Mitigate rifts before they worsen

SINGAPORE - Last Sunday's commentary ("Watch out for emerging faultlines") discussed an issue pertinent to Singapore society - the emerging faultlines we have to be wary of.

Ideological and regional rifts were cited as two emerging rifts. Indeed, we have to pay attention to them.

Ideological rifts arise because of differing views; what one person deems acceptable may be unacceptable to another party.

Regional rifts describe the differences in socio-economic status and attitudes of people living in different parts of the island.

These divides may develop into recognised rifts over time if they are not well handled.

For instance, a few isolated cases of dissent may become an issue that threatens peace and stability should they not be managed properly.

Rather than letting these divides develop into recognised rifts and then taking action only at that stage, the Government should anticipate problems and prevent them from worsening. While established rifts such as race may be effectively tackled, ongoing efforts to prevent them should continue.

It is necessary for racial harmony to be inculcated in our people from a young age.

It is imperative that we treat matters that threaten our social fabric seriously as they can ignite strong feelings.

There is a need to mitigate rifts before dire social and economic consequences result.

This article was published on April 13 in The Straits Times.

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