SINGAPORE: “Regardless of race, language or religion” – we affirm our collective aspiration for Singapore every time we recite the national pledge. More than 55 years after the pledge was rolled out, how far have we come?
A series of high-profile racist incidents in 2021 shook Singapore, including a former lecturer making racist remarks to an interracial couple and a man charged over a racially aggravated attack against a 55-year-old Singaporean Indian woman.
We aren’t the only ones struck by the gap between our aspiration and lived reality. These incidents put minority experiences in the workplace, on the rental market and other parts of daily life back into the spotlight and renewed public discussion.
Still, we think there is reason to believe our society isn’t that far from making “regardless of race” a lived reality for all in Singapore.
About half of respondents believe there is no longer racial discrimination in Singapore or that this can be achieved within the next 10 years, according to data from the recently concluded 2021 CNA-IPS Survey on Race Relations. Crucially, this view was consistent across Chinese, Malay and Indian respondents.
Where racial discrimination can take on myriad forms and be felt in everyday aspects of our lives, it’s worth taking a closer look at where we’ve made progress (or not) since 2016, when this survey was first conducted.
POSITIVE SIGNS WE’RE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Significantly, more people have become accepting of other races in various roles in the private and public spheres, such as a new family member, a business partner or positions of public office.
Source: Channel News Asia