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One People, One Nation, One Singapore

Fostering Racial Harmony

Racial riots broke out and swept through Singapore in 1964 against the backdrop of political tensions between the PAP and UMNO.

Yet, many put aside their differences and stepped forward to help and protect one another. Through Goodwill Committees, also known as "Peace Teams", the bonds between communities were strengthened.


Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Othman Wok (then Minister for Social Affairs) speaking to residents in Geylang Serai after the racial riot on 24 July 1964.

Ministry of Information and the Arts Collection. Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore.


Courtesy of The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

A news article reporting on the success of Goodwill Committees around Singapore on 28 July 1964.

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Mr Cheng Choon Eng shaking hands with Mr Jek Yeun Thong in recognition of his involvement in the Queensway Consultative Committee

Active in the grassroots since the 1960s, Mr Cheng worked with founding leaders like Mr Jek Yeun Thong and Mr Othman Wok. He was also an active volunteer who organised events like National Day celebrations to bring his neighbourhood together and was part of his constituency's Civil Defence volunteer unit. In 1986, he received a certificate of appreciation recognising his dedicated voluntary service to the Resident's Committee.

Courtesy of Mr Cheng Choon Eng.

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