Developing common space

Events and programmes organized by grassroots organizations

Grassroots organizations such as People’s Association (PA) create common space through their wide range of programmes and activities to cater to the needs and interests of every Singaporean. An example is a home visit with a host family. By doing this, it allows participants to gain a better understanding of the cultures and customs of other races. Thus, with mutual respect, strong friendship can be built over time.

Opportunities offered by educational institutions

Opportunities offered by educational institutions are open to every Singaporeans, regardless of race or religion as students of different races and religions study together. Daily interaction among students during lessons and school activities provides an opportunity for friendship to be cultivated and strengthened. The Implementation of CCAs in schools also helps to promote closer bonds among youths from all races. The different varieties offered during CCAs provide opportunities for students to work closely with people of different races and understand one another. During this, students come together to play games and work on a task, creating a sense of teamwork among them. This also helps students to learn to appreciate one another’s talents and respect each other.

Common living space provided by public housing

Before 1989, too many people from the same racial group living in the same house estate, hindering social bonding among people from different races. However, in 1989, the Ethnic Integration Policy was introduced that puts a limit on the proportion of races in every neighborhood and block to ensure that there is an even distribution of the different races in all the housing estates as living together in the same neighborhood provides opportunities for people from different ethnic groups to interact.

Activities conducted by inter-racial confidence circles (IRCCs) and Harmony Circles (HCs)

These activities were introduced in January 2002 to provide common space and foster greater inter-racial understanding. Activities carried out by the IRCCs, such as visits to places of worship, create opportunities for Singaporeans to appreciate their differences and develop strong bonds among different ethnic and religious communities. These helps build confidence and friendship among people.

Shared experience through national service

National Service (NS) was introduced in 1967 which requires all men to serve in the defence of the country. After serving NS, people shared experiences with their families about friendships and hardships faced during their training. An example is going through military training during national service together with people from all different ethnics. Thus, this helps strengthen the bond among the men.