Racial harmony should never be taken for granted

I was moved by Mr Roy Goh Hin Soon's letter (Singaporeans' affinity for China must not affect racial harmony; Feb 20).

Mr Gohaddressed the issue of racial harmony openly and he is right to do so - this is not an issue that can be swept under the carpet.

The reality for us in Singapore is that racial harmony must not be taken for granted.

The influx of many Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, and Myanmar nationals have helped Singapore to continue to be a strong and vibrant country.

But it could also change the dynamics of inter-racial relations in our country.

So, there must be checks to ensure that foreigners coming to Singapore adopt Singapore's culture and not interfere with local customs and practices.

Some time ago, some foreign nationals were unhappy with their Singapore Indian neighbours cooking curry and complained about it.

Singaporeans of all races rallied together and sent a strong signal to these foreigners who complained.

Other than foreigners coming to Singapore, another big influence is China and its growing power.

It would be pragmatic to have closer ties with China, but as rightly pointed out by Mr Goh, we need to be vigilant and sensitive to ensure that racial harmony in Singapore is not affected in the process.

Nadasen Chandra