Quite unsurprisingly, a recent IPS survey on race, religion and language suggested that nationality-based prejudice is on the rise while that between races and religion has remained largely unchanged. About 32.1 per cent of 4131 Singaporeans surveyed felt that prejudice based on nationality has become more widespread now compared to five years ago.
Survey also surfaced how Singaporeans were less relatively comfortable with New Singaporeans born overseas in private (like family) and public settings (like work). It is perhaps a pity the survey did not delve deeper into these perceptions to get at the reasons why such sentiments prevail.
Moving forward, what can be done to better integrate new citizens while maintaining a Singaporean identity? While most felt that the government is responsible for maintaining racial and religious harmony, less than half agreed they have done a good job integrating new immigrants. Is government enforcement the answer then?
What approach is then needed?