How do we move forward in fostering improved racial and religious relations in Singapore?
Fostering racial and religious harmony in Singapore has been essential in the country since its independence, with the demographics of the country being broadly organised under the CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Others) model of categorization. However, in 2021, several racist incidents captured and posted on social media have garnered significant attention from the public, resulting in dialogues about tackling racial discrimination being held to discuss ways to address the issue.
Our study on racial and religious relations was written in light of this recent flux in racist incidents and dialogues being present. It takes the stance that although current measures to promote racial and religious harmony have been successful, novel solutions must be presented to ensure that Singapore is headed in the right direction when promoting multiculturalism and diversity among its population. Fieldwork, consisting of a survey of the general population, focus group discussions, as well as in depth interviews with experts who have written extensively about the history of race relations in Singapore were conducted for the period of July to September 2021, in order to get a representative understanding of the views of the community.
In this report, we provide in depth examples of the current landscape of race and religious relations in Singapore with data obtained from a representative sample, summarise our recommendations on policy actions to take forward, and emphasise the need to historicise race and religion in Singapore in order to devise solutions for discrimination in the future. The authors and contributors of the report remain open to further discussion, allowing for a more holistic understanding of this issue and the interventions required to alleviate it.3R Study Report.docx