Multiracial leaders for a multi-ethnic society

I fully support the change to the elected presidency to ensure that we have a minority president from time to time ("Govt broadly accepts changes to elected presidency"; last Friday).

Some people may argue that we should be progressing towards a society that is race blind, such that the colour of one's skin is overlooked completely.

However, it is human nature for us to want to feel represented and acknowledged.

It is also impossible for us to call ourselves a multiracial society without having leaders who actually embody and represent the different ethnic groups.

The issue of race is a complicated one. Instead of viewing the changes to the elected presidency as acts of tokenism that perpetuate the idea of affirmative action, we should see them as measures to further integrate minority groups into our society, to create a more cohesive Singapore for all.

Ashley Tan Yu Yi, 16,

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Multiracial leaders for a multi-ethnic society'. Print Edition | Subscribe