I read this letter, which was written by a Temasek Junior College student. The author named the letter: Violation of Secularism in a Singapore JC . Here is the full letter:
To whom it may concern,
I have wanted to send this email a long time ago. However, I felt that the time was not ripe. Following PM’s National Day rally 2009, I feel that it is the right time to inquire about secularism.
I am a JC2 student in Temasek Junior College, having previously attended St. Joseph’s Institution. I am an atheist by convert, having this (lack of) faith since secondary school.
I am quite grateful and inspired by the PM, raising of issue of secularism in schools. Despite being an atheist, I have always been comfortable in SJI as the institution is especially considerate for students having a different faith other than catholicism. The same cannot be say for TJC.
I feel uncomfortable in TJC because I witnessed a violation of secularism in TJC.
A few months ago, around May, the 32nd Student Council of TJC stood down and hand over to the 33rd SC. On the day, the President of the 32nd Student Council addressed the cohort. At the end of her address, she close with the phrase of “God Bless”
I feel that this is rather inconsiderate as it means that the individual is assuming that everyone believe in the same god. The individual failed to consider that some might believe in another religion (or no god at all in the first place). I am surprise that one can actually make such a provocative statement in a secular school. I would have accepted this phrase in SJI, but I cannot accept a secular school actually condone the action of ’blessing’ with a religion tone
The ministry might think that the fault lies in the individual. But I am very surprise that the college did not make any clarification to the address. which I take it as they agree with the phrase. When the speech included the phrase “God Bless”, I believed that a Secular school like TJC would have clarified without any one complaing or enquring in the first place. But the lack of action of TJC with regards to this violation of secularism in school is rather shocking.
I only write this email today because I believe that the government had clarified its stand through PM’s rally. I hope that the Ministry would look into issues of violation of secularism in school as secularism is one of the key principle of Singapore formation and education, whereby religion can co-exist peacefully because not one side is favoured. I hope that the Ministry will look into the matter and inquired into it further. Secularism must be preserved in our schools to ensure harmony.
I look forward to the response by the Ministry
I find this letter very ridiculous. I mean, come on, its just ”God Bless’?!. Why the need to read so much in to this term and kick up a big fuss?. I disagree with this statement: ‘The individual failed to consider that some might believe in another religion’ If I was a Muslim, and I hear ‘God Bless’, I just take it as Allah. Simple as that.
Provocative statement?. Guess what?. I don’t think ‘God Bless’ was ‘Provocative’, I think that the letter is ‘Provocative’. The author read too much in to this statement. And by writing this letter, it goes to show that the author is trying to gain some kind of attention by stirring up some kind of dissent among the major religions.
If the author is really unhappy, why not take it up with his school and his teachers before writing this letter?. Trying to gain attention?. You be the judge.