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Successful cross-cultural management in Singapore

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[Singapore, August 10, 2003] Singapore celebrated 37 years since its independence on August 9, 2003. In the uncertain years following Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in the mid-20th century, several government officials penned the National Pledge. It emphasized that all Singaporeans make up one integral body in spite of differences in religion or race, and that together they can pave the way to happiness and prosperity.

The cultural heritage of Singapore was further shaped in 1998 when the then First Deputy Prime Minister 5 Shared Values were put forth for all Singaporeans to subscribe to.

The values were:
- Nation before community and society before self
- Family as the basic unit of society
- Community support and respect for the individual
- Consensus, not conflict
- Racial and religious harmony

The Singapore government carefully plans the public holidays to promote ethnic and religious harmony. Besides New Year’s day, the Labor day, and the National day, the rest of the holidays are evenly distributed among the various ethnic group and religions. For Muslim followers and Malays, Hari Raya Haiji and Hari Raya Pusa. For Christians or Catholics, Good Friday and Christmas. For Indians and Hinduism followers, Deepavali. For Chinese and Buddhist (Vajrayanan), Chinese New Year. For Buddhist (Theravada), the Vesak.

The traditions of the three main ethnic groups: Chinese, Malay and Indian contribute to the fascinating mix of cultures, languages, food and dress. Singapore has successfully managed a multi-racial, multicultural and multi-religious population of 3 million.

Although Malay is the national language, to promote trade and prosperity, the government strategically positioned English as the language of administration. Despite the limited natural resources on 248 square miles area, Singapore has developed well-educated and highly skilled labor force and prosperous as the center of finance, trade and high tech manufacturing in Asia.

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