Lessons for Singapore from Thai cave rescue

The recent Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand demonstrated how selflessly the people, the Thai navy Seals, foreign divers and volunteers worked together to rescue the 12 boys and their coach, and showcased the best of humanity (Rescue will remain etched in memory for the many acts of selflessness; July 13).

What was also amazing was how the Thais interacted and cooperated with the ethnic minority groups to provide ancillary support for the rescue operation.

Together, they showed that the can-do spirit won the day.

The boys, young as they were, also showed courage and resilience in the face of danger and adversity.

A big takeaway for Singapore from the rescue operation is the spirit of togetherness by the community, tenacity, resilience, cooperation, generosity and harmony that prevailed.

What is key is the need to educate people to not merely tolerate, but more importantly, appreciate, embrace and respect differences in cultural practices, social customs, religious ceremonies and lifestyles.

We should also embrace the fact that we are dependent upon and accountable to one another, now that the world is becoming more interconnected.

We should channel the kampung spirit and work towards greater integration, compassion and graciousness among Singaporeans and immigrants in our midst.

V. Subramaniam (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2018, with the headline 'Lessons for Singapore from Thai cave rescue'. Print Edition | Subscribe