Singapore has achieved a remarkable standard of living since gaining independence some 53 years ago. The city-state has one of the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in the world, surpassing that of Japan, United Kingdom, and Australia (The World Bank, 2017). On the social front, the multi-racial and multi-religious communities in this country have maintained a largely harmonious relationship for decades, a rare feat in an increasingly fractious sea of identities.
Notwithstanding these accolades, there are nascent signs that the city-state is facing greater and more volatile headwinds in the years to come. What has been particularly noticeable is the proliferation of new schisms arising from different lifestyles, values and wealth. These fault lines are symptoms of a deteriorating sense of “togetherness” in a rapidly evolving world.
For Singapore as a city-state to continue to prosper, there is an imperative to forge a new social compact that is not zero-sum based and to reach a consensus in managing the plurality of differences. The goal of this conference is therefore to discuss the new Singapore polity that will be inclusive for all.
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