The last few years have seen religious intolerance raise its ugly head in many parts of the world. On many occasions, acts of inter-faith evangelism have been obliterated and the negatives have overshadowed the positives.

To discuss the importance of religious and racial awareness and understanding, and to ensure that all faiths co-exist harmoniously and integrate well into the Singapore and the global community, Young Sikh Association (Singapore) and the Harmony Centre jointly organised a panel discussion on “The Search for Humanity amidst Insanity” on 13 June 2009.

During the session, the three panellists touched on the international, regional and local relevance of peace and harmony. They were Mr Tridivesh Singh, Research Associate, Institute of South Asian Studies; Dr Maznah Mohamad, Visiting Senior Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National university of Singapore; and Mr Eugene Tan, Assistant Professor of Law, School of Law, Singapore Management University. The speakers felt that issues of peace, harmony and integration are important in the context of Singapore which is home to a multi-ethnic society. The end product of the event was to further strengthen the Singapore social fabric.

The event also marked the launch of the book Humanity Amidst Insanity by Guest-of-Honour Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of National Development; and Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC. The book documents some of the positive episodes of compassion and kindness during the partition of the Indian sub-continent. The message of tolerance and humanity is relevant, not only for the sub-continent, but for all regions of the world, especially in the post-9/11 world.

The panel discussion fitted well with Young Sikh Association (Singapore)’s and the Harmony Centre’s efforts to enliven interfaith understanding, enhance mutual appreciation of issues of common concerns and fostering friendships across ethnic groups so that Singaporeans continue to remain engaged with the each other and the global community

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