Singapore / Historical Documents: Plan of Old and New Ethnic Enclaves

Old and new enthnic enclaves in Singapore
Old and new ethnic enclaves in Singapore

This plan shows the ethnic group location within Singapore before and after establishment of public housing. The old enclaves are kampung (villages of different races) while the new counterparts are the ethnic enclaves created in housing estates. The new enclaves reveal a problem appeared in the housing system. People tended to buy flats near their own race. As time passed, certain ethnic group is more concentrated in certain housing estates. This is not what Singaporean government expected and wanted to see because it divided different ethnic groups apart from each other and hindered interactions between different ethnic groups. There was a potential that conflict between different ethnic group would happen. Hence, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) set a new policy to restrict the proportion of races in each public housing. The proportion is similar to the average national proportion. This can prevent ethnic enclave appear again and further ensure the social interaction between different races, thus increasing the sense of civic nationalism among different groups of people.

source: Loo, L-S. (2003) Public housing and ethnic integration in Singapore. Singapore: National University of Singapore.

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