PM reminds S'poreans to prevent religious conflicts from arising

Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has once again stressed that the country must prevent religious conflicts from ever arising in Singapore.

Speaking at the Vesak Great Joy Party organised by the Singapore Buddhist Welfare Services, Mr Goh noted that in Singapore, everyone is free to practise his own faith.

But this freedom came with the responsibility of ensuring mutual respect of all faiths.

He says this means practising one's religion without undermining the multi-religious foundation of Singapore society.

He said the freedom to practise one's own faith and Singapore's religious harmony will disappear if one religious group tried to assert itself over others.

Speaking at the event at the Singapore Expo, Mr Goh also stressed that tolerance - a core value of Buddhism - is essential in multi-religious Singapore.

The Prime Minister said: "Our freedom to practice our own faith and Singapore's religious harmony will disappear if one religious group tries to assert itself over the others. When believers of one faith try to put down believers of another faith and resort to intimidation and even violence, the people suffer."

So following September 11th, Mr Goh says Singapore is doing even more to strengthen inter-religious relations and the visits to different places of worship by the Inter -Racial Confidence Circles is a good start.

Buddhism shares many values with other religions of the world and among them compassion and kindness.

The Prime Minister noted that many Buddhist organisations in Singapore promote these values through their charity work and community service.

This was something evident at the Vesak Joy event which saw nearly one thousand five hundred people from different religious affiliations taking part.