Chapter 5 Challenges to Racial Harmony
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Chapter 5 Challenges to Racial Harmony

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Chapter 5 Challenges to Racial Harmony Chapter 5 Challenges to Racial Harmony Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 5 Bonding Singapore
  • A pie chart showing Singapore's population composition
  • A pie chart showing the different religious groups in Singapore
  • A comment by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the importance of maintaining harmony in Singapore, 2006 We are a multi-racial society; we must respect one another’s religions. We must not deliberately insult or violate what others hold sacred…People say where is freedom of expression? We say maintaining harmony, peace – that’s the first requirement.
  • Challenges faced by multi-ethnic society (Singapore) Managing perceptions of different RACIAL groups Managing perceptions of different RELIGIOUS groups Managing threats from EXTERNAL forces (terrorism) EXTERNAL factor INTERNAL factor INTERNAL factor
  • 1. Managing perceptions of different racial groups
    • Case study: 1964 Racial Riots
    • Factors:
      • Different political approaches of S’pore and KL
      • Irresponsible media reporting
  • A photo taken from an elevated position of the racial riot that took place in Singapore on Prophet Muhammad's birthday as a result of increasing racial tension.
  • Causes of 1964 Race Riots
    • (Identify factor) Different political approaches:
    • (Describe factor)
      • 1964: PAP participated in Federal Elections in M’sia
      • UMNO (representing Malays in M’sia): felt threatened by PAP
    • (Explanation): UMNO felt that Singapore PAP was trying to interfere with the affairs of Malaya, resulting in feelings of distrust among the two parties
  • Causes of 1964 Race Riots
    • (Identify factor) Different political approaches:
    • (Describe factor) PAP used:
      • Non-communal approach
      • Argued for a M’sia with equal rights for everyone
      • Not one single race should have special privileges
    • UMNO used:
      • Communal approach
      • Special privileges for Malays as they were the native population
    • (Explanation): Clashes inevitable
  • Causes of 1964 Race Riots
    • (Identify factor) Irresponsible media reporting:
    • (Describe factor) Anti-PAP campaign by UMNO highlighted:
      • Poverty of Malays in Sg
      • Resettlement & redevelopment projects as being anti-Malay; ignored fact that Chinese were also affected
    • (Explanation): Aroused dissatisfaction among the Singapore Malays
  • Causes of 1964 Race Riots
    • (Identify factor) Irresponsible media reporting:
    • (Describe factor) Utusan Melayu’s (a Malaysian newspaper) biased reporting:
      • Actually only 200 out of 2500 affected families were Malay in resettlement proj
      • Who were more affected actually?
    • (Explanation): Caused suspicion, distrust and hostility among Singaporeans
  • Causes of 1964 Race Riots
    • (Identify factor) Irresponsible media reporting:
    • (Describe factor) UMNO’s meeting with Malays had fiery speeches:
      • Portrayed PAP as anti-Malay
    • (Explanation): Malays felt unhappy; suspicious of Chinese
  • Causes of 1964 Race Riots
    • (Identify factor) Irresponsible media reporting:
    • (Describe factor) 1964 Prophet Mhd’s Birthday procession
      • Clash between Chinese policemen and a group of Malay participants of the procession
    • (Explanation): Consequence: Damage to property; loss of 36 lives; curfews to restrict movements of people
  • Damage caused after 1964 race riots
  • Damage caused after 1964 race riots
  • 2. Managing Perceptions of different RELIGIOUS grps
    • Case study: 1950 Maria Hertogh riots
    • 1940s– Dutch couple imprisoned by Japanese placed daughter under the care of a Malay lady, Aminah
    • Maria was raised as a Muslim
    • Married a Malay teacher
    • After WWII, natural parents wanted her back
  • 2. Managing Perceptions of different RELIGIOUS grps
    • Court trial
    • British court decided to award custody to Hertoghs
    • Decided to annul Maria’s marriage to Malay teacher
    • Maria seen in Christian convent
    • Media coverage in various language papers sensationalized the issue—dispute was now between two different religious communities, instead of between just two families
  • Consequences of British court’s decision
    • Muslim community felt that the British legal system disrespected Muslim religious laws
    • It was felt that the British was biased against the Muslims
    • Muslims felt unhappy
    • Anger directed towards Eurasian and British communities
  • Consequences of British court’s decision
    • Consequences of such sentiments:
    • Riot broke out on the day of the verdict
    • 24 hr curfew and Malayan troops called in to control the situation
    • Hostility and distrust among the population
    • Riots resulted in destruction and loss of lives
  • 2. Managing Perceptions of different RELIGIOUS grps
    • Case study: 1950 Maria Hertogh riots
    • Court trial
    • British court decided to award custody to Hertoghs
    • Decided to annul Maria’s marriage to Malay teacher
    • Maria seen in Christian convent
    • Media coverage in various language papers sensationalized the issue
  • Consequences of British court’s decision
    • It was felt that the British were biased against the Muslims
    • Anger towards Eurasian and British communities
    • Riots
    • 24 hr curfew for 2 weeks
    • British and Malayan troops called in
    • Hostility and distrust
  • Consequences of British court’s decision
    • Muslim community felt that the British legal system disrespected Muslim religious laws
    • Muslims felt unhappy
    • Consequences of such sentiments:
    • Destruction
    • Loss of lives
  • A car set on fire during the Maria Hertogh riots in 1950
  • A comment made by Justice Brown, the judge who passed the verdict for the Maria Hertogh case, 25 years after the case
    • “ I had to consider Maria’s welfare in terms of her general well-being in life, not merely for the present but for the future. I also had to consider not only her present wishes but also the possibility of a better life if she returned to her own parents.”
  • 3. Managing threats from external forces
    • E.g. Arrest of Jemaah Islamiyah members in 2001, 2002, 2005
    • It is a militant grp
    • Aims to set up an Islamic state in Asia
    JI was responsible for the bombing of the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta on 5 August 2003, the Bali bombings on 12 October 2002, and an attack against the Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia in August 2000. The Bali attack left more than 200 dead. Attacks on Singapore and other tourist spots in the region were also part of JI’s plan.
  • Aftermath of the Bali Bombing, Oct 2002
  • Memorial monument of the 2002 Bali bombings in Kuta
  • 3. Managing threats from external forces
    • Singapore was targeted. Planned to attack Singapore US embassy; MOE, etc
    • 34 JI members arrested under ISA (Internal Security Act) for their involvement in terrorist activities from 2001-2002
    • In 2005, another member arrested
    • JI activities include: Fund-raising; buying bomb-making materials
  • What would be the consequences of such terrorism acts in SG?
    • Aim to break the social bonds of Singaporeans
    • After the JI arrests, there were some reports of mixed reactions and suspicion among some Singaporeans towards members of the Muslim community
    • Shows that arrest of JI members could cause social cohesion to break up if not handled sensitively
  •