Enabling meritocracy or another weak excuse for PAP’s centered elitism?

In Michael Barrs 2014 book, “The Ruling Elite of Singapore” he has done a very detailed analysis of our scholarship system. It is interesting to note that up until 2008 just over 96% have gone to Chinese students and 80% of those are attendees of the Raffles and Hwa Chong Family of schools. This does not look much like “all schools are good schools” and that we are meritocratically searching Singapore to promote and support the best and brightest and despite the rhetoric it does not seem to have changed much in the last 10 years.

Elsewhere in the world, scholarships are generally awarded to bright pupils with potential that come from all walks of life but cannot afford further education themselves but here they have become a badge of status with hundreds of thousands of public funds routinely given to children whose parents almost unanimously can well afford to pay for it themselves.

For example, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his son Li Hong Yi both got government scholarships. In fact, Lee Hsien Loong got two, a President scholarship and the SAF overseas scholarship. Tony Tan’s son and daughter both got Presidents scholarships (His son also got that infamous 12 year National Service deferment but that is another story). Mah Bow Tan’s son got the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s scholarship, and this is just a few of the more notable ones.

We also know from Wikileaks that Assistant Director of Planning Division at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Cheryl Chan was reported saying that, “the government does not plan to encourage more students to get a higher education” and “The university enrolment rate will continue to be maintained at 20-25 percent because the Singaporean labor market does not need everyone to get a four-year degree,” which along with our ever more exclusionary university acceptance rules for those limited spaces and the limiting of CPF funds for further education only to those excluding institutions shows there are very big barriers to getting the education base for success if you are not well off.

So in Singapore it is not working hard at getting yourself educated and then competing for your true value, which necessarily keeps you on your toes and moving forward it is, for the chosen and privileged few, getting assisted through schooling while your potential competitors are blocked and then sitting back on your laurels and collecting a fat paycheck for doing little while preaching to everyone else how good you are.

Is this the “Enabling Meritocracy” that Indranee Raja is preaching about?

And all this is conveniently putting aside the fact that every citizen has merit and is valuable, it just depends on whether you look at people as human or just as economic producing units with certificates or not. They may not all excel at the one and only metric the PAP seems to use to decide value (besides who you are related too of course) but they have much to offer in other areas and yet we pay little more than lip service to anything outside our rigid academic sorting system.

While Singapore continues to be ruled one-dimensionally, to an often flawed economic plan, like a dysfunctional company and not a country that encourages and supports all its citizens to thrive and find their true potential then many of the deserving will be blocked, many undeserving will get a free ride at the public expense and our country will wither and die while losing its soul and becoming a cold empty husk of humanity.

We need a total reform of our education system which includes providing access to higher education for all who wish to strive for it, plus we need to develop and support our local Small-Medium-Entreprises (SMEs), the arts and sports sectors and start valuing contributors from non-academic backgrounds just as much as our “academics”.

For example, a patient will die if the cleaner doesn’t do his job right in a hospital and it’s not a pleasant job to do. There will be a variance between his and a doctor’s pay but should it be so great? And engineering graduates with practical skills earn as much as academic graduates with theoretical skills in Germany as another example.

SO:-

  • No more privileged access to limited higher education,
  • No more scholarships for the rich,
  • No more guaranteed jobs for the boys (family, scholars and generals)
  • Valuing contribution to society more equitably, and
  • Providing a real equal opportunity for all while supporting the less able.

Then we can start talking about Meritocracy.

 

 

Brad Bowyer

 

 

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17 Responses to “Enabling meritocracy or another weak excuse for PAP’s centered elitism?”

  • TUCK WAN:

    Totally agreed. So wake-up !!!!!! (70% dafts)

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  • opposition dude:

    Meritocrapcy is just a word used and thrown about when the PAP wants to wayang. Same goes for all the other nice sounding ones like holistic and strigent and thorough checks. Oh, oh and let’s not forget magic ones like transparent and accountable too!

    Let’s show PAP just how meritocratic, holistic, stringent, transparent and accountable we voters are in the next election shall we?

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Brad; first of all, who supports the PAP? The rich of course!

    The rich wants privilege, not only access to limited higher education, but everything else.

    They want scholarship too, because of the privilege again.

    “Valuing contribution to society more equitably”, then where is the privilege?

    “Providing a real equal opportunity for all while supporting the less able”. That’s the last thing in their minds.

    It is the PAP who makes them richer and richer.

    So don’t need to pity people like Hyflux’s CEO or any other GLC’s CEOs.

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  • PAP meritocracy aka caste sys:

    PAP idea of meritocracy is as messy n corruptive filth as Indranee’s bsing of conflict of interest as a devoted bootlicker, brownoser, polanpa, bcarrier n her nfi of what really r lynchers. If she has displayed such stupidit in bsing when her big LP was around n not before he lapsed into his twilight senility, he would have her sent to Toronto KKK headquarter for a real experience of what a lyncher would have done to her!

    PAP meritocracy, as all dedicated, dignified, responsible n honest patroits in the civil service n stat board, would tell you is basically caste system n has nothing to do with brain, work ethos n performance. The order of PAP meritocracy aka caste stem is

    nepotist zero experience n undisclosed academic score n in the order of the direct line, indirect line

    Bootlickers, brownosers, polanpa, bcarrier subclass with respect to bootlicking, polanpaing barrying credit points chalked up

    Bootlickers, brownosers, polanpa,, bcarrier n their nepotic members

    aliens with respect to the nation they come front with color preference relative to those who assesses

    general citizens meritocracy inversely proportional to intensity of kpkb

    Opposition n adverse critics

    Plagiarism is only a despicable crime of the originator of ideas but meritocracy increasing proportionally to the extent of plagiarism committed n the above caste system

    This is PAP meritocracy consistent with the compliancy exposure by LKY remaining son n daughter.

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  • PoliticalCivilWar:

    Meritocracy measures the skills relevance to autocratic rule but the failure lies in economically valued skills/talents in the upper echelon do not equate to someone’s(leaders) righteousness(in fact they are highly unrighteous when they partake the fruits of an unrighteous system) or fairness – a lowly uneducated janitor can be more righteous than a lawyer or doctor eg

    Hence, the inequality in economic rewards and status or standing in society, under meritocratic rule is very wide and unjust, headed for total destruction of people and societies.

    The end result will lead to many social injustices and the destruction of human lives who belong in the the lower ranks of meritocracy or of lower economic value.

    The rule of mammon is ultimately the engine of the rule of law.

    Today, everywhere, we are paying the price for fools(meriticratic/plutocratic leaders) to sit in power.

    In the West you have current strongman, Trump and in the East, Xi(in Sin? )

    We are now effectively in a “political civil war” – watch Hong Kong/China

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  • TruBlu:

    The REAL PROBLEM OF OUR SGOOREAN SOCIETY TODAY HAS TO DO WITH THE PAP CULTIVATING THE WRONG KIND OF GRA$$ROOTER$.

    In order to LURE people to join their ranks,PAP lowered the quality of grassrooters and in the process,breeds pesky grass*weeds* instead?

    As we all know,WEED kills the grass and thats why so many sgs are sufferring.

    PBM N BBM HOLDER$ are there just to SERVE THEIR OWN INTERESTS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
    PRIVILEGES ARE EVEN EXTENDED TO GRASSROOTERS’ relatives.

    Politicians must never compromise on the SELECTION OF GRASSROOT LEADERS OR SOCIETY WILL GRIW MORE WEED THAN GRASS.

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  • Harder Truths:

    India has a more honest education system than here.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    What Bullocks!
    An Elitist Govt practising a Redundant “Meritocracy” Policy (more to do with entrenching their own political rule [insecurities of a weak political mechanism - forever fixing oppo, silencing masses]; favouring nepotism [political elite class, cronies] over the enhancement of higher education thus increasing the nation’s economic value/output [fear of an entrepreneurial, intellectual class countermanding the authority of their weak govt mechanism which can't handle dissent, questions - they would fall apart completely] & over the economic rationale of improving human capital [reducing it to managing simple digits, instead of guiding clever individuals]). It is a senseless, self-damaging mode & ultimately a destructive form of thinking which can only end in Cataclysmic Failure.
    This is at odds with the Knowledge Economy which is already over 2 decades deep in the making – Disruptive, Discontinuous & Technologically, a Creative Destruction process for old modes of thinking!
    Look at China – they took only the good parts of S’pore’s economic formulae for themselves [Deng Xiaoping-LKY technology transfer]. But the rest, they ignored especially Meritocracy Policy which reminded them too much of their Ancient China’s emperor rule which had plunge China into centuries of turmoil, fractitious conflicts & poverty of the masses. It lead to China being called the Sick Man of Asia – a very humiliating period of China’s history! And China was a great civilization long before the West became one.
    Instead they improvised; Enhancing their own industrial strength complex, creating a Global supply chain mechanism & educating their masses with STEM topics to further, to bridge the Technological hurdles, barriers & gaps [& of course, the rest had to be done through industrial espionage, reverse engineering, theft of intellectual properties, etc]. Only mass education can do that! – if they had adopted S’pore’s full suite of economic do-thats. They would have failed miserably.

    Brad Bowyer: We also know from Wikileaks that Assistant Director of Planning Division at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Cheryl Chan was reported saying that, “the government does not plan to encourage more students to get a higher education” and “The university enrolment rate will continue to be maintained at 20-25 percent because the Singaporean labor market does not need everyone to get a four-year degree,”

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  • True facts:

    They take care of themselves u think they look after u.

    Fat hope just vto.

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  • miniSTIRs:

    Wonder why the ad for planning is still at her job when students are not encouraged to have a higher education?

    Might as well tell the people that the young need not attend school at all!

    After all, they can become hawkers, cardboard pushers, food delivery man, grab drivers and off course market cleaners. What about your children and the little miniSTIRERs children? Are they ready to be cleaners n sweepers?

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  • if it is not for their talents:

    //We also know from Wikileaks that Assistant Director of Planning Division at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Cheryl Chan was reported saying that, “the government does not plan to encourage more students to get a higher education” and “The university enrolment rate will continue to be maintained at 20-25 percent because the Singaporean labor market does not need everyone to get a four-year degree//

    if the statement is true. why then subsidize (or give scholarship ?) FTs in higher education and ‘hopefully’ to convert them to sinkies ? why have open-leg policy to attract FTs if it is not for their talents (need certain qualifications right and the higher the better right ?) ?

    and why give $500/- to every sinkies for skill upgrading ($500/- only for good for basic courses ?) ? why not consolidate this $$$ and convert to OR give additional assistance to sinkies for a more meaningful quality higher education (degrees) ?

    could there be some very questionable people (either eunuchs or certain white idiots themselves ?) up there suggesting / having all the ‘wrong’ wayang agenda to ‘undermine’ the interests of daft sinkies ?????

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  • Oligarchy more like it???:

    Just when you thought aristocratic caste-ism was shipping out from humanity, goddamnit they’re on a Mega Ego-Trip in the Little Red Dot.

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  • SG edn is about competition:

    The SG education system is not about true learning. When our reward system is based solely on exam scores, learning becomes robotic.

    It becomes competing for the best grades to win that ‘prestigious’ scholarship. It is not about the inquisitive mind thinking and wanting to learn and understand. Or to appreciate the finer points of the arts and science. Rather, it is much about tuition – to drum it in, mechanically. And getting the perfect scores. And the scholarship.

    Not one of the many Ministers that passed through MOE nor those in charge of MOE were able to ask why we spend so much of our resources on tuition.

    Why do we resort to tuition? Isn’t there something wrong in the direction of our education system?

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  • Bullocks Talking:

    Rabble-rouser:

    Look at China – they took only the good parts of S’pore’s economic formulae for themselves [Deng Xiaoping-LKY technology transfer]. But the rest, they ignored especially Meritocracy Policy which reminded them too much of their Ancient China’s emperor rule which had plunge China into centuries of turmoil, fractitious conflicts & poverty of the masses.

    and yet they still make someone President for life, aka emperor.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ Bullocks Talking:
    If XJP is President for life, it doesn’t mean that he’s an emperor nor is he planning a Dynasty. The Politburo probably want him at the helm to see through China’s vision & most importantly, guide BRI strategy to secure China’s future. Whereas in S’pore, we have a defacto & clear Lee Dynasty with a stopgap Seat Warmer, Woody Goh inbetween. The carousel spins again with another seat warmer, Stroke Heng (or Toothy Chan) before passing the baton to Li Hongyi aka the Parking app genius.
    Aren’t you Bullocks Talking? Ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Bullocks Talking: and yet they still make someone President for life, aka emperor.

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  • Bullocks Talking:

    you are @Rabble-rouser

    Once someone is President for life, can the Politburo remove him when it later become a “defacto & clear Dynasty with a stopgap Seat Warmer then the carousel spins again with another seat warmer before passing the baton to the personally choice of this President for Life in the name of “China vision and future”?

    Once the person is President for Life, who is to disagree with him what is “vision and future”? and dispute his choice of person who can do that job?

    How is this different from an emperor?

    Rabble-rouser:

    If XJP is President for life, it doesn’t mean that he’s an emperor nor is he planning a Dynasty. The Politburo probably want him at the helm to see through China’s vision & most importantly, guide BRI strategy to secure China’s future. Whereas in S’pore, we have a defacto & clear Lee Dynasty with a stopgap Seat Warmer, Woody Goh inbetween. The carousel spins again with another seat warmer, Stroke Heng (or Toothy Chan) before passing the baton to Li Hongyi aka the Parking app genius.
    Aren’t you Bullocks Talking? Ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Yes is YOUR Bullocks talking !!!

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  • Harder Truths:

    It is statistically almost impossible for so many scholarships to be awarded to such a small group of people. For one person to get multiple scholarships means this person is someone like Albert Einstein.

    Does that mean there are no other deserving candidates outside of these people?

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