Religious harmony needs to be strenuously safeguarded

It is heartening to note that we are taking the initiative to tackle potential threats to our religious harmony (Moves to bolster Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, Sept 3).

We may have enjoyed religious harmony for many years, but we have to double our efforts to strenuously safeguard this hard-earned harmonious co-existence among the different races.

It is noteworthy that the Government does not gloss over the potential fault lines in our multiracial and multi-religious society.

Given the rise of social media, which transcends borders, the potential breach of our existing peaceful state cannot be ignored.

In this respect, our religious leaders have a critical task in ensuring that their followers or congregations do not become easy prey to capricious preachers from overseas with insidious agendas.

As religion is an easily exploited medium, where followers often do not question the authenticity of teachings, religious leaders must come forward to rectify any misinterpretations when they arise.

We cannot let our guard down.

The harmonious co-existence in Singapore did not evolve naturally, but was built up over the years through strict laws and regulations.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2019, with the headline 'Religious harmony needs to be strenuously safeguarded'. Print Edition | Subscribe