by Yolanda Chin and Norman Vasu
from the Eurasia Review
In light of several incidents touching on race and religion in recent years, it may be tempting to wonder if Singapore’s multicultural harmony has possibly been strained. Such events included but are not limited to a senior pastor of the Lighthouse Evangelism church making disparaging remarks about Buddhists and Taoists in 2010 and former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew calling into question the desire of Muslims to integrate in Singapore in the book Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going.
In an attempt to more systematically discern if there has been such unease, the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) conducted a study of two questions pertaining to the social fabric of Singapore: (1) Have Singapore’s multicultural ties been resilient between 2007 and 2011? (2) Were Malays, Christians and the Chinese consistently less inclusive than non-Malays, non-Christians and non-Chinese respectively between 2007 and 2011?