We need to be mindful of tensions and other possible fault lines in our society, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Tuesday.
Pointing to the unrest and social tensions in societies around the world, he urged his audience to be united in creating a resilient, cohesive Singapore. He was addressing some 300 public officers from national security agencies in Singapore at the opening of the 11th National Security Seminar.
One of the ways to do so is to be mindful of the tensions in our society, and learn how to deal with them as public officers, he said. "Race and religion remain sensitive, and other possible fault lines have emerged, including citizenship, sexual orientation, and social values," he added. He also spoke of the dangers of social media, in terms of its ability to "reinforce and entrench" polarising views.
In view of these challenges and more, DPM Teo said government agencies and organisations have to examine their plans, to ensure that they can work effectively as one Government, especially in times of crisis. He urged these groups to also partner the public, to build a safer and more resilient society. He acknowledged that the Government may not have the perfect solution to every issue. "Sometimes, our most important role is simply to bring different groups together to find a common understanding, or to channel their energies in a constructive direction," he said.