Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Issue with religious affiliation on our identity card?

Mr. James Gomez of the National Democratic Party picked on the issue of why our identity card (IC) should indicate our religious affiliation during his rally. He asked whether this is a hallmark carried over from our colonial past, and whether this would undermine our social cohesion. I wonder whether this issue is important in the first place. So far, there has not been any religious quarrel based on our identity card since Singapore become independent. Secondly, if I were a chaplain working in a hospital or a hospital staff who just received a patient in coma, it will be helpful for me to know his/her religious affiliation so that I can direct the relevant spiritual resources to the patient until I could get in touch with his/her next-of-kin. Third, is this issue of religious affiliation on our IC related to the bread and butter of our citizens? Even if this is worth debating, I think the parliament would be a better place to examine this issue as the various religious leaders can be roped in for their opinions, rather than to present this as a hot-button issue during rally.

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