Multiracialism and faultlines

Singapore's distinctive model for racial harmony is a work in progress, and its people have to be prepared to listen to each other, even if it means uncomfortable discussions on issues such as Chinese privilege or the CMIO model. But the way forward is to find common ground, and avoid a divisive "them vs us" dynamic, says Finance Minister Lawrence Wong. Here is his speech from IPS-RSIS Forum on Race and Racism in Singapore.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong says Singapore did not get to where we are today through confrontation or compulsion. Nor did every community assert its own entitlements, and press its claims against others.

Lately, several worrying incidents have given us pause to consider the state of our racial harmony.

In May, a Chinese man kicked an Indian woman in the chest while uttering racial slurs. Earlier this month, a Chinese man confronted an inter-racial couple, saying they should date within their respective races. In the same month, a Chinese woman was filmed hitting a gong to disrupt her Indian neighbour's prayer ritual.

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