Meritocracy In Singapore

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The future of Meritocracy as a central ideology in Singapore

Meritocracy is no abstract concept to Singapore. It is one of the principles that shape policies of Singapore ("National Day Rally 2013," 2013) and is deeply entrenched in the minds of Singaporeans through education (Lim, 2012). Given Singapore’s multiracial demographic, it is important to ensure there are no racial inequality issues (Moore, 2000). Meritocracy is able to prevent this.

As Singapore becomes more successful, we see debates and the drawbacks of meritocracy. One such criticism is that it causes class consciousness, more specifically, a culture of elitism in Singapore. Elitism is when successful members of a society credit their success to their own merits, failing
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Chua adopts a more optimistic view, seeing moral values being intertwined with academic achievements, where excellent academic results reflect one’s character such as dedication, strength and ability and work hard. Leong sees it more as a detachment of moral values with academic achievements, where in this race of achievements we neglect others not in our social circle and thus fail to develop empathy, becoming…show more content…
When elites fail to relate with people from different circumstances, they detach themselves from this group of people who have yet to benefit as much as they did from meritocracy. This causes them to close their own social circle, only opening up to people they can relate to. As Hayes puts it, “Those who are able to climb up the ladder will find ways to pull it up after them, or to selectively lower it down to allow their friends, allies and kin to scramble up.” This is especially relevant in a competitive society such as Singapore.
While Leong’s article is limited in showing the views of students who are not from these elite schools, it is useful in inferring why the students in schools that are not counted as “elite” tend not to have the same snobbish mindset. It is possible that these students know their place, that they are simply not as good as them academically. These students have failed to achieve a place in the elite school and thus, they are able to empathise with others and have some

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