Humanity Matters (HM), with the support of Temasek Foundation, today launched a new ground-up community initiative – the SG CORE pilot programme, which aims to enhance our Singaporean core imbued with our harmonious multicultural spirit and heritage. Through an interactive programme, SG CORE seeks to foster an understanding of the evolution of Singapore’s multiculturalism amidst past and prevailing challenges affecting our racial and religious harmony, and key elements for fostering social cohesion, confidence and resilience.
Home Affairs and Law Minister, K Shanmugam, officially launched the SG CORE pilot programme at the MND Auditorium and delivered the keynote address (Keynote Address attached). Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Chairman of Humanity Matters, hosted the event and welcomed the 50 guests and participants. Ambassador Ong was joined by leaders of the programme’s institutional partners – Temasek Foundation and the SGSecure Programme Office. Chairman of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony, Justice Chao Hick Tin, was in attendance.
This pilot programme comprises a series of 20 runs, targeting for a start with those from uniformed groups and security-related backgrounds or vocations, including youths (aged 20-35 years), National Servicemen, honorary officers, the Volunteer Special Constabulary, and community policing volunteers.
In his welcome note, Ambassador Ong, shared, “Given the recent and increasing incidences and interests, both locally and globally, relating to ethnic and faith discrimination, polarisation, terrorism, radicalism, extremism and exclusivism, it is important that Singaporeans play a proactive and constructive role to counter external menaces and means that threaten to our multicultural society. Through the SG CORE, Humanity Matters strives to highlight and reiterate the elements that could boost or jeopardise our worldview, attitude and spirit, as individual human beings and as a nation. The programme comprises three focused areas – the evolution and challenges of our social plurality; shared virtues across the faiths which are useful for a peaceful and purposeful co-existence; and the evolving man-made threats that could trouble, terrify or tear our society, especially with the increasing indulgence with the internet and social media.”
The four-hour programme, comprises the following three main segments. It centres on:
a. fostering an appreciation of the evolution of Singapore’s multiculturalism, through the tour of the Harmony in Diversity Gallery (HDG), which allows participants to experience the immersive and engaging platform demonstrating the centrality of religious harmony to Singapore's continued development, as well as the efforts required to build interfaith peace in a religiously diverse society;
b. building an awareness of commonalities and aspirations of a common vision, through the Common Virtues for Common Vision (CVCV) video-forum which elaborates on basic and common virtues (values in action) across all faiths in Singapore useful for actualising a common Vision – One Nation, One Humanity, in the context of interfaith and inter-race dynamics in Singapore; and
c. acquainting participants, via two special and separate forums, to the origins and evolution of external menaces and means that threaten to trouble, terrify or tear our society including terrorism, radicalism, extremism and exclusivism (TREE), namely:
- Seeking The Imam (STI) film-forum, on self, youth and cyber radicalisation against the global backdrop of increasing indulgence in social media; and
- Olive TREE (OT) workshop-forum, on the evolution of regional and global polarisation, discrimination, terrorism, radicalism, extremism and exclusivism.
Mr Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International, said, “Racial and religious harmony is key to economic development and to the enhancing of social resilience in any community. Prior to this pandemic, globalisation and digitalisation have already brought on new challenges in this area. With the pandemic, ongoing vulnerabilities in communities are exacerbated and the emerging challenges have become more difficult to address. Through supporting this programme, Temasek Foundation hopes to provide more opportunities for Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, to have a deeper appreciation of present-day challenges of culture and social cohesion and the need to continually strengthen the multicultural fabric of our nation.”
Upon completing the course, participants are enlisted into the SG CORE Network
, where they would have opportunities to serve alongside one another for local community service and regional humanitarian assistance, to enliven and actualise the Singaporean spirit of humanity.