The danger of racial riots
In LKY’s book on Hard Truths, he touched on the dangers of racial riots and the Muslim community’s ability to integrate with other communities. These have touched on raw nerves and attracting several replies from across the causeway and from our Malay Community. In cyberspace, Solo bear is putting his views on his interpretation of the issue of race and riots. It is healthy if this issue can be discussed in a rational manner, even in the main stream media, without provoking racial tension and worst, a racial riot. I hope the parties involved could go on discussing for as long as they like and keeping an even keel. Not discussing it openly does not mean that there is no problem. However, discussing them does not mean that the problem can be discussed away. Race and religion are divisive by nature, with each have their own characteristics and beliefs that would want it to be different from others. Some would not want to be compromised by others or worst, insisted that others must be like them. Believing or claiming that race and religion are for harmony and peaceful coexistence is self deception. The seed of division is in every race and religion. It is a me against you kind of mentality. There will be no end to the troubles that can be caused by such divisions in race and religion. They will not go away. LKY is talking about racial riots. Solo bear is talking about riots, any kind of riots. Solo bear takes it that the Malays are somehow identified as the cause of riots but actually the Chinese were involved in most of the riots in Singapore. He quoted the Maria Hertogh riot, the National Service riot, Hock Lee Bus riot, the Chinese student riot, the 1964 and 1969 riots. Of the 6 quoted, 3 were racial riots and 3 were political. The Hock Lee and Chinese student riots were rooted in anti colonial movements. In the absence of colonial masters, they are unlikely to happen again. But anti govt riots could still be possible. What would not go away is the pugnacious racial riot. This is so sensitive and so easily instigated that a fight between two neighbours could ignite into a racial riot if the race element is played up. Even a fight between two commuters in a train can be turned into a racial riot if the flame of race is fanned. We live in a multi racial society and the three major racial groups have a significant presence. At any one time there could be a significant presence of any one of these groups in a location engaging in occupational, cultural or religious activities. Without a forceful govt intervention to ensure peaceful coexistence, the potential for racial dispute is really very high. All races must always bear in mind that avoiding racial dispute or preventing any dispute from becoming racial is vital to the well being of everyone here. What happened in the past, pointing at any one group will only incite anger. No one, even if guilty of racial trespassing, will want to admit guilt of wrong doings. Everyone can judge from the records of history and form his own private and personable opinion and let it stay there. It is pointless to say who was at fault as the guilty party would come up with hundred and one reasons to deflect its action. What is important is to know that racial riots can happen today or tomorrow. Everyone needs to be exceptionally sensitive to avoid such a scenario at all cost.