To me, there is simply no perfect society and there are no perfect people (Five tests of a truly First World people, Dec 21).
What we enjoy in Singapore today are mutual understanding, religious and cultural tolerance.
Singapore is the most religiously diverse country in the world, according to a 2014 Pew Research Study. We are also a multiracial and multicultural society. And we remain the world's second safest city, after Tokyo.
Singapore is safe today because Singaporeans have respect for order and authority, and deeply value the safety and security of our country. This is a collective effort by its people.
Singapore is a tolerant as well as gracious society. Our culture is heavily influenced by the four main races in our country, and this extends to all facets of our life - our food, our festivals, and so on. We say that our diversity is our strength, and it truly is. How many other countries can say the same?
According to Charities Aid Foundation, Singapore was ranked the seventh most generous country in the world last year.
When 1,000 Singaporeans were interviewed, two in three polled here had helped a stranger in the past month, while almost four in 10 had volunteered. Almost six in 10 had donated money.
From this, I believe that Singaporeans are inherently tolerant, gracious and compassionate. Are these then not hallmarks of a First World people?