Singapore fortunate to have an equal, multiracial society

It was chilling to read recent news reports and watch videos on how a white supremacist rally turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia (Trump under pressure to condemn white nationalism; Aug 14).

I consider myself fortunate to be a Singaporean living in multiracial Singapore.

Here, all citizens, regardless of race, can exercise their rights equally in an inclusive society. We have a level playing field.

Racists can work up passions and cause ordinary citizens to get carried away. Singapore cannot afford to have any race worked up in hatred or fear of another race.

The racial riots of the 1960s are still fresh in the minds of the older generation.

It is wrong to think that a person is better or worse simply because he is of a different colour or because his cultural practices are not similar to our own.

Our Government has taken pains to integrate the different races - people of all races live in the same HDB blocks, attend the same schools and serve in the same military units.

Our group representation constituency system and the reserved presidential election ensure that all races have a fair chance to lead.

We should continue to maintain our strong national cohesion.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore fortunate to have an equal, multiracial society'. Print Edition | Subscribe