Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed: Multiculturalism: Time to Take Another Look in the Mirror
Former Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) (26 Aug 2015)

About the Talk

Singapore enjoys a stellar global reputation as a prosperous and harmonious multi-racial, multi-cultural city-state, relatively free from racial tensions and violence.

 

Yet cracks have started to appear beneath our country’s tranquil veneer; warning signs have included, for example, the adverse reactions to the 2013 Population White Paper, xenophobic feelings towards foreign talents and imported labourers, the public debate in the wake of the Little India riot, and an unease over the discovery of ISIS radicalisation right here on our home soil.

 

It is in the midst of this rude awakening, with tensions bubbling under the surface, that Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Singapore’s Ambassador to Kuwait and the Foreign Minister’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, believes we need to start having frank conversations about race, culture and religion -- and if not now, when?

 

Having survived the 1964 racial riots by the skin of his teeth, Mr Zainul knows for a fact that racial harmony cannot be taken for granted. Are there growing issues regarding race, culture and religion that are being swept under the rug in the mainstream?

 

Only by being willing to engage, with the goal of promoting better understanding, can Singapore protect its hard-won and treasured harmony. Mr Zainul advocates a better understanding of policies, practices, local trends and global issues so that Singaporeans can move forward with greater confidence and trust in one another.

 

Join the former President of MUIS, CEO of Mendaki, Editor of Berita Harian and Associate Editor of The Straits Times as he questions the meaning of multiculturalism and religious diversity, Singapore’s approach towards such issues, whether complacency has set in, and the risks we all face.

 

U@live Speaker Series are moderated by Mr Viswa Sadasivan, Chairman of the U@live Organising Committee and Member of the NUS Alumni Advisory Board.

Tags:

politics Singapore multicultural multi-racial multiracial Ualive ambassador policies multi-cultural
Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed Speaker for Aug 26
Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed
Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed
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