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23 Sep 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 214
Promote multi-racialism with positive measures

Lee HL is receiving a World Statements Award for fostering a society that embraces multiculturalism.

I agree that we do not have racial and ethnic tensions. That is a positive aspect of Singapore.

However, this outcome is the product of negative measures, such as:

a) Maintenance of religious harmony act
b) Laws that make it illegal to hold cause-related events without a valid licence from the authorities, even if it is one person holding a placard
c) POFMA (protection from online falsehood and manipulation act

In this respect, we are no better than outright authoritarian regimes.

It is better to achieve the multiculturalism in a positive way, such as genuine respect for the language, race and religion of other communities living in Singapore.

Some of the minorities in Singapore feel that they are being discriminated, but they do not have the chance to voice their views. Their only option is to emigrate.

Recently, I had to delete a post from a person who complained about the discrimination of the Tamil language. I found that he was too offensive in expressing his resentment.

On my part, I make some effort to promote the use of the Malay language. I find it to be a charming language. It is also very useful when I visit Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sorry, I do not have the ability to do the same with the Tamil language.

I hope that we can move to promote multi-racialism in a positive manner.

Tan Kin Lian

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