Eugenics Singapore Style
Eugenics was the so-called science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. In the 20th century it lead to millions of forced sterilizations worldwide and was linked to Nazi atrocities. In modern times China enacted a form of eugenic policy to control population and to restrict marriages between persons with certain disabilities and diseases. Singapore also briefly experimented with eugenics. The program, introduced in 1984, sought increased fertility for university-educated women and provided major subsidies for the voluntary sterilization of poor and uneducated parents. The official program has long been abandoned, but “social Darwinism” or what many historians regard as the ideological underpinning of eugenics is the dominant view still promulgated by Singapore’s founder and long standing mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, in his quest to create the perfect society.
Critics of Singapore’s social engineering argue that the resulting policies are invariably skin color-coded and hierarchical since the “poor and uneducated” are disproportionately tan skinned Malays and charcoal-colored Tamils, rather than the politically-dominant Chinese ethnic majority. How does this view measure up objectively to Singapore’s quest to create a racially balanced society?
THE COLOR INITIATIVE on The World (PRI, BBC and WGBH) http://www.theworld.org/2009/07/24/color-initiative/