SINGAPORE - Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has stressed the importance of tolerance, in a Facebook message posted on Wednesday.
Wishing Hindus a happy Deepavali on his Facebook account, Mr Tharman said Singaporeans must do more to keep the country a peaceful place, "place where the flame of human spirit stays alive against the winds of intolerance".
He noted that Deepavali is about the triumph of the human spirit in overcoming "the darkness of ignorance and bigotry", but that the winds are blowing in the opposite direction and more needs to be done.
"We must keep Singapore a place where tolerance is part of everyday life. And more than tolerance: we must be a society founded on open-mindedness, empathy and understanding of each other. Where there is some give and take, so we live easily with each other. Where every kid grows up with friends of other races and religions.
"There is more to be done. So that we remain a peaceful place, a place where the flame of human spirit stays alive against the winds of intolerance," said Mr Tharman.