Pioneers honoured at harmony event

The pioneer generation of Singapore's seniors was honoured last night at an annual racial and religious harmony dinner.

At the 11th Inter-Racial Inter-Religious Harmony Nite dinner at Marina Bay Sands, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society chairman Lee Kim Siang said that the country's founding fathers and the pioneer generation had worked hard, and that their experience and wisdom made Singapore what it is today.

Pointing to recent reports of war and bloodshed in some countries because of religion, race, language or culture, he said that it was sad to see people suffering from the break-up of families, mass killings, and countries and nations splitting, as well as the hundreds of thousands of refugees from these wars or sectarian fighting.

"Fortunately for Singaporeans, we are lucky, blessed and happy to live in a prosperous and harmonious country which we all call home," he said.

"Every day, we see people of different races, cultures, religions and colours, mixing around, working together and living next to each other as good neighbours."

The dinner for some 2,000 grassroots and religious leaders, as well as members of the public, was organised by the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, together with the Inter-Religious Organisation, the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda), Malay self-help group Mendaki, Chinese Development Assistance Council, Eurasian Association, Chee Hia Kog Moral Society and Chee Hoon Kog Moral Promotion Society.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary were the guests of honour.

Before the vegetarian meal, a prayer was said for the iftar, or breaking of Muslims' fast, and each of the nine religious leaders from the Inter-Religious Organisation led an invocation.

The audience was treated to an array of performances by Orkestra Melayu Singapura, Sinda's Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society, songsters from Yayasan Mendaki, and others.

This article was first published on July 13, 2014.
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