Living with Diversity: Religious Harmony in Singapore

Calendar 22 Oct 2020
Time 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm, GMT+8 
Location Zoom
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Cities grapple with managing social diversity, such as increasing polarisation in race and religion. Professor Yaacob Ibrahim shares Singapore’s lessons in achieving harmony between diverse faith communities. Professor Lily Kong highlights the changing nature of religion and its implications for managing religious groups, spaces and relations in cities.

This webinar is jointly organised with the Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore. 



Selected Findings on Religious Relations from the (PDF: 256kB)

About the Speakers


Prof Yaacob Ibrahim

Professor Yaacob Ibrahim
Singapore Institute of Technology

Prof Yaacob Ibrahim is currently a professor of engineering at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) where he is also Advisor to the President of SIT. He started as a Member of Parliament on 2 January 1997 till his retirement after the 2020 General Elections. He served as a Minister in the Ministries of Communications and Information (2011 – 2018), Environment and Water Resources (2004 – 2011) and Community Development and Sports (2002 – 2004) while being Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs. He graduated from the University of Singapore with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1980. He worked as a structural engineer from 1980 to 1984 and then pursued his Ph.D at Stanford University graduating in 1989. After two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University, he joined the National University of Singapore as a faculty member in 1990 where he became a tenured member. He took a leave of absence from NUS from July 1998 till his resignation from NUS in August 2018. He is currently advising several start-ups and sits on several boards of private companies and unions.


Prof Lily Kong

Professor Lily Kong
President and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences
Singapore Management University

Professor Kong is President of Singapore Management University, the first Singaporean to lead the 20-year old institution.  She is also the first Singaporean woman to head a university in Singapore.  She is internationally known for her research on social-cultural change in Asian cities, focusing on issues ranging from religion, cultural policy, creative economy, urban heritage, to smart cities.   Her recent books include Religion, Hypermobility and Digital Media in Global Asia (with Catherine Gomes and Orlando Woods), Religion and Space: Competition, Conflict, and Violence in the Contemporary World (with Woods), and Religion and Place: Landscape, Politics and Piety (with Peter Hopkins and Elizabeth Olson).


Dr Mathew Mathews

Dr Mathew Mathews
Head, Social Lab & Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore

Dr Mathew Mathews is Head of IPS Social Lab, a centre for social indicator research and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore. To date, Mathews has been involved in over fifty research projects, using both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine religion, race, immigrant integration, family, ageing and poverty. Mathews work on religion includes regular surveys on religious practice and belief and how these are related to a range of social attitudes. Mathews currently sits on several boards and panels including and Families for Life Council.  


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