Do you understand the need for multiracial integration?
Most Singaporean adults appear to have at least a decent understanding of the idea of multiracialism. Note that this question is not meant to test the level of knowledge, but to assess the level of confidence that one feels about their level of understanding, as there is no way to judge "level of understanding" with these 4 options. Most Singaporeans, about more than half of the sample, said that they had a "considerable understanding" about the need for racial integration. This represents the high level of racial respect and understanding in Singapore.
How many friends of different races do you have?
This question is as direct as it is straightforward. It is used indirectly to assess the level of bonding and communication between people of different races. As seen here, about two thirds of the sample have 5 or more friends of different races, showing a considerable level of bonding between people of another race. However, a small percentage of people said that they only had 0-4 friends as compared to the rest, showing that there is still a barrier of making friends with someone of another race to some people. This could be due to being nervous, not having the initiative to step up, or for fear of offending others. But looking at it from a wider point of view, most people have no problem in forging ties with someone of another race.
How well do you communicate with people of different races outside of work/school?
This again, is a very subjective question. Most of the answers are found in the second and third option range. This represents the extent of the racial communication barriers in Singapore. The results show that the people are divided into 2 main groups, most of the older folks chose the second choice, whereas the most of the people from the younger generation opted for the third choice, showing the lessening of inter-racial communication barriers after Singapore gained independence and promoted multiracialism after 1965.
How many times a year do you celebrate a different race's festival?
The people who took this survey overwhelmingly leaned over to the second option (1-2 times). This may be attributed to the busy and hectic lifestyles of people nowadays. Many may not have the time to spare to go and celebrate other races' festivals despite numerous opportunities. This explains the occasional celebration, possibly due to free time; and this shows that the small number of inter-racial celebrations doesn't necessarily mean low levels of racial integration.
Had you made an effort to integrate with friends/neighbors of a different race?
The replies to this question was equally spread out between the second and third options (once or twice/several times). Although adults in Singapore do try to interact with people from various races, communication between neighbors are minimal or average at the very least, this may be due to a fear of offending others, or simply just a lack of need to interact with one another. However, the fact that there is a level of interaction, however basic notwithstanding, shows that people have no problems communicating with neighbors of another race, showing a fair level of community bonding.
Did you ever learn a language from another race?
In this section, majority of the answers were either a "yes" or a "tried but failed" This may be attributed to the lack of a reason to learn another language, coupled with the difficulty of the steep learning curve that results in failure to keep on trying, leaving many to give up. This shows a visible area of improvement with regards to racial integration, and shows the need for a universally recognized national language, to allow people of different races to communicate well with each other. The one third which claimed to still be trying or already learnt a language of a different race showed that some people actually had intentions to try to communicate better with other people of different races, showing a high standard of inter-racial communication among those people. However, due to the presence of a national language, these figures cannot be used to judge the overall level of inter-racial communication, but instead could be used to estimate the number of people who are willing to take the extra step to communicate with other people of a different race.
Do you feel that early racial education is necessary in preventing racial disputes later in life?
95% of the respondents, an overwhelming number voted for either of the last two options, "quite/extremely important". This shows that the majority of Singaporeans feel that early racial education is necessary in preventing racial disputes later in life, and that it is important for racial integration to start in school, were students of different races can interact with and learn more about each other.
How important do you think racial integration is in our society?
Again, this question had an overwhelming number of people (86%) opting for the last two options, "quite/extremely important". This may be because most adults in Singapore having experienced the violent past of Singapore when there were little forms of racial integration, and that they saw first hand how racial integration played a large role in the development of the country from the past to present.
Do you feel that society can be greatly improved if the dividing lines between different races are eliminated?
This question garnered an expected response, with the majority (85%) of the people surveyed feeling that society can be decently/greatly improved if the dividing lines between different races are eliminated. The reason why many feel that way can be attributed to the fact that many still feel differently about people of other races. Not only that, many people today are well informed about problems that can arise from a lack of racial tolerance and respect, and feel that there is still a large social gap between races that has to be closed.
Do you feel that you can make a difference in contributing to a multiracial society, and if so, to what extent?
The results from this question was both intriguing and thought provoking, with 99% of the answers spread out evenly between the last three options, namely "Only A Small Contribution","A Considerable Contribution" and "My Best Contribution". This alone shows the many different perspectives the surveyees can have on a single topic. Those who put "Only A Small Contribution" as their answer may have felt that they, as individuals, may not have the influence to make a difference, whereas those which put either "A Considerable Contribution" or "My Best Contribution" most likely felt that every contribution counted, and with reference to the last option, that what mattered most was how they perceived their contribution.