Malay/Muslims mark jubilee with SG50Kita events

The Singapore 50 (SG50) logo. It represents the little red dot (Singapore) that we have come to know as home. It celebrates the Singapore spirit - signifying that our dreams are not limited by the physical size of our island nation.

The Malay/Muslim community will spearhead a series of programmes called SG50Kita to get Malays and Muslims involved in Singapore's 50th anniversary celebrations while also reaching out to other communities.

"Kita" in Malay means "us", and is notably the second word of the Singapore national anthem, Majulah Singapura.

Among the upcoming activities is Kita X, a four-month programme starting in March, in which around 100 young people will be tasked with developing solutions to the problems of the country 50 years in the future.

The youth, aged between 18 and 30, will come up with ideas in areas such as science and technology, religion and spirituality, and media and art.

The five best solutions will earn their groups about $5,000 in funding, and may even be pitched to policymaking bodies.

SG50Kita will also be raising funds for the Yusof Ishak Professorship in Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore.

The committee has already raised nearly $559,000 in this effort, and aims to raise $6 million - including a matching grant from the Government - by the end of the year.

Various Malay/Muslim organisations will participate in community service projects for a week in June. These include an islandwide distribution of bubur, a porridge given out during Ramadan, from mosques, as well as the creation of a clay wall mural at the Malay Heritage Centre.

SG50Kita's website says it is an independent committee "formed to spearhead and coordinate the Malay/Muslim community's efforts in celebration of Singapore's 50th anniversary".

Its 18 members are men and women from different industries in the public and private sectors.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said he welcomed the SG50Kita efforts. "I think the word 'kita' is very useful as it shows inclusiveness, not just with the Malay/Muslim community but with the wider community of Singapore," he said.

Dr Yaacob, who is also Communications and Information Minister, added: "But it is an effort spearheaded by the Malay/Muslim community here, and we should be proud of that."

This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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