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Bonding Singapore Challenges of a multi-ethnic society Bonding Singapore Challenges of a multi-ethnic society

Challenges • 3. 1 Managing perceptions of different racial groups • 3. 2 Managing Challenges • 3. 1 Managing perceptions of different racial groups • 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • 3. 3 Threats from external forces

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Lack of understanding can lead 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Lack of understanding can lead to suspicion and unhappiness. • Singapore experienced racial riots in 1964 • 36 died, 560 injured

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Different political approaches between Kuala 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Different political approaches between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore caused a strain • Relations worsened when PAP participated in Malaysia’s Federal Election • PAP called for a non-communal approach • Malays in UMNO felt threatened

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Anti-PAP campaign organised by some 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Anti-PAP campaign organised by some UMNO leaders • Poverty of Singapore Malays highlighted • PAP’s resettlement and redevelopment programs portrayed as anti-Malay • UMNO claimed Malays were being uprooted • UMNO wanted to arouse feelings of dissatisfaction among Singapore Malays towards the PAP

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Utusan Melayu (Malay newspaper) was 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Utusan Melayu (Malay newspaper) was used by UMNO to spread the anti-PAP campaign • Paper claimed that 3000 Malay families affected by resettlement • In reality, only 2500 families were affected and only 200 were Malay • Paper highlighted PAP did not care about Malays in Singapore

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • S’pore govt called for a 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • S’pore govt called for a meeting with Malay organisations in July to explain • Before this meeting, UMNO had a meeting with the Malays • Their fiery speeches portrayed PAP as anti -Malay and angered the Malays

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Celebration of Prophet Mohammad’; s 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Celebration of Prophet Mohammad’; s birthday (July 1964) • Clash between Chinese policemen and Malay participants turned into full-blown race riots • Damage to property and loss of lives

3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Efforts made to call for 3. 1 Managing Perceptions of Different Racial Groups • Efforts made to call for calm • Goodwill committees formed • Committee members went from house to spread the message of living peacefully

3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • Differences in religious beliefs can 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • Differences in religious beliefs can be used to create tensions • Maria Hertogh Riots (1950)

3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • 1940 s, a Dutch couple 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • 1940 s, a Dutch couple was captured by the Japanese • Their daughter, Maria Hertogh, was placed with a Malay lady, Aminah • Maria was raised a Muslim and at 13, married a Malay teacher

3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • Maria’s parents demanded the return 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • Maria’s parents demanded the return of their daughter • A court trial followed and the media coverage caused much unhappiness among the Muslim community • The court gave custody to the Hertoghs

3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • The Muslim community felt that 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • The Muslim community felt that the British legal system was unfair towards them • This caused anger towards the European and Eurasian community. • Riots started

3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • The events had wide media 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • The events had wide media coverage • The court’s decision to annul Maria’s marriage and pictures of Maria in a Christian convent were published • These things created unhappiness in the Muslim community

3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • During the riots, there was 3. 2 Managing perceptions of different religious groups • During the riots, there was a 24 hr curfew for 2 weeks • British and Malayan troops, as well as the police were called in to keep the peace • The riots showed that if religious issues are not handled carefully, hostility and distrust can occur.

3. 3 Threats from external forces • Transnational terrorism can test the social bonds 3. 3 Threats from external forces • Transnational terrorism can test the social bonds of Singaporeans • Singapore needs to handle this threat carefully • Singapore experienced the threat of transnational terrorism in 2001 by Jemmah Islamiyah (JI)

3. 3 Threats from external forces • 34 members of JI were arrestedunder the 3. 3 Threats from external forces • 34 members of JI were arrestedunder the Internal Security Act • They raised funds and purchased materials for bombs • They targetted the US embassy and some government buildings

3. 3 Threats from external forces • Another JI member was arrested in April 3. 3 Threats from external forces • Another JI member was arrested in April 2005 • Various political and religious leaders in Singapore called for calm • In a united voice, Muslim leaders condemned the JI group and emphasised that it did not have the support of Muslims