Comment: S'pore's Eurasian community makes 'outsized contribution', represents our success in integration

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George Yeo: Musings is a collection of just that: The former foreign minister’s musings across various diverse topics.

Series One, the first of three books, contains Yeo’s thoughts about identity, Singapore’s diversity, and how this affects the country’s relationships with the rest of the world, including China and India.

The book is written by Yeo, with Woon Tai Ho, and published by World Scientific. It will be available at all major bookstores from September 2022, but Mothership readers can pre-order a copy here with the promo code “WSMSGY20” and get 20 per cent off.

The book is presented in a question-and-answer format. An excerpt from Chapter 5, “Eurasian Prawn Paste”, is reproduced here.

By George Yeo, with Woon Tai Ho

Q: What do the Eurasians represent here in Singapore?

Being a good host is an important part of Eurasian culture. Of all the four heritage centres, Eurasian House has the most intimate and welcoming feel to it. On the top floor, there is a gallery of Eurasian history and heritage, including the story of Eurasian men and women who contributed much to Singapore’s development in different fields. On the ground floor, there is a restaurant, Quentin’s, which serves good Eurasian food, including dishes like devil’s curry, prawn bostador, feng and, of course, sugee cake.

Eurasian Community House. Photo courtesy of George Yeo.

It is necessary to revisit history. During the colonial era, the Eurasians enjoyed a position of privilege which they lost after independence. This is best illustrated by the two sports clubs flanking the Padang. On one side is the Singapore Cricket Club, which was exclusive to whites. On the other is the Singapore Recreation Club, which was for Eurasians.

Decolonisation created mixed feelings among the Eurasians, a commu...

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