Elective Social Studies

Chapter 5 (Bonding Singapore)

Challenges faced by Multi – Ethnic Societies
Managing Members of a particular racial group may see actions taken by another racial to be Perceptions damaging to them and this will lead to anger, suspicion, hatred and conflict. An example of this was the racial riots of 1964. In wanting to win the support and votes of of Different the Malays in Singapore, UMNO leaders make use of the resettlement plans to make the Racial Malays believe that they were being discriminated and chased out of their traditional homes Groups by the PAP which consisted of mainly Chinese. This resulted in a racial riot in 1964. As a result of the racial riots, there were deaths and destruction to property, social tension, fear and suspicion between the two racial groups. The government had to take steps to explain the misconception and bring about understanding between the two groups in order to restore harmony in society. Managing This can be a threat to Singapore as they affect Perceptions social cohesion in a multi-ethnic society and this could lead to conflict if these perceptions are of Different not managed well. Members of a particular religious group may see Religious the actions taken by another group to be disrespectful and insulting to their religion. When Groups this perception is not managed and is allowed to continue, unhappiness and anger may occur leading to violence taken out against the group that is perceived to be insulting or disrespectful. An example of this is the Maria Hertogh Riots in 1950. When the court did not give custody of Maria to her Muslim foster parent Aminah, the Muslim community felt that the British legal system did not respect the beliefs of the Muslims and this led to violence against the European community. As a result of this violence, there was loss of deaths and destruction to property, and an atmosphere of fear and tension among the Muslim and European Community.

External Threats

When racial and religious issues are used as reasons for terrorist acts committed globally as well as to create ill-feelings among the different ethnic groups, it can cause fear, tension and suspicion among the people. This could lead to a breakdown of relations among the different ethnic groups in Singapore which might lead to conflict in a multi-ethnic society. This can be seen in the arrests of the JI members in Singapore. These men were ordinary citizens of the country that embarked on terrorist acts that can put Singapore in danger. As these men were from the Malay-Muslim community, the arrests had brought about suspicion among the different ethnic groups in Singapore towards the Malay-Muslim community. In turn, the Malay – Muslim community felt that they had been unfairly targeted and this had also led to unhappiness. This incident had shaken the racial harmony in Singapore and if it had not been properly managed could result in conflict between the different ethnic groups in the country.

Remember, it’s about understanding the concept, not memorizing the chunk of text above!

Elective Social Studies
Chapter 5 (Bonding Singapore)

Bonding Singapore
Developing Common Spaces: They are places where Singaporeans of all races come together. These places provide opportunities for Singaporeans to interact with each other, allowing the different races to know and understand more about each other better, creating a prosperous and harmonious multi-racial society. National All males must enter NS at 18 to help contribute to The different races get to Singapore’s defence interact, communicate and Service

strengthen the bond between Males go through tough military training together them, thus which help strengthen the bond between them Each race will know more In addition, men cultivate a sense of belonging to the about the other races, reducing country though conscription. chances of conflict in future. Opportunitie Schools in Singapore are open to every Singaporean, The daily interaction that takes place between students s offered by regardless of race or religion. In addition, CCAs and Racial Harmony Day is celebrated in schools every year allows friendships between the Education different races to be Institutions allow more forms of interaction between the races. The celebration of Racial Harmony Day highlights the cultivated / strengthened, creating a prosperous and importance and commitment of Singaporeans towards harmonious multi-racial society. religious harmony. Activities conducted during CCAs promote skills like teamwork, allowing students to know and understand each other better. Common Optional: In the past, many people from 1 race often Living together in the same live together, reducing chances for social interaction, neighbourhood allows the Living therefore the government decided to do something different races to interact Spaces about it. together, creating a prosperous Every HDB housing estate now has an ethnic quota toand harmonious multi-racial ensure that there is a distribution of races in all housing society. estates. Rebuttal: It created some difficulties for people who want to buy or sell flats, but the measures had to be put in place to protect racial harmony.

National Identity: The representation of a country as a whole, containing its culture, traditions, language, and politics. (dictionary.com)

Multi Racialism

This policy of multi-racialism As everyone is treated fairly, there is no ensures that every race is treated fairly conflict between each race or religion. with no special rights given to any Everyone is seen as a valued member to particular group. society, and no one is left out, thus a sense of Everyone regardless of race or national identity is created between religion is given equal opportunities to Singaporeans. succeed. As no race is favoured or discriminated Favouring or Discriminating a against another race, thus it allows Singapore to particular race is prohibited by the manage ethnic diversity well due to the lack of Constitution. riots. It refers to the ability to use 2 As every group is expected to know English, languages fluently, and able to no race has an advantage over another race. translate from one to another. The use of English, a common language have Students are expected to learn improved communication between races and English as a primary language for thus reduced misunderstandings between the communication between the different different races, building a sense of national races and Chinese as a secondary identity among the different races. language to pass information about the Therefore, Bilingualism has helped to build a culture and traditions of each race into sense of belonging among Singaporeans and had Singaporeans. played a part in managing ethnic diversity in Singapore. Common practices such as singing Therefore, common practices has helped the national anthem and taking the build a national sense of belonging and managed pledge allow people to identify ethnic diversity in Singapore. themselves as Singaporeans. These practices can help foster national identity. In addition, inculcating loyalty and national pride towards Singapore is one way to get Singaporeans to see themselves as one people, one nation, one Singapore


Common Practices

Safeguarding the Interests of the Minority Groups Minority Groups
This policy gives minority groups a say in government. This ensures that the concerns and needs of the minority groups are made known to the government so that the government can make changes to solve their concerns. The participation of the minority groups in policy making ensures that their views is taken into policy making, simultaneously ensuring that no law passed by Parliament disadvantages a particular group and that is fair and equal to every group. These measures therefore ensure that the minority groups do not feel discriminated, neglected or left out by the government therefore help to safeguard the interests of the minority groups. Like the CDAC and SINDA help the The different groups have worked together less-fortunate members in their on projects like joint tuition provided for all community in terms of studies and job races which provide opportunities for youths to training. interact and get along with each other. The Give moral support to the respective social interaction between them allow everyone to be understand each other better, leading to a races, help Singaporeans cope and prosperous and harmonious multi-racial society! compete on equal footing, which improve their social and economic positions in their society.

Self – Help Groups

Analysis of Measures to Manage Ethnic Diversity

Building / Fostering National Safeguarding the Interest of Developing Common Space Identity Minority Groups Building a national identity is Safeguarding the Interests of Minority Developing Common Space is important as it the most important measure Groups is important as it helps to helps to create opportunities for social that the Singapore government ensure that the voices of the minority cohesion amongst the different ethnic groups. has taken to manage ethnic are heard at government level. This However, developing common space through diversity as it allows people to helps to ensure that the minority educational institutions and NS only focuses see themselves as one. This groups do not feel marginalised. A on students and NS men only while the other helps to create a sense of sense of belonging is created as the methods of developing common space do not belonging to the country, minority groups know that their opinion involve all Singaporeans as they are mostly by knowing that everyone has a and rights matter in the country. choice. Developing Common Space is only part to play in the country. A However, this measure only effective if all Singaporeans actively make strong national identity is also concerns the minority groups. If use of the common space to interact with needed to withstand the divisive national identity is built up and fostered other ethnic groups and promote bonding and impact of globalization. and all Singaporeans are one, ethnic social cohesion. diversity will not need to be managed.

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