As a young nation, Singapore should avoid the mistake of being complacent when it comes to being a harmonious society, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at a fellowship gathering by the Inter Religious Organisation (IRO) on Tuesday evening (May 19).
Singaporeans becoming more aware and concerned about problems in the world is a positive development, as it shows a strengthening of the society, Mr Tharman said.
“We want to keep reminding ourselves that keeping our society resilient and harmonious is continuous work. It’s not about doing things when problems happen, but it’s about strengthening our society upstream, particularly when the kids are young and growing up, and through a whole range of fundamental policies, education, housing, no discrimination at work and of course the good work of our IROs and our Inter-racial and Religious Confidence Circles (IRCCs) throughout the island. That’s really what makes us Singapore,” said Mr Tharman.
The gathering at the Inter Religious Organisation headquarters at Palmer Road was themed “Compassion Across Religions, Around the Region”.
At the event, Mr Tharman also received a S$100,000 donation on behalf of the IRO for quake victims in Nepal. He added that when it comes to emergency relief, Singapore has a range of avenues available for help, such as the Singapore Red Cross, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Ministry of Defence and the private sector.
The S$100,000 donation was from one of the council members of the IRO who wished to remain anonymous.
The IRO will partner Singapore’s Corporate Citizen Foundation, which was in Nepal two days after the devastating earthquake of Apr 25 to support the rescue and relief operations there. The funds will be used to provide shelter to the victims, in particular, the affected children.