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Deal with differences in a calm manner: Dr Yaacob to Muslim community

"Intolerance on our differences can easily lead to extreme behaviour, which in turn can affect our cohesion as a community and as a nation," said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

SINGAPORE: Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim says the Muslim community should seek common ground on contentious issues in a calm, rational and dignified manner - just like how the Pioneer Generation had done in the past. He made this point at an annual Hari Raya gathering of Malay leaders at the Marina Mandarin Hotel on Friday (Aug 8).

Taking a leaf from the approach of early leaders Haji Ridzwan Dzafir also known as "Pak Wan" and Professor Syed Hussein Alatas, the minister elaborated on how reasoned and inclusive approaches have allowed the community to forge its own space within the larger, multicultural society.

"Intolerance on our differences can easily lead to extreme behaviour, which in turn can affect our cohesion as a community and as a nation," said Dr Yaacob, who is also the Minister for Communications and Information.

"If we resort to labelling and criticising others just because we disagree with them, we risk creating an atmosphere of mistrust and will end up drawing divisions among ourselves."

Dr Yaacob also let on that he is exploring ways to further honour Muslim pioneers. He said an SG50 coordination committee will be formed to lead a "Service to the Nation" week next year. It will organise donation drives and volunteer activities for the community.

He also announced that three mosques - Masjid Ahmad Ibrahim, Masjid Tentera Di Raja and Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang - have been granted longer-term leases. This will allow the mosques to be upgraded to house better facilities, and accommodate more congregants.

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