.
Yes, every Filipino is right…Malay race is the brown race. And, Filipinos belong to the brown race.
This is purely based on classifying the race on the color of the skin. A Caucasian is classified as belonging to the white race, an African as black, a Chinese belonging to the yellow race, and so on.
Furthermore, Wikipedia defines that “…many Filipinos consider the term “Malay” to refer to the indigenous population of the country as well as the indigenous population of neighboring countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.“ This is because we were taught that the ancestors of indigenous Filipinos came from Malaysia and Indonesia. Well, this is still being contested by some anthropologists in which there is another stronger claim that migration of early Filipinos came from Taiwan.
So much for that, let’s go back to the topic…which one to choose then?
The population of Singapore consists mainly of Chinese, Malay and Indian descent. Being once a part of Malaysia, Singapore has been settled by ethnic Malays since then. Now, together with the descendants of early Malay settlers and immigrants from Malaysia and Indonesia, they constitute the Malay population in Singapore.
So, Filipinos, next time you fill in something about ‘race’ in Singapore…choose ‘Others‘ instead.