Voices Of Youth

Reach out to people of other races

Many of my older relatives have told me how Singapore was more racially harmonious in the past, with a strong sense of unity.

When I look around now, it is largely true that people have fewer friends who are of other races.

For people like me who study in Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, we do not get much chance to make friends with people of other races.

SAP schools could include students of other races ("SAP schools shouldn't be tweaked for sake of tokenism: Janil"; Aug 6).

However, as citizens, we should also take the initiative and not rely on the Government and other organisations to promote racial harmony.

Within our neighbourhoods, we can talk to our neighbours more often and make friends with them.

We can help to look out for one another and celebrate certain public holidays, such as National Day, Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas, together.

We can also be more open and participate in more community events, and maybe even help to organise one. This will promote social cohesion in Singapore.

With the 51st National Day celebrations behind us, I hope Singaporeans will continue to work together and develop as a multicultural metropolis for many years to come.

Teo Jun Hua, 14, Secondary 3 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'Reach out to people of other races'. Subscribe