Let’s also work hard for peace


THESE ARE PERILOUS TIMES we are living in. The threat of ugly terrorism is lurking in every corner of the world.

No nation, big or small – not even the superpowers – is spared the wanton and senseless killings by the wily terrorists, supported by their sophisticated networks. And so nations, all the more, must work together to weed out this modern scourge. Not necessarily through the age-old concept of an eye for an eye, because hatred begets hatred, but perhaps even more effectively, through dialogue, education and goodwill. A good number of the leaders behind the terrorist networks are intelligent people – engineers, doctors, university dons, financiers – and nations need to match them, misled as they are, with intelligence and reasoning.

If leaders – government, religious, civic, humanitarian – and others such as scholars and educationists, can win over the hearts and minds of the misguided who have been impregnated with nothing but hatred and false teachings, half the battle would have been won. It would then be so much easier for reconciliation to come about through the passionate teachings and testimonies of the reformed.

Does this sound too simplistic? Perhaps, but this “soft” approach is worth pursuing to help secure world peace as the stakes are very high, given the added problem of belligerent rogue states bent on creating problems for peace-loving nations.

Related to this grave issue is race and religion, especially important for a country like Singapore, which is multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural. People of various races and faiths in Singapore have been living, working and playing together side by side for many years. ere is peace. ere is harmony. There is freedom to practise one’s own faith. And there is common space for all Singaporeans to meet and mix. Let us not take this peace and harmony for granted; rather, let us work hard to preserve it for all time.

In our cover story in this month’s issue, our regular columnist, Dr Roland Chia, reminds us of the great importance of maintaining Singapore’s social fabric and warns of the dangers the Republic faces as it becomes increasingly multi-racial. The headline given to his article is “Regardless of race … ”, a line aptly taken from our National Pledge, also to remind us that irrespective of our race and colour, we are all Singaporean, One People, One Nation.