Bonding Singapore Social Studies Essay Rubric Examples




Maria Hertogh Riots in 1950s


1940s: Dutch couple was imprisoned by Japanese.They placed their daughter under a Malay, Aminah.


Maria is then raised as a Muslim and married aMalay teacher at 13 y/o


hen parents are released, they demanded thereturn of Maria. Refusal by Aminah led to a court trial 

wide media coverage

unhappiness amongMuslim community.


hen Maria was returned to her Dutch parents,many felt that the British legal system was biased against the Muslims, and that the welfare of Muslims were not looked into.


 Anger towards Eurasian and Europeancommunities



Media coverage through English, Malay and Tamil newspapers were published. These included thecourt's decision to annul Maria's marriage and beingin a Christian Convent 


24-hour curfew called in for 2 weeks. British and Malayan called in to maintain peace, alongsideSingapore troopsdifferences amongst religions are not handled appropriately, anger and grievances may build upamong the community, and acts of hostility may result.


Distrust amongst the peoplealso cause a less cohesivesociety, and the ease for external factors to affect thecountry.


Thus, along with themanagement of differencesamong different races, themanagement amongdifferent religions is crucial,and is the amongst the most important factorsdetermining the stability of acountry.Threats from external forces1.

Transnational terrorism: acts of violence which areglobal in terms of aims, organisation and impact.2.

Race and religion can be weapons to create ill feelingsamong different ethnic groups, threatening religious and racial harmony in the country.3.

Jemaah Islamiyah [JI] in 2001


34 members of JI arrested under Internal Security  Act for involvement in terrorist-related activitiesbetween 2001 and 2002 


Fund raised and bought bomb-making materials,targeting Singapore's MOE and US embassy.


In April 2005, another JI member, in charge of bomb and weapons making was arrested.


Political leaders and religious leaders called uponthe people to remain calm and committed to living ina harmonious society.


Muslim leaders condemned JI in unison, and emphasised that JI was not supported by the


This would affect Singapore's society as theremay be distrust among themultiple ethnic groups present.


For example, the JI arrestsmay have made the Chineseand Indians suspicious of the Malays and Muslims,staying away from them.


This would then causemisunderstandings and theunhappiness of Malays and Muslims. An uproar may result, and riots and protestsmay occur.


However, this is less crucial as compared to above twoas with social cohesionthrough the proper management of racial and 

Mindmap on Measures to foster social cohesion ins Singapore

Inclusive notes: 

Building a national Identity (I)

- policy of multi-racialism

-Policy of multi-racialism promotes equality among races

-No special rights for any racial/religious groups.

-Equal opportunities for all.

-Favouring one racial/religious group is forbidden by constitution.

-Since everyone is seen as a valued member, this fosters a sense of national identity.

Building A national Identity (II)

-Common Practices

-Common practices are actions that singaporeans carry out together.

Example: Singing the national Anthem, saying the pledge and attending flag raising ceramony.

These practices help to foster natonal identity by inculcating loyality & national pride towards Singapore.

These practices help Singaporeans to see themselves as one people. 

Builiding a national Identity (III)


-Policy of Bilingualism was introduced in 1966

-All pupils have to learn English and mother tongue

-English is seen as a neutral language linking various ethnic groups. The use of english has helped to improve communication among Singaporeans

-Mother Tongue is used to impart Moral values and traditions of each race.

-The policy of Bilingualism helps to foster national Identity between the various racial/religious groups.

Safeguarding Interests of Minority groups (I)

Through Minority Representation

-President council of minority rights(PCMR)

-All new laws must be approved by PCMR

-This ensure no racial/religious groups is disadvantaged by the laws passed.

-Group Representation Consituency

-GRCs ensures that any team contesting in general Election must comprise a member from a minority group( Malay, Indian or Eurasian)

-This ensures that minority group is represented in the government.

-Needs and concers of minority group are reflected in government.

Safeguarding Interests of Minority groups (II)

Through Self-help Groups

-CDAC, Mendaki, SINDA & Eurasian Association help members of their own community to get aids in studies and training of their own jobs.

-Provide Moral support to members of their own cimmunity.

-Help Singaporeans to cope and compete with one another on equal footing.

-Minority groups can improve their economic and social positions in society.

-Joint projects - e.g. Joint Tuiton Program help youths from different ethnic groups interact with one another.

-This helps to prevent Bias & Prejudices from forming, thus reducing conflict and tension.

Developing Common Space(I) 

-Activites organised by grassroots organisations 

-Create common space through wide range of programs and activities to cater to the needs & interests of singaporeans.

Example. Home visits/home stay with family of another ethnic group.

This helps the people to gain better understanding of cultures and customs of other races.

This helps to build strong friendships over time and reduces mistrust between racial/religious groups.

Developing Common space (II)

Opportunities from Educational Institutions 

- All schools are open to every singaporean, regardless of race, language or religion.

-Students of different race and religion study together.

-Daily Interaction during lessons and activities provide opportunities for students.

-CCAs also help promote closer bonds among youths. These activities provide opportunities for students from various races to work together.This helps to promote teamwork.

Developing Common Space (III)

Common Living Space through Public Housing

-In 1989, Ethnic Integration Policy was introduced in public housing.

-Limits are placed on the proportion of races in every neighbourhood and block.

-This ensures an even distribution of different races in all housing estates.

-This provides opportunities for various races to interact , reducing distrust and misunderstanding among races.

Developing Common Space(IV)

Activities organised by IRCCS and HCs

-IRCC(Inter-Racial Confidence circles) and Harmony Circles (HCs)

-IRCCs were introduced in 2002 to foster greater inter-racial understanding.

-Activities such as visits to places of worship create opportunities for singaporeans to appreciate the differences and develop string bonds between ethnic groups.

-At Workplaces, such activities are carried out by HCs.

-These activities help to build confidence and friendship among people.

Developing Common Space (V)

Shared Experience through National Service (NS) 

-NS was introduced in 1967.

-All able-bodied men are required to serve in defence of the country.

-Shared experiences (example, Military training) help to strengthen the bonds among ben regardless of race or religion.


1.) Here are 3 measures to foster social cohesion in Singapore. Common Practices, Shared experience through NS and Self-help groups. Which measure do you think is the most effective. Explain your answer. (13 marks)

2.) How far do you agree that the most important measure to foster a national identity is through the policy of multi-racialism.

Explain your answer. (12 marks) 


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