I refer to the article, “S’pore should ‘move with more urgency towards gracious society’” (Oct 10).
Mr Lim Siong Guan, former head of the civil service, mentioned the Japanese as an example from whom we can learn lessons (but not to clone).
He forgets that Japan is a monoculture society.
Here in Singapore, we have a third of the population made up of immigrants or foreign workers. It is a very different environment.
Other countries that have a similar situation like ours also struggle to create a more gracious society.
Consider, for example, the influx of immigrants from China into Singapore.
These immigrants, who have their own habits and ways of behaviour in their own society, have to then integrate into the culture and environment here. It will take some adjustment for them to contribute positively to building a more gracious society here.