SINGAPORE - A book that commemorates 50 years of the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore was launched by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing at The Arts House on Sunday (May 29).
Mr Chan took over as guest of honour at the event from Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who remains in hospital after suffering a stroke during a Cabinet meeting on May 12.
"I know that he would dearly like to have come here to give his support and affirmation to what the Malay and Muslim community has done in Singapore and for Singapore," said Mr Chan, who is also labour chief.
The launch was attended by some 100 guests including former President S R Nathan, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim, labour MP Zainal Sapari, community leaders and foreign dignitaries.
The book, titled Majulah! 50 Years Of Malay/Muslim Community In Singapore, was published by World Scientific and co-edited by former senior minister of state for foreign affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Dr Norshahril Saat, a fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Contributors to the 700-page book, which traces the evolution of the Singapore Malay/Muslim community and its progress in fields such as education, socio-economy and the arts, include former and current ministers and Members of Parliament, as well as community leaders and academics.
Noting that the history of the Malay/Muslim community stretches beyond 50 years and the founding of the Republic, Mr Chan said that "one can never talk about the history of Singapore without talking about the Malay and Muslim contributions to modern Singapore".
The Malay/Muslim identity in Singapore is constantly evolving, and also forms part of the Singaporean identity, he added.
Dr Yaacob, who was a guest at the event, said that the book is an important effort on the part of the community to document its history, so that the next generation can build upon the legacy created by pioneers.
The book is available at all major bookstores and retails at $68 for the hardcover edition and $37 for the paperback version.