Get religious leaders to preach multiculturalism

Last month, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran suggested some ways to strengthen multiculturalism in Singapore (Iswaran suggests ways to boost multiculturalism; July 20).

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

People cannot be forced to change. We are people with individual religious beliefs, values and racial backgrounds.

It is unlikely that our mindsets will change based on a few suggestions.

One way to get citizens to rally behind and feel connected to Singapore and each other is to get all the respective religious leaders to counsel their own flocks and preach that their congregation should look out for Singapore's interests.

Loyalty to the land is the key that must be preached, as well as looking out for each other regardless of race, religion or culture when security is at risk.

Visiting each other's religious sites is secondary as without the first point of counsel from the respective religious leaders, all the talk about cross-cultural bonds will fall on deaf ears.

Florence Veronica Minjoot (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2018, with the headline 'Get religious leaders to preach multiculturalism'. Print Edition | Subscribe