Racial and Religious Harmony – Essence of a Singaporean Identity
PUBLISHED ON 03 Nov 2017
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapore’s racial and religious harmony is the essence of our identity. He added: “It is not always perfect, but that is why we must celebrate the times when we are our best selves - to remind ourselves of the ideal that we are striving for.”

PM Lee who was the guest-of-honour at the 10th anniversary dinner of OnePeople.sg, lauded OnePeople.sg in his Facebook post for “fostering understanding and tolerance between the communities through outreach programmes and dialogues.”

Speaking at the dinner, the Chairman of OnePeople.sg, Dr Janil Puthucheary commented that while dialogues about race in Singapore have evolved over the years, Singaporeans must continue to cultivate racial and religious harmony. He also pointed out that the current generation is concerned about tackling stereotypes and jokes related to race when talking about racism. For example, young people are now concerned about whether an actor of a certain race is accurately represented in a show or movie.

"It's an aspiration to a higher type of inclusion, and that shift of aspiration speaks about how much we've done and about far we've come as a country," he noted.

Dr Janil also stressed that such topics should not be ignored. "If not, the next generation will feel disenfranchised and will not believe in our model of multiculturalism or multiracialism. We must treat their aspirations for a deeper harmony with the same vigour and respect as the social issues of the past. We must tackle them and do something about them."

To ensure that the next generation understands the importance of multiculturalism and multiracialism, Dr Janil said OnePeople.sg will carry on widening its network to partner with more temples, mosques, churches and societies.

Dr Janil, who is also Senior Minister of State for Education, said that the organisation would also continue to work with schools and educational institutions so that young people have “safe spaces” to debate and discuss about racial bias, social policies and contentious issues.

Image from: PM Lee's Facebook page


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