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Mixed marriages becoming more common in Singapore

Published on Mar 31, 2013 8:45 AM


When Robert William Straughan turns 21 this May, he will have to choose between his Singapore and American citizenship - a choice he dreads making.

"Everyone says it's a bonus to have two passports. But it's not a bonus, it's just who I am," says Mr Straughan, the elder son of two academics.

His mother, Associate Professor Paulin Straughan, 49, is deputy head of sociology at the National University of Singapore. His father, Dr Robert Straughan, 54, is a senior mathematics lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic.

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Background story

"We wanted them to be raised the Singapore way."

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PAULIN STRAUGHAN, 49, on sending her two sons to Singapore schools

"People try to figure out if we're a family or not. They turn back and look again... if people don't stare at us, I think we'll feel funny."


“We tried to teach her proper English, but what was taught was undone in school.”

MS ONG MEOW CHENG, on her daughter speaking Singlish

“She came back very happy and told us she ate nasi lemak, or mee siam, so we stopped worrying.”

MR PATHORR RAHMAN SAINI, who was worried about his daughter fitting in at primary school as she usually ate Japanese food at home

“Being in the national team is a huge part of what made me realise how much I love it here. There is a sense of pride... when you are standing with your team singing the national anthem.”