SINGAPORE - Multiracial and multireligious harmony is the bedrock of Singapore's progress and success, and it is crucial for Singaporeans to uphold this, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said on Friday (June 16).
"We cannot take multiracial peace for granted. We just had a spate of terrorist attacks around the world, and even in Singapore, we just had the detention of the first female radical," he said.
"All of this shows that there is a big challenge for us in order to maintain our multiracial, multireligious harmony, and we have to continue to work at at it in order to promote understanding."
Dr Tan was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his first visit to the recently opened Masjid Yusof Ishak at Woodlands, where he joined about 400 congregants for an iftar (breaking of fast) session.
He noted that the iftar event was "special" for him, as it is held in the mosque named after Singapore's first president.
"He is a strong promoter of multiculturalism and multiracial understanding. I think all of us can be inspired by his example. He embodied it and did a lot during his term of office to bring all the different races and faiths together," said Dr Tan.
He added that the mosque has continued this tradition by reaching out to other communities as well.
Earlier, Dr Tan met with members of the Mosque Management Board and toured a heritage gallery highlighting the late president Softy Ishak's legacy.
He also stopped by a picture gallery that chronicles the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation and its projects.
Dr Tan was accompanied by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, widow of the late president Yusof Ishak, Puan Noor Aishah and Member of Parliament (Sembawang GRC), Mr Vikram Nair.