Do more to improve socialisation among races

The Government's social engineering effort via the ethnic quota scheme in HDB estates has been successful in integrating Singaporeans of different races.
The Government's social engineering effort via the ethnic quota scheme in HDB estates has been successful in integrating Singaporeans of different races. PHOTO: ST FILE

The recent Institute of Policy Studies report threw up some figures which are quite worrying for race relations (15% of respondents find Muslims threatening, March 29).

It is worth noting in the report that such a perspective is more prevalent among dwellers in private estates than those who live in Housing Board flats.

Why is it the case?

Is it because there is a greater tendency for people of a certain race to congregate in private estates, resulting in a lack of racial diversity?

Does the class divide based on housing type correlate with a racial divide as well?

With less social interaction due to lack of racial diversity, it is not surprising for some in private housing estates to live in their own bubble and have misguided attitudes towards other races.

The Government's social engineering effort via the ethnic quota scheme in HDB estates has been successful in integrating Singaporeans of different races.

But as seen in this report, more can be done to promote better socialisation.

We cannot afford to have ghettoisation of our residential estates. Chinese-daily Lianhe Zaobao reported in January that there is a trend of this happening in HDB estates too.

With the recent announcement to have more homes in the Central Business District (More homes planned in city centre to inject vibrancy, March 28), the authorities should take such a concern seriously and ensure that the new residences in that area do not evolve into another exclusive enclave.

Sean Lim Wei Xin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2019, with the headline 'Do more to improve socialisation among races'. Print Edition | Subscribe