The year 2013 was, in many ways, a year of vulnerability ("A year of rude awakenings"; last Sunday).
But it was also the year in which the community's resilience and compassion shone through.
The extent and duration of the haze were unexpected but Singaporeans adjusted and maintained normalcy as much as they could.
Singaporeans also chipped in to help those who needed it. Undergraduate Jeremy Chua set up an online platform to pair up those who needed air-conditioned accommodation with those who could provide it. Many Singaporeans helped out in the distribution of face masks to the poor and aged.
Increased attention was paid to the plight of the underprivileged in Singapore. Caritas Singapore launched a campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
There was passionate debate, too, about whether establishing a poverty line would help improve the lives of the less well-off.
The riot in Little India was a jolt to the Singaporean psyche. In the aftermath, some quarters in the online world were awash with incendiary comments and baseless speculations. But there were also responsible netizens who roundly denounced their comments.
Some Singaporeans who heard the tragic story of Mr Sakthivel Kumaravelu, the foreign worker who was killed in the bus accident which preceded the riot, raised funds to help his grieving family.
Muthhukumar Palaniyapan, Reader
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