I have always been a bit of a polyglot. Ethnically, my mother is half-Malay and almost half-Pakistani—with a smattering of Chinese from her great-grandmother (who was adopted and raised by their Pakistani family).

My father is part-Tamil and part Portuguese Eurasian, similar to the community in Malacca, Malaysia. My brothers are both married to ethnic Chinese women.

Religiously, my mother’s family is Muslim while my father’s is mostly Roman Catholic; he converted to Islam when he married her.

Linguistically, we all converse in English. Like many others in Singapore, we learned either Mandarin, Malay or Tamil in school, and unlike many others, we also speak smatterings of Kristang, the Eurasian patois found in Malaysia and Singapore.


“The ASEAN” Magazine – Issue 1