Forum Forum on Ethnic Identity and Culture

In November 2017, IPS released a working paper on ethnic identity and the state of inter-ethnic interactions in Singapore. This was based on a survey of 2,020 respondents, with funding from broadcaster Channel NewsAsia (CNA). The report can be found here and was covered by the local press.

The report covered many areas, including what Singaporeans felt were core identity markers of the main ethnic groups in the country. The survey also examined the extent to which Singaporeans embrace and practise their own ethnic culture, what they believe should be transmitted to their children, and the extent of their understanding of and engagement with other ethnic cultures.

In the same month, published an edited volume, titled The Singapore Ethnic Mosaic: Many Cultures, One People.

Following the release of both publications, we have distilled key discussion points for further deliberation at this one-day forum. The event will bring together scholars, policy makers, grassroots and cultural organisations’ representatives, and other key stakeholders.

This forum will be open for full media coverage.

Broadly, the issues we hope to discuss include how we keep the primacy of the Singapore identities in our different ethnic identities, the need and rationale for cultural preservation, and how cultures can be made to be inclusive in the face of possible exclusive practices.

Please view the programme here.

Opening Remarks

Slides for Dr Mathew Mathews's Opening Speech
• Audio Recording of Opening Remarks (SoundCloud)

PANEL I: Singaporeans’ Ethnic Identities – An Evolving Dynamic

Slides for Associate Professor Eugene Tan
• Audio Recording of PANEL I: Singaporeans’ Ethnic Identities – An Evolving Dynamic (SoundCloud)

PANEL II: How Relevant are Ethnic Traditions in the Construction of Ethnic Identity?

Audio Recording of PANEL II: How Relevant are Ethnic Traditions in the Construction of Ethnic Identity? (SoundCloud)

PANEL III: Building Cohesion in a Multi-Ethnic Environment

Slides for Mr Mohamed Irshad
• Audio Recording of Panel IV: Dialogue (SoundCloud)

Media Coverage

• The Straits Times, 2018. Singapore must signal 'resolute commitment' to upholding diversity, opposing discrimination, says S. Iswaran, 20 June
• The Straits Times, 2018. Staying aware of foreign influence best form of defence for Singapore: Bilahari, 20 June
• TODAY, 2018. Apathy of ‘culturally closed off’ Singaporeans could affect social cohesion: IPS researcher, 20 June
• TODAY, 2018. Race-based policies should stay, but beware dangers of racial
exclusiveness and ethnocentrism: Academics
, 20 June
• TODAY, 2018. Do a better job with national education: Bilahari Kausikan, 20 June
The Grassroots' Club,
Multi-Purpose Hall (Level 1), 
190 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8,
Singapore 568046
Thu 19 July 2018
09:15 AM - 05:30 PM

By invitation only.

If you have any enquiries, please email decb64_aXBzLmV2ZW50MTNAbnVzLmVkdS5zZw==_decb64 or contact Ms Vani Gunasilan at 6516-8377.