Create safe spaces to discuss race, religion

The actions of the Trump administration have underscored the racial divisiveness among Americans and in the world.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam recently spoke on this and highlighted the need to guard against the polarisation and alienation of minority groups here.

While common spaces have provided opportunities for Singaporeans to come together, this form of engineered social interaction is insufficient for sustained racial unity.

We need to go a step further by creating safe spaces for citizens to discuss the schisms and nuances of racial and religious differences.

By being more receptive and open to other opinions, we can bridge the gap between different racial communities to prevent further isolation.

I hope more Singaporeans will be engaged and keep xenophobia and majoritarianism at bay.

Ashley Tan Yu Yi, 16,

Junior College Year one student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2017, with the headline 'Create safe spaces to discuss race, religion'. Print Edition | Subscribe