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The Facebook logo seen on a mobile phone.
The Facebook logo seen on a mobile phone.PHOTO: AFP

Do discussions on religion and race really help?

Race - yes. Religion - no. How do you argue against what the other party thinks is infallible? There's no negotiating ground. If there is, it wouldn't be a religion.

Glen Teoh

Discussions among religious practitioners often devolve into unhelpful debates that only entrench individual religious beliefs further because, unlike discussions on science, which is evidence-based, and Western philosophy, which is both logic-and evidence-based, there is nothing in religious dogma that can be verified by corresponding external data.

Discussions on religion are unhelpful. It is more fruitful if religious practitioners come together not to discuss religious dogma, but to work together to help the poor, save the environment and champion causes that help the disenfranchised and marginalised.

Benjamin Chew

On the surface, all looks good... But when you scratch deeper, there are always a few who think they are superior. Respecting one another, respecting and tolerating one another's religion, faith and culture is the key to living in harmony. Rather than being ignorant, having discussions to understand one another is good. Don't know? Ask. Don't assume what you are not sure of.

Siti Nor'aini A S

Don't understand why people love evoking "the good old days" when there was cohesion and acceptance regardless of race or belief. Those days are behind us. Dialogues and discussions without unnecessary state interference have to become commonplace as we learn to deal with differences.

Terrie Tan

Yes such discussions are good, to the extent that they make Singaporeans understand and be more tolerant towards one another. But we have not reached a level where we can confidently say we have racial harmony. It's still a work in progress.

Harry Chia


Should the new Cross Island Line run under the nature reserve to cut travel time by six minutes or skirt the reserve?

I support skirting around the nature reserve to prevent any possible damage to the central forest.

The mitigation measures are inadequate - how is a rope or pole going to help ground-dwelling animals cross the roads? How will construction vehicles avoid small animals? If waste leaks into groundwater, how will we clean it?

Even if no surface works are conducted in the nature reserve, the vibration and noise may have long-term effects on the animals and plants. We cannot assess noise from the point of view of humans since we are not as sensitive.

Given this uncertainty, I cannot understand why we need to go through the forest. The other route is highly urbanised and the Land Transport Authority has more experience solving problems in an urban environment.

Pedid Edtitye

The extra six minutes per trip will add up to hundreds of minutes a day, which will use more electricity and add to Singapore's carbon footprint.

Yee Sze

What is an additional six minutes of travel time, compared with our last bit of forest? It is a very small price to pay.

Syed Alwi Ahmad

I am in favour of skirting the reserve. Singapore is such a small country. We need to keep that little bit of nature sacred and untouched.

Ben Tan

We should go ahead and build a direct line through the nature reserve. We should trust that measures will be put in place to minimise disturbance or damage to wildlife and vegetation. We have lost much of the natural environment in the name of development, but we are not worse off after building a liveable city.

Wilkie Ong Keng Soon

How much more damage are we going to do to our environment? With the land reclamation, countless underground and undersea tunnels, and now this? I say no more please!

Chee-Keong Lee

Skirting is better. This will protect the environment and allow for easier emergency rescue if the train stalls for some reason.

Lee Hong Hui

Save the Earth! Aren't we talking about climate change? Plants and trees are the vacuum cleaners of carbon dioxide.

Mohammad Ammar Azhar

I don't know how it will affect the wildlife, but I would rather spend less than pay more to skirt the forest.

Ben Adaephon Delat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2019, with the headline 'On Facebook'. Print Edition | Subscribe