One united people - Singapore's never-ending project

A new book examines the quest for racial harmony – can we ‘forget’ our differences as formulated in S. Rajaratnam’s draft of the national pledge?

Multiculturalism is, arguably, the X factor of independent Singapore's admired country brand. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
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"One United People" - the title of a new book of 23 essays on Singapore's racial harmony - deliberately carries quotation marks for two reasons: The phrase is taken from the national pledge; and it acts as a reminder that racial harmony is not a reachable destination, but a never-ending journey, an aspiration that every citizen and resident can contribute to every day.

An earlier draft of the pledge - suggested by then Minister for Culture (and later Deputy Prime Minister) S. Rajaratnam in a letter dated Feb 18, 1966, to then Minister for Education Ong Pang Boon - reads:

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