Importance of inter-ethnic harmony here

It is good and timely to be reminded of the paramount importance of fostering a spirit of mutual respect and sensitivity among the various ethnic groups ("Remain sensitive to race relations"; last Saturday).

The recent rallies separately staged by the Bersih 4 and "red shirt" groups in Malaysia have caused much hardship and inconvenience to the public, especially to traders who were unable to run their businesses.

What was worse was that tourists were fearful of visiting places of interest, as those sites were the likely targets for trouble.

In some countries, religious and political leaders make use of religion for their own selfish ends, which might result in the loss of lives and property.

Singaporeans are fortunate not to have race-based political parties, and we have never taken racial and religious harmony for granted.

Singaporeans are fortunate not to have race-based political parties, and we have never taken racial and religious harmony for granted.

This was seen in our recently concluded general election, during which political leaders at election rallies stayed away from highly sensitive issues, such as race and religion.

Here, we have good leaders who are prepared to make decisions that are unpopular but necessary, even if this means they may not get re-elected.

In other words, such leaders dare to undertake unpopular decisions that they deem beneficial to the country in the long run. This is a test of true leadership, which is prevalent in our little red dot.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2015, with the headline 'Importance of inter-ethnic harmony here'. Print Edition | Subscribe