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Inaugural National IRCC Convention 2018 aims to strengthen communal bonds and deepen interfaith understanding

27 January 2018

1. More than 600 participants attended the inaugural National Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) Convention 2018 at Suntec Singapore this morning. The aim of the Convention was to foster communal bonds and deepen inter-racial and –religious understanding through dialogues with community activists, academics and private sector experts. 

2. At the event, Guest-of-Honour President Halimah Yacob encouraged the community to strengthen networks of trust among different religious groups, participate in the shared experience of doing good together, and build our crisis-readiness as a community. She also had the chance to speak with community leaders and various panellists from the breakout sessions. 

3. Hosting the event, Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said, “Trust and harmony among our communities are fundamental to Singapore. All of us must protect these values, and prevent divisive actions or teachings from taking root. Let us continue to encourage our fellow Singaporeans to come together, and better understand one another through honest and open dialogue. Together, we can build a stronger and more united Singapore.”   

4. Taoist Master Chung Kwang Tong, an IRCC youth leader, reiterated the call for solidarity – “Youths can also do more by participating in discussions on race and religion to build our confidence and deepen our understanding. This is especially important today as we contend with dangerous and divisive messages of terrorism, radicalisation and extremism. As a diverse society, we need to step forward, to promote positive messages and strengthen good relations between our ethnic and religious communities” 

Building understanding through dialogues and discussions  

5. Five interactive breakout sessions were facilitated by local and international community activists, communications experts from Facebook, as well as academics from the Institute of Policy Studies. A wide range of topics, such as managing threats which undermine social trust, addressing inconvenient questions on race and religion, building community resilience, as well as countering online extremism and youth radicalisation, were examined. 

Last Updated: 28 February 2018

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