What was once a wasteland has transformed into a first-world city with majestic skyscrapers and prospering economy, and a rich culinary landscape shaped by the multi racial and religious groups residing here. Today, we will be looking at some significant events that took place since the colonial era and Remember The Years of Nation Building.
In this interview in the forthcoming issue of Urban Solutions, the biannual magazine from the Centre for Liveable Cities, he reflects on the limits of Singapore's social harmony. He advocates rebooting nation-building efforts to address the inevitable tensions of increasing diversity.
Q What key principles have guided Singapore's approach to living with diversity? A Singapore enjoys a level of racial harmony that many observers describe as exceptional. Without detracting any significance from this achievement, I think it is useful to locate this observation against both historical and living contexts.
Singapore's commitment to being a nation that belongs to all Singaporeans regardless of ethnicity is a product of political ideology, choice and circumstance in history. From the outset, the concept of a multi-ethnic nation of citizens with equal citizenship rights has been a cornerstone of the national ideology.
Indeed, one may argue that this fundamental difference between Singapore and Malaysia made separation into two nation states inevitable. Generally speaking, in the first two decades of independence, nation building was prioritised.
Initiatives such as communal engagement, mass campaigns, national service, and overarching symbols of unity and national values, such as the pledge, weaved a common ideological fabric across diverse identities.
English was chosen as the common language of administration and meritocracy was enshrined as the organising principle in determining the advancement of citizens. Singapore's governance framework was centred on a secular state, which offered protection through the rule of law to all citizens.
Tough laws were applied robustly against those who threatened communal peace. On matters of well-being, however, the state was prepared to provide special support to the minorities, like the creation of statutory bodies and special provisions in the Constitution.
This reflected a pragmatic appreciation of the difficulties of the minorities to otherwise compete against the dominance of the Chinese majority. What our history tells us is that we did not arrive at this state of ethnic harmony without conscious design, perseverance and effort.
Central to that effort is the creation and development of a national identity called the Singapore citizen and the development of a governance framework that has maintained ethnic peace by cultivating public acceptance and trust.
In the last three decades, with political stability and order, our priorities on nation building seemed to have taken a back seat. Racial and religious harmony continued to be prioritised - but discretely and not as an integral aspect or part of a larger purposive nation-building enterprise.
Q Where has Singapore done well and which area needs more work? A If you measure communal harmony by the number of inter-ethnic conflicts, then you could say we have succeeded. Our justice system has played a crucial role. Surveys on public confidence in government institutions typically find the police and courts at the top of the list.
Confidence in the integrity, impartiality and professionalism of our law enforcement agencies and judiciary is very high.
|Nation-building in Singapore | caokimsang||Over that hard time, countries started to build up roads, construct infrastructure under the control of governments to re-establish the countries. Despite from the visible construction, there are many ideologies and perceptions created the national values have been built up to bridge the connection between citizens as well as between citizen and the state.|
If the ideal of a multi-ethnic Singapore citizenry is to remain a cornerstone of the national ideology, Singapore needs to promote it as an integral part of nation building, of a unitary national identity based on citizenship, says Mr Benny Lim. Instead, what usually happen are calls to the police by both parties or an observer and, regardless of the ethnicity of the police officer who arrives, there is trust and confidence in his intervention.
This restraint rests on both the effectiveness of the deterrence in strict laws against violence, especially race-based violence, and the trust in the authorities to dispense justice fairly.
Over time, the ideal and the value of ethnic harmony have come to be accepted and supported by most citizens. Polls consistently confirm this consensus. However, I wonder if what undergirds this consensus is not radically different from why Singaporeans value the safe and secure low-crime environment we have.
Peace, safety, order and the danger of ethnic fault lines sparking tension and conflict are well appreciated by Singaporeans. If this is so, and our ethnic harmony rests mainly at this level of consensus alone, and is not anchored by deep personal bonds of trust, mutual understanding and by a strong national identity, then we need perhaps to think about the strength and resilience of this ethnic harmony and reflect on its limits.
The Housing Board estate.
Consider a term permanent residency PR scheme.May 05, · Nation-building in Singapore In s, many countries in South East Asian countries were colonized by Western countries.
Over that hard time, countries started to build up roads, construct infrastructure under the control of governments to re-establish the countries. SINGAPORE — A strategic shift in the approach to nation-building, from the “tough love” approach of low and targeted State welfare to one where the community and Government do more to support individuals, was announced by Prime Minister Lee .
May 05, · Nation-building in Singapore In s, many countries in South East Asian countries were colonized by Western countries. Over that hard time, countries started to build up roads, construct infrastructure under the control of governments to re-establish the countries. If your organization uses OpenAthens, you can log in using your OpenAthens username and password.
To check if your institution is supported, please see this list. Contact your library for more details. A view of Singapore's financial district skyline. Roslan Rahman / AFP / Getty Images A view of Singapore's financial district skyline. Roslan Rahman / AFP / Getty Images Nation building lessons from Singapore Singapore is, for the first time, without the guidance of .
Singapore's commitment to being a nation that belongs to all Singaporeans regardless of ethnicity is a product of political ideology, choice and circumstance in history.