Singapore's harmony cannot be taken for granted: President Halimah

President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee serve porridge to beneficiaries during a Ramadan charity iftar on May 26, 2018.
President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee serve porridge to beneficiaries during a Ramadan charity iftar on May 26, 2018.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - Singapore's harmony cannot be taken for granted, said President Halimah Yacob on Saturday (May 26).

Speaking at a Ramadan charity iftar (breaking of the fast) organised by Berita Harian, Madam Halimah noted the event was attended by people of various religions and said this was not an uncommon occurrence in Singapore.

"It is common to find people of different faiths breaking fast together as part of community-organised activities," she said.

"This not only develops stronger bonds between the different communities but also promotes a greater understanding of Islam as a religion that is benevolent and compassionate."

But interfaith cohesion here can be enhanced even further, she said.

She reiterated her call, made on Wednesday (May 23), for an international interfaith dialogue on the level of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue to be held here.

Such an event would complement the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in strengthening Singapore's security, she said.

Held at Wisma Geylang Serai - the new Malay-Muslim social, cultural and heritage hub opened earlier this month - the iftar was attended by more than 150 beneficiaries of various races and religions.

The event also saw Berita Harian, the Malay language daily of Singapore Press Holdings, raise $30,000 for the President's Challenge, of which $20,000 was donated by property and logistics solutions firm MES Group.


President Halimah Yacob (second from right) receives a cheque from Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung (right), Berita Harian editor Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman (second from left) and editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media group Warren Fernandez (left). ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

"Ramadan is a time when Muslims enliven the spirit of compassion and mercy. As a partner to the community, Berita Harian is also playing our role to spread the joy of Ramadan," said Berita Harian editor Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman.

"We are humbled to help the less fortunate among us with this simple gathering to iftar together, as well as strengthen old friendships and make new ones."