Singapore's demographic diversity was the driving force for the country's founding leaders as they forged a nation. They sought to navigate the many differences in the country's ancestral, social and cultural affiliations even as they embarked on the urgent task of nation-building. A decade into the new century, many of the country's traditional understandings of differences are being challenged, even as new differences, spawned by immigration, new media and globalisation, emerge.
The Singapore Perspectives 2014 conference considered the consequences of both historical and emergent differences, based on the understanding that race, language, religion, economic status, age and countries of origin will continue to shape Singapore's society and economy. The conference proceedings contain contributions from prominent speakers such as Singapore Minister of State for Education Sim Ann, Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Dr Leslie Teo, Professor David Chan and the points of debate on the question whether consensus or contest will underpin Singapore's future from Professors Kishore Mahbubani and Chua Beng Huat.
Contents:Introduction (Mathew Mathews, Christopher Gee, and Chiang Wai Fong)From Differences, Unity:Managing “Multi-” and Regarding “Regardless…” (Kwok Kian Woon)Divergence: The Paradox of Global Convergence (Prakash Kannan, Koh Chau Sean, and Leslie Teo)Living with New Differences:Living with New Differences (Sim Ann)Approaches to Emergent Group Differences (David Chan)Debate:Consensus Rather than Contest will Secure Singapore's Future (Kishore Mahbubani and Chua Beng Huat)Dialogue with the Minister for Education, Heng Swee Keat:Dialogue with the Minister for Education, Heng Swee KeatBackground Paper:The State and Implication of our Differences: Insights from the IPS Survey on Race, Religion and Language (Mathew Mathews)Readership: Students, academics, policy makers and civil society activists, and general public interested in Singapore.Key Features:Discusses the differences arising from Singapore's history, cultures and economy; and how these have been dealt with in the first half-centuryReviews the traditional understanding of differences which are embedded in race, and explores ways to cope with new differences spawned by immigration, new media and globalisationFeatures a debate on the notion that Singapore Perspectives 2014 conference resolves that consensus rather than contest will secure Singapore's future