Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong last night praised the work of the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles (IRCC).
He also highlighted the importance of racial and religious harmony for the future of Singapore in his speech at the first IRCC Awards Night at the Orchard Hotel.
He said: "The IRCCs have done outstanding work and helped build many networks of trust that unite our people, regardless of race or religion."
"The next 50 years of our Singapore Story will depend on whether we can continue to uphold a harmonious and cohesive society," he said.
"So we must continue to forge ahead, protecting our stability, helping relations between our different communities to flourish.
"I believe we can achieve this by standing together, not just as representatives from different ethnic communities, but standing together as friends and fellow Singaporeans for a united purpose: Believing in a better Singapore for many more years to come."
Initially called the Inter-Racial Confidence Circles, the IRCC was formed in 2002 by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in light of the Sept 11 attacks. It was renamed in 2007 to also promote religious harmony.
The 87 IRCCs, one for each constituency in Singapore, deepen the understanding of the various religions through inter-faith activities like heritage trails, dialogues and religious celebrations.
This article was first published on August 1, 2015. Get The New Paper for more stories.