Singaporeans' affinity for China must not affect racial harmony

As a Singaporean Chinese, I have some serious concerns over the close affinity Singaporean Chinese may have with China.

China's rapid developments over the last few years has certainly blurred the difference in the standard of living between China and Singapore.

Quite naturally, the affinity Singaporean Chinese have with China is also growing stronger.

While there is nothing wrong with Singaporean Chinese becoming more interested in learning about China's history, culture and their ancestral roots, there will be a big problem if they become too absorbed with Chinese culture and stop being sensitive to other races. Our identity as a multi-racial society will be ruined and consequences will be dire if any one ethnic group turns chauvinistic.

Absorbing China's culture without deliberation may also unknowingly lead us into accepting the nation's ideology and values.

Western countries may also look at us differently, and we may lose our leverage when it comes to resolving geo-political situations.

I am proud to be living in a multi-racial country and I am proud to have a president who is from a minority race.

Let us not take for granted what we have painstakingly built since independence. I urge the Government to give serious consideration to how we can take steps to preserve our Singaporean identity forever.

Roy Goh Hin Soon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2018, with the headline 'Singaporeans' affinity for China must not affect racial harmony'. Print Edition | Subscribe