Forum on Indicators of Racial and Religious Harmony


The Indicators of Racial and Religious Harmony is a joint project of the Institute of Policy Studies and It provides a reading of Singaporean attitudes on race and religion. The indicators were released to the public on the 18th of July 2013. You can read about the indicators at this website.

The indicators were developed using results from a survey of 4131 Singapore residents. More details of this survey will be provided during the forum. This will be followed by a panel discussion involving academic experts and community leaders. The panel includes Assoc Prof Eugene Tan, Assoc Prof Kwok Kian Woon, Mr Viswa Sadasivan and Mr Zulkifli Baharudin. They will reflect on the survey’s findings and provide a commentary on race and religious relations in Singapore. More details on the panelists for this forum will be available on our website soon.



Janadas_80x100Janadas DEVAN is Director of the Institute of Policy Studies. He was educated at the National University of Singapore and Cornell University in the United States. Mr Devan taught English in various institutions in Singapore and the United States, and later wrote for various publications in the region, before joining The Straits Times in 1997. He served as the paper’s leader writer for many years, writing unsigned editorials on a wide variety of subjects; wrote a weekly column on politics and economics, in which he covered international and domestic developments; and a column on language for The Sunday Times. In 2008, he became the editor of the paper’s opinion pages, and in 2010, became the paper’s Associate Editor. He also did a weekly radio broadcast, “Call from America”, for Radio Singapore International, from 2000 to 2008, on American life and society. He left The Straits Times in July 2012 on being appointed the Chief of Government Communications at the Ministry of Communications and Information. Mr Devan received the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award from Cornell University in 1988.


KWOK Kian Woon_150x200KWOK Kian Woon is Associate Provost (Student Life) and a Sociology faculty at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University.  He has been actively involved in civil society and the public sector, especially in the areas of Arts and Heritage. His publications include Contestations of Memory in Southeast Asia (co-edited with Roxana Waterson, NUS Press 2011) and co-authored articles on mental health, for example, “A Population-based Survey of Mental Disorders in Singapore”, Annals, Academy of Medicine Singapore (February 2012).


MathewMathews_80x100MATHEW Mathews is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore where he leads the Society and Identity cluster. He formerly taught at the university’s sociology department. His research and publications have examined a number of issues related to social cohesion – race, religion and foreigner-local interactions. He also frequently works on research related to the family and social service provision.  His recent publications that deal with race and religion include an article on religious freedom and one on the social integration of immigrants into multiracial Singapore. He is also finalising an edited volume discussing the Singaporean experience of managing diversity through social policies.  Dr Mathew is well involved in the community and serves as President of Alive Community Network, a social service agency and on the board of One, among other appointments.


Gerald SINGHAM_150x200Gerald SINGHAM is a partner in Rodyk & Davidson LLP.  A past president of the World Law Group, an international alliance comprising 12,000 lawyers from 48 law firms in over 40 commercial cities globally. In addition, he is also appointed by the Minister for Law as a Master Mediator under the Community Mediation Centres Act.  In his spare time, Mr Singham is actively involved in community work including serving as Vice-Chairman of the National Crime Prevention Council, a member of the Casino Regulatory Authority and a member of the National Council of Problem Gambling. He is also Vice-Chairman of  Mr Singham was awarded the Public Service Medal and the Public Service Star by the President of Singapore in acknowledgement of his community work.


Eugene TAN_150x200Eugene TAN is associate professor of law at the School of Law, Singapore Management University. An advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Assoc Prof Tan is a graduate of the National University of Singapore, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Stanford University where he was a Fulbright Fellow. His inter-disciplinary research interests include the mutual interaction of law and public policy, the regulation of ethnic conflict, and the government and politics of Singapore. He has published in these areas in various edited volumes and internationally-refereed journals such as Asian Journal of Business Ethics, Australian Journal of Asian Law, The China Quarterly, Citizenship Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnopolitics, Hong Kong Law Journal, Israel Law Review, Journal of Asian Business, Law and Policy, Singapore Year Book of International Law, and Terrorism and Political Violence.  Assoc Prof Tan authored The State of Play of CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] in Singapore (Lien Centre for Social Innovation, 2011), and is completing a book-length manuscript on the management of ethnic relations in Singapore. He also writes a regular column on law, society and politics for the TODAY newspaper. In February 2012, he was appointed a Nominated Member of Parliament.


VISWA Sadasivan_150x200VISWA Sadasivan is the CEO of Strategic Moves Pte Ltd – a premier consultancy in corporate strategy and crisis communication.  It also has a reputation for top leadership training in strategic and crisis communication.  Over the past 15 years, Mr Viswa has trained and coached close to 7,000 senior management officers, CEOs and key decision makers from both the private and public sectors in Singapore and around the region.  With over 30 years of television experience, Mr Viswa is best known to the public as the face of the (then) Singapore Broadcasting Corporation’s breakthrough news and current affairs programmes such as Talking Point, Feedback and Today in Parliament.  Given his expertise in public policy, Mr Viswa has been invited to serve on several public sector Boards, such as the Feedback Unit’s Supervisory Panel, Central Singapore Community Development Council, SPRING Singapore, Media Development Authority, National Youth Achievement Award Council and the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA).  He has also served on several major national committees, such as the Economic Review, the Singapore 21, and the Remaking Singapore committees.  He currently holds the rank of Colonel as a National Serviceman.  He served a term as Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) of Singapore.  Mr Viswa obtained a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from the Kennedy School of Government and Administration, Harvard University, topping his class in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.


ZAINUDIN Nordin_150x200ZAINUDIN Nordin is the Chairman of, which was established in May 2007 to focus on race relations and to champion racial harmony initiatives in Singapore. Currently, he is also the Member-of-Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (Group Representation Constituency). He was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in October 2001, and was subsequently re-elected in April 2006 and May 2011. As an MP, Mr Zainudin has been a catalyst in the development of new activities for the young and the elderly in the Bishan-North ward. He also introduced several physical changes to the ward, most notable of which is the development of the community sports park called Bishan Active. Mr Zainudin also converted an open area into a Courtyard where residents can exercise on the pebble walk or use the exercise cycles.  Mr Zainudin, who was the Mayor of the Central Singapore District from May 2006 till May 2011, is currently the Director of the Communications Divisions at Nanyang Polytechnic, which handles the media relations, internal communications, social media, publications, outreach and media programming.  Mr Zainudin takes a keen interest in a wide variety of social issues and has exercised his passion and expertise in these areas in various organizations. He is Executive Secretary for the Education Services Union, and also sits on the boards of the Governors ITE, Council for Private Education, and MENDAKI SENSE. He was a former member of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.  Mr Zainudin is the President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), a post he assumed on 1st April 2009. A strong advocate for grassroots and youth football, he believes playing football regularly in a fun environment will improve children’s techniques and boost their enthusiasm for the beatutiful game. He is also always ready to play his part in charity matches – such as the S. League Cares, TAKE ACTION with Albirex Niigata Singappore Charity Match in April 2011, where the proceeds and donations were channelled toward the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.


Zulkifli Baharudin_150x200ZULKIFLI Baharudin is the Chairman of Indo-Trans Corporation, a company which is involved in logistics and supply chain activities across Indo-china.  He is the Vice Chairman of Mentor Media Ltd. He is an Independent Director of Singapore Post Limited, Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited and data centre company, Securus.  He is an Authority member of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and Trustee of the Singapore Management University.  In addition, Mr Zulkifli is Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and Republic of Uzbekistan. He also served as Nominated Member of Parliament (October 1997 to September 2001) and was awarded the Public Service Award (Meritorious) in 2005; and BBM, Public Service Star Award in 2011. Mr Zulkifli graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Science in Estate Management.




Media Reports

Wednesday, 11 September 2013
9.00 am – 11.30 am

Theatrette (Level 2), The Grassroots' Club, 190 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8,  Singapore 568046