Singapore

Singapore's racial harmony should be celebrated: Halimah

A wushu group and a silat group performed together on stage at a cultural event in Eunos attended by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob last night.

The wushu performance was by the Wudang Sheng Hong Health Preservation Centre from the nearby Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple.

The silat performance was by the Si Rumpun Padi group from the Alkaff Kampung Melayu Mosque.

Such racial harmony would be unthinkable in some other countries and should be celebrated, Madam Halimah said at the event organised by the People's Association grassroots groups in Aljunied GRC.

Madam Halimah did not speak to reporters yesterday, but she had said the previous Sunday that she was mulling over whether to contest the September presidential election, which is reserved for Malay candidates.

Last night, Eunos grassroots adviser Chua Eng Leong referred to her comments in his opening remarks, saying to laughter: "We hope that maybe after September, you will drop by once in a while."

The event, held two days after Racial Harmony Day, included a Malay dance performance by pupils from Telok Kurau Primary School, and a fashion show where residents modelled ethnic attire.

Speaking to the 1,000 residents present, Madam Halimah said racial harmony must never be taken for granted and that Singaporeans must preserve it.

She encouraged residents to focus on their similarities, such as a love of food, instead of their differences, and on shared core values.

Parents should transmit the values of racial harmony to their children, she said.

"What do we tell our children about respecting other races, religions? It's a conversation we need to have with our young."

- THE STRAITS TIMES

Halimah YacobRace & Religionpresident