The Humanist Society (Singapore) aspires to be a voice of reason in the country. We engage the media and weigh in on issues that concern humanists. Here’s a list of articles in the media which mentioned the Humanist Society (Singapore) or humanism-related issues. Due to copyright issues, some articles contain only summaries and not the full version. If want to read other news articles in full, please email us and we will share them with you.
TOC: Amos Yee’s case: Dialogue should continue
We have written a letter to TOC in response to the Amos Yee case, urging for dialogue between the religious and non-religious. We argued that religious harmony in Singapore is based on mutual tolerance but not mutual understanding. True understanding can only come about if there is free discussion and space to find and respect differences.
ST: Serving non-religious folk here more actively
The news feature highlighted our first celebrant service, a godparents naming ceremony, and our aims for the future. It also mentioned our humanist life stance and some recent letters to the press.
TOC: A Better Life, a film about the non-religious, comes to Singapore
This is a pre-event article written for the TOC to promote filmmaker’s Chris Johnson’s visit to Singapore in September 2016.
ST: Singapore group out to get biggest impact for charity donations
The Humanist Society (Singapore) was mentioned as the co-organiser of Introduction to Effective Altruism workshop in an article featuring the new group, Effective Altruism Singapore.
Zaobao: Rational Discussion and Blind Intolerance
President, Tan Tatt Si, has written a commentary on Lianhe Zaobao titled “Rational discussion and Blind Intolerance”. Tatt Si was responding to articles on how to go beyond inclusivity and tolerance, and how there must be rational debate on potentially social divisive issues.
LoveSingapore’s troubling WearWhite message
On May 19, the LoveSingapore Christian network released a Facebook post launching the WearWhite movement for 2016, calling on churches in its network to wear white. We wrote a note in response, pointing out two troubling points made in the post.
Yahoo: Singaporeans who believe in life without God
Nurul Azliah from Yahoo News Singapore visited us at one of our Humanist Cafe networking events and spoke to people who has given up their religious faith.
SIX-SIX: Keeping the faith with the faithless
SIX-SIX News, an independent media outlet in Singapore, wrote a feature about the rising number of non-religious Singapore residents. They interviewed one of our members, Pearl Lin, as well as Leftwrite Center member Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib with regards to relations between the religious and non-religious.
ST: Youth in Singapore shunning religion
The Straits Times has published a feature on the rising number of non-religious youth in Singapore, quoting several academics, religious leaders and one of our members. Our organisation was also mentioned for our efforts at interfaith dialogues as a voice for the non-religious, which tend to be “excluded and forgotten”.
TODAY: More studies needed on non-religious demographic
Following the release of General Household Survey 2015 report that showed more Singapore residents not identifying themselves with any religion, we have written a letter to TODAY Voices responding to academics’ views that non-religious residents could still be religious, and at the same time calling for more studies on the non-religious demographic.
Media coverage for pastafarian strainer interview
Our interview with Dan Tang and how he exercised his right to wear a strainer (religious pastafarian headgear) for his driving license photo has been reported in AsiaOne, Mothership and Coconuts Singapore.
Vitriol from ‘offended’ individuals a concern
We have penned a letter in response to online vitriol against Amos Yee, the teenage blogger who has drawn public anger over his Facebook and blog posts attacking Islam. While some of Amos’ posts are admittedly careless, some of the reactions against him, including death threats, were extreme and disturbing.
SIX-SIX: Making Sense of Mortality Matters
We were interviewed by media site SIX-SIX with regards to atheist views on death and rituals, as part of a longer article on different religious views towards death.
IHEYO: Our Charity Book Sales
A story by the Humanist Society (Singapore) for the Better Tomorrow – IHEYO’s Charity Week. The story talks about our charity book sales which have sold hundreds of books and donated a few thousand dollars to various charities.
TODAY: Communism failed due to flawed economic ideology
This is a letter that was co-written by the Humanist Society (Singapore) and Leftwriter Center in response to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments on godless societies.
SW: Recognising non-religious Singaporeans
Our commentary on recognising non-religious Singaporeans has been published on Secular World, the magazine of Atheist Alliance International. A slightly edited and shorter version of the commentary was published earlier in August as a readers’ comment on Yahoo.
Yahoo: Recognising non-religious Singaporeans
Singapore needs a national narrative for the non-religious, argues our President Paul Tobin in our first commentary in the media published on Yahoo Singapore. The 700+ word article talks about forgotten pioneers of Singapore, freethinkers who face hostile disapproval for leaving their faith, and his recommendations
INSG: What Gay Activism Means for these two
In the speech at our Human Worth and Dignity event, Alex Au talked about the difficulties of changing mindsets about LGBT despite many years of activism. Lynette Chua talked about the pragmatic resistence strategy of many activist groups
TODAY: Support for a cause should not divide community: Yaacob
The HSS was mentioned as one of the signatories of an online statement signed by several civil societies expressing worry that the LGBT issue has been portrayed as a conflict between religious versus secular values. This followed the Wear White campaign launched by an Islamic religious teacher as a protest against homosexuality.
TODAY: Morality should be shaped by all in Singapore
Committee members Zheng Huifen and Tan Tatt Si argue why morality should be shaped by all, including the non-religious. In response to Bishop of the Lutheran Church, Reverend Terry Kee’s comments on a recent Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) survey.
TMM: Religion has been a talking point for Prime Ministers lately
Our first article in the Malaysian media. It was in response to Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that humanism, secularism and liberalism are the basis for a new form of a religion known as “human rightism”, and that it threatens Islam. On The Malay Mail Online, we responded to PM Najib’s comments on humanism, and invited him, and all Malaysians as well, to our workshops in Singapore to understand what humanism is all about.
ST: What atheism really means
Our ex-President, Paul Tobin, wrote to the Straits Times forum to explain what atheism means. He was responding to Pastor Lawrence Khong’s comment in a previous interview that atheists are religious with belief systems. Mr Tobin responded by saying that atheism is not a belief system for it merely describes the absence of belief in god(s).
ST: Helping needy transcends religion (Summary only)
In a forum letter, George Lim mentions the Humanist Society. His letter argued that charitable giving transcends religion and it is human nature to give. He also added that the Singapore spirit should not be dichotimised into religious and non-religious groups.
ST: Non-belief doesn’t hinder philantrophy
Our reply to a journalist’s concern that ‘the rise of atheism or those who are not religious might (hinder philanthropy). Zheng Huifen, the author, pointed out that non-religious people donate to charity and take part in volunteer work too.
Rationalist Association: Secularism in Singapore
John van Wyhe and Huifen Zheng writes about the trouble with religious freedom in Singapore.
TODAY: Unwanted pregnancies: Empathy and solutions needed
Zheng Huifen and Chen Liyan argue that emphathy and solutions are needed to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, and that banning abortion will infringe on women’s fundamental rights.
ZB: 宗教有助塑造社会品德 (Religions helps to build public morality) (Summary only)
HSS President Mark Kwan (34, teacher) attended the inter- faith dialogue despite being non-religious. He said, “According to the 2010 population census, 17.1% of Singaporeans do not belong to any religion but this does not stop us from participating in inter-faith events as most of our values are similar to what religions promote, therefore we support inter-faith dialogue too.”
ZB: The Darwinian Insight on the Population Issue (Summary only)
A participant in Darwin Day 2013, Tan Tatt Si, wrote a commentary to Lianhe Zaobao regarding his reflections at our event. He saw parallels between Singapore’s meritocracy and Darwinian evolution, and cautioned that the theory of evolution should be used as a guide for governance and not adopted in its entirety. He also calls for sustainable economic growth that protects natural and human environments in Singapore.
ST: Police report filed against pastor (Summary only)
The reporter mentioned the Humanist Society as calling for the repeal of 377A.
ST: Church network to speak up for 377A (Summary only)
The reporter quoted the HSS letter which raises concern that 377A criminalises a significant proportion of gay men who are non-religious.
Raffles Press: Diary of an RI Intern
Raffles Press published an article called Diary of an RI Intern: Writing for the Straits Times featuring Miranda Yeo, who graduated from RI in 2011. Miranda described her experience as an intern at the Straits Times Newsdesk. In one paragraph, she described meeting Mr Ang Hock Guan, a humanist in his 90s.
TODAY: Creationism yet to earn intellectual spurs
The HSS president Mark Kwan explains why there is no controversy and debate in the scientific world over whether evolution or creationism is true. Evolution is backed by evidence while creationism has yet to be proven true.
TODAY: We should all learn to talk it out
The HSS president Mark Kwan calls for dialogue to be conducted between different religious groups instead of relying on the law and the police to settle differences.
TOC: Alex Au wins Humanist of the Year award (Removed)
An article that talks about why the HSS has decided to award Mr Au with the award. This article has since been removed by TOC. Another version can be found on Fridae.
AFA publication: Atheism means more than non-belief (Only hard copy exists)
The Australian Freethought Association published an article about the Humanist Society (Singapore) contingent which visited Melbourne and took part in the Global Atheist Convention 2012.
ST: More discussion on religion and humanism needed (Summary only)
A ST reader responds positively to news about the growth of HSS and urges more discussion on religion and humanism.
ST: ‘I’ve no God – and am proud of it’ (Summary only)
The ST follows up on the growth of HSS since its founding, mentioned our Humanist of the Year award and reported on rapid membership growth.
ST: SGH warns against evangelising (External Link)
The ST quotes our President on his views regarding evangelising in public hospitals.
TODAY: Secularism is about reason, tolerance and compassion
A letter written by a HSS member to Today Voices explaining the real meaning of secularism in responses to concerns over ‘militant secularism’.
ST: You don’t need faith to be good
A letter written by our President Paul Tobin in responses to negative mention of “godlessness” in ST Saturday special which suggested that godlessness is cause of teenage gang activity. Paul explained in the absence of religion, one can be moral too.
NAR: The Wake of Reason: Enter the Humanist Society in Singapore
New Asia Republic’s interview with Paul Tobin, the founding president of Humanist Society (Singapore)
ST: Carving out a space for the non-religious here (Summary only)
A ST feature on the founding of the Humanist Society in Oct 2010, and how the non-religious are getting organised in Singapore for the first time.
Humanist Society starts in Singapore
IHEU’s announcement of the formation of a Humanist group in Singapore. This is the first society in Singapore to specifically cater forpeople with no religious affiliation.
ST: Humanists do good without god (Summary only)
A ST Life! article covering the activities held by Singapore Humanism Meetup.
ST: Society of Humanists gather to discuss Darwin (Summary only)
A ST news article about 150th Darwin birthday celebrations at a Singapore Humanism Meetup event.