Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Racial, religious harmony in Singapore a result of give-and-take: PM Lee
SINGAPORE - The racial and religious harmony that Singapore enjoys is a result of give-and-take between the different communities in the country, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
“This is something which we have to always continue to work upon, because it is not something which will ever become a solved problem,” Mr Lee said in an interview with Russian news agency TASS at the Istana on Saturday (May 14).
“All the major religions of the world are in Singapore. There are three major races, but many other communities in Singapore. We speak very different languages. Tamil is Dravidian, Chinese is totally different from English and we have to get on together.”
This give-and-take between the different communities is a matter of constant effort, social policy and integration, PM Lee said.
In his comments responding to a question on how Singapore maintains a harmonious balance between different ethnic groups and religions, Mr Lee added that this policy of integration sees Singaporeans of different races and religions come together in schools, housing estates, workplaces and during National Service and learning to work and live together in a multi-racial context.
“If you are in Singapore as a Christian, you do not treat this as a Christian country. If you are in Singapore as a Buddhist, this is not a Buddhist country, even though the Buddhist may be one of the biggest religious groups in Singapore. If you are a Muslim in Singapore, you can practice your faith, you can fast, you have mosques, but you understand that this is a multi-racial society and you are working and living within a multi-racial context.
“It is this give and take, and trust that has been built up over a very long period of time, which we think makes for the nature of our society, which makes for what is gradually emerging as a Singapore identity.”
Posted by wikisabah at 4:08:00 PM