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State measures have fostered racial harmony in Singapore Discuss policies used to foster racial harmony and discourage intolerance.

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Introduction

´╗┐Racial harmony is commonly known basic pillar in building a nation. As the Singapore has a rich and diverse society where individuals from a wide range of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds cohabit and interact with each other with little trouble. The history of ethnic and religious tensions still cast a long and dark shadow on the social and political life in Singapore. In Singapore, many measures are done to foster racial harmony and discourage intolerance, such as, Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP), Internal Security Act (ISA), Internal Security Department (ISD) and the bilingual policy. ?State measures have fostered racial harmony in Singapore?, out of the measures, not all have helped to foster racial harmony. Today, eight out of ten Singaporeans live in Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates. To get the major races mingling and to pre-empt polarized racial enclaves, the HDB?s Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) was introduced in 1989. The EIP implemented by Singapore is to developing common spaces, where all the races come together. Under the EIP, the Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians in Singapore will each have a representative quota of homes for them in a housing block or neighborhood. Once that limit has been reached, no further sale of HDB flats to that ethnic group will be allowed. ...read more.

Middle

English is used as a language linking the different ethnic groups. As English is a non-native language for all the ethnic groups, no one has an advantage over others. With the use of English as a form of communication between all the races, it can lessen conflicts due to misunderstandings, because of the different language spoken. An example is if people of different races in a misunderstanding and they speak different in languages, they will not understand each other, further provoking the hostility between them. National identity is the person's identity and sense of belonging to one state or to one nation, a feeling one shares with a group of people, regardless of one's citizenship status. National identity is not inborn trait; various studies have shown that a person's national identity is a direct result of the presence of elements from the "common points" in people's daily lives. In this case, the similar language used for communication can count as a national identity, bringing the people of the nation, regardless of race closer together through this national identity. A strong national identity is needed to withstand the divisive impact of globalization. Chinese, Malays, Indian and Eurasians can use English as the common vehicle for communication and enter each other?s worlds to understand and appreciate one another. ...read more.

Conclusion

Chia Thye Poh was detained from 1968 to 1998, before finally being nullified of all restrictions, after being found innocent. This would question the human rights given by the ISA. ISA must be present to prevent potential terror attacks, however if the ISA confines the innocent, it would lead to much discord, to disastrous consequences and the worsening of the situation, instead of fostering racial harmony, it would deter it. Not all state measures implemented by the government are successful in fostering racial harmony. While some policies like the bilingualism policy are created to ensure a form of communication within the different races and a national identity, or like the EIP whose effectiveness would be dependent on the citizens? cooperation to seize the opportunities to bond with one another. There are also some policies which may not produce the desired effect if carried out wrongly, causing more controversies and racial tensions such as the ISA. Singapore state measures as a whole is indeed useful in fostering racial harmony helping to relieve racial tensions through bonding. The statement ?State measures have fostered racial harmony in Singapore? is valid to a certain extent as some measures do not work as well as the other on their own. However, as a system of measures, it cannot be denied that state measures have helped to foster racial harmony in Singapore. ...read more.

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