Social Studies

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How far do you agree that the main factor in creating social harmony in Singapore has been public housing policy? EYA. (O-Level, 2009)

The public housing policy is one of the factors in creating social harmony in Singapore. However there are 2 other factors such as opportunities offered by educational institutions and events and programs organized by grassroots organisations that contribute to the social harmony in Singapore.

The public housing policy has helped Singapore in creating social harmony because in a multi-ethnic society like Singapore, if there is lack of understanding among the racial groups, it can lead to suspicion and unhappiness among the people, which may lead to outbreaks of violence among racial groups. If too many people of the same racial group live in the same housing estate, they might not accept someone of a different racial group living in their estate and cause conflict. In 1989, when the ethnic integration policy was introduced and put a limit on the proportion of races in every neighborhood and block, it ensured that there was even distribution of different races in all the housing estates and minimized misunderstanding and conflict among the racial groups. Living together in the same neighborhood or block provides opportunities for people from different ethnic groups to interact thus increasing mutual respect and understanding between the races. This brings racial harmony and thus, the public housing contributes in the maintenance of social harmony in Singapore.

Another factor in creating social harmony in Singapore is opportunities offered by educational institutions. Educational institutions such as schools and tertiary institutions are open to every Singaporean, regardless of race or religion. Students from different races and backgrounds study together and this allows students to interact with each other and allows friendships between different races to develop and strengthen. The implementation of Co-Curricular...
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