Halimah Yacob calls for racial, religious unity; says it's Singapore's strength

Halimah Yacob
Halimah Yacob Facebook/Halimah Yacob

Amidst increasing racial and religious tensions across the world, Singapore has taken up a unique way to tackle such problems and prevent them from negatively impacting the city-state. According to President Halimah Yacob, it is the willingness of the countrymen to embrace the diversity of ethnicities and faiths

The leader said on Saturday that Singapore doesn't need to shy away from discussing racial and religious issues rather talks on such sensitive issues will help in the better understanding of different perspectives.

The first female president of the country was speaking at the inaugural National Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) Convention in the Suntec Convention Centre.

The president has also urged Singaporeans of all race and religion to reach out to each other and forge a spirit of mutual respect which can be upheld during crisis periods such as a terrorist attack.

Several platforms such as the Broadening Religious and Racial Interaction through Dialogue and General Education (Bridge) programme have been created to discuss such matters. IRCC has been engaging more than 3,700 Singaporeans, from different walks of life, through community-driven conferences and dialogues.

In 2017, four people were put in jail for being radicalised by terrorist groups' propaganda.

"We will likely see more cases of foreign religious teachers preaching hate, or preachers exhorting followers to stay away from those who do not share the same faith. Extremism, segregation and hate are not exclusive to any one religion or race," she said in her speech, according to the Straits Times.

Not only this, according to the Home Affairs Ministry data, six restriction and five detention orders were issued by the Internal Security Act between 2007 and 2014. However, since 2015, seven restriction and 12 detention orders have been handed out.