Introduction Situation analysis The reality of multiracialism has meant that the management of tensions has been precisely the management of relations between the ethnic groups that collectively comprise Singapore society. But the recent events have thrown light on the trend of escalating religious and ideological extremism, invigorated by globalization and new technologies. Findings In the recent August 2003, the problem of children being over reliance on their mother tongue and prefer to mingle around with their own racial group has brought about the issue of racism again.
This situation of low level of inter-racial mixing is visible even in school but most has preferred a hands-off approach to such matter. Notably, the idea of racial stereotyping can be seen in some of them who have stated: ‘I like to do group projects with them because we can talk in Malay if we do not understand English. ‘ – Malay pupil ‘I like to play with them because when we talk, we can speak the same language. ‘ – Chinese pupil Quote taken from articles: A teammate?
Pupils pick those of same race. Schools must learn to tackle race issues head on. Concurrent to the above findings will be the Muslim woman’s headscarf (the Tudung) and President B. J Habibie (Indonesia) whom he accused Singapore for being a “real racists” country for not having Malays in the military force. (Article: Singapore quickly denies an assertion of ‘Racism’) Goals and objectives Overall, Singapore has to meet the above challenges and get herself prepare for the years ahead.
She has to move on from asserting the needs for racial tolerance to actively championing the value of diversity and to create a platform for challenging people’s personal attitudes to racism and make it their personal responsibility. The foundation of commonality must be strong and that Singapore society is based on secularism, meritocracy, opportunities and social justice. It is a place of different races, religions and backgrounds whereby they have the freedom to express their heritage and beliefs while understanding and respecting those of others. Target audiences
The target audiences will be identified as: The general public Politicians and ‘influencers’ The media Creative Work Plan Ethnic relations are always diverse, complex and dynamic. In order to keep this ethnic relations and multicultural country in peace is an on-going process. Re-examining and improving ethnic relations in various domains such as politics and state management, education, work, national service, social services, media representation and sense of belonging are some areas in which ethnic relations are played out in important and critical ways.
With the rapid globalizing world and changing expectations of various segments of its population, it is time to shape up the visions and ideals of Singaporean multiracial and multicultural society that is being equal and fair but in order to improve, all need to put in concerted effort that is to play role models and take initiative within and across ethnic representation. Evaluation and findings.
According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies in 1990 we can see a positive improvement among the ethnic relations in Singapore though some attention still need to be focus on our younger generation to encourage them on cross-cultural exchange. Here is the output of the evaluation and findings in the form of SWOT analysis: Strengths Singaporeans has proved to be a strong multi-racial society despite those slight issues raise within the ethnic groups. The recent SARS crisis has shown the world that we are united and are able to fight against any destruction even if there are any differences in race.
With this strong national identity, these four ethnic groups are ready to protect this nation. Table 1 “I think of myself as Singaporean than what race I am”1 I think of myself more as Singaporean than what race I am All (%) Chinese Malay Indian Agree 78 77 76 80 Neither 15 16 15 15 Disagree 7 7 9 4 Several institutions have been built up to promote multi-racialism and national identity building process: The Housing Development Board integration policy introduced to ensure a balance mix of various ethnic groups in HDB estates and the effectiveness of this has gradually proved to be successful.
(Refer to NUS Housing Research) Self-help groups such as SINDA (for the Indians), CDAC (for the Chinese), Mendaki (for the Malays) and Eurasian Association (for the Eurasian) have been established so as to address some of the social problems by the different racial groups and to maintain an environment of ethnic harmony and tolerance. One important role played by these self help groups will be to look after their respective communities, to outreach and communicate to the individuals and in this way it is able to reinforce racial segregation.
Table 2 Ethnic Quotas and Self-Help Groups2 Agree: All Chinese Malay Indian The ethnic quotas in public housing estates promote racial harmony. 76 75 84 79 It is a good policy to use ethnic self-help groups to assist racial groups that are not doing well 76 75 85 77 Weaknesses According to a survey done by the National Institute of Education3 it has shown that children prefers to be with someone of their own race and this proved that not much attention have been paid on the current programmes and activities to cultivate and influence the young children and youths.
School and parents are the main influencer among the young and community development personnel too is able participant to strengthen cultural awareness among these ethnic groups. Some examples: School educators such as teachers and principals need cultural sensitivity and competence to educate and relate to students of diverse backgrounds. The current composition of students in some school does not provide conditions that are conducive for diverse cultural-exchange. Parents need cultural knowledge and competence to raise their children in an increasingly multicultural world.