Making a Mockery of Meritocracy

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by Augustine Low

The PAP would have us believe that meritocracy is the bedrock of Singapore’s success. How true is that? How transparent is this concept of meritocracy?

Let’s just take one aspect of meritocracy – scholarships. Are government scholarships awarded based purely on merit? Are we given the details and background of those awarded these scholarships? Who sits on panels, committees and commissions that dish out the scholarships?

All three children of Lee Kuan Yew were President’s Scholars and the two sons went on to become SAF Scholars. What is the likelihood of that happening based on merit? It’s like striking the jackpot many times over – the odds are probably more than a billion to one!

Tony Tan’s son Patrick Tan was a President’s Scholar, and so was his daughter Patricia Tan. Patrick, by the way, also received the President’s Service Award, personally handed to him by his father when he was President Tony Tan. And perhaps by sheer coincidence, too, Patrick was granted an unheard-of 12 years’ disruption from national service to complete further studies, and eventually served in the specially created post of medical researcher.

But back to the subject of scholarships. Teo Chee Hean’s son, Teo Eng Siang, was gifted a PSC Scholarship, not to mention Lee Hsien Loong’s son Li Hongyi. And we might as well throw in the fact that Mah Bow Tan’s son, Warren Mah, was bestowed an MAS scholarship.

The above is just a snapshot, the tip of the iceberg.

Over the years, how many government scholarships have been gifted to children of those at the top echelons of government and public service? For every one that is given out, another deserving Singaporean loses out – and that Singapore could be in dire need of a scholarship because he or she comes from a not-well-to-do family.

It’s the reality of the sad, sad concept of meritocracy as practised in Singapore. It makes a mockery of what meritocracy is supposed to stand for.

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90 comments

  1. Ace Chew says:

    In simple term, it is called ownself award ownself. That is why all the grassroots tripod their white master like there is no tomorrow and faults left unreported as all they want is to be in the circle of the so call elites to gain benefits that commoners no matter how talented or hardworking they are can nvr touch or get. That is the backbone of Singapore downfall. All the scholar who came back. Which one really shines??? Look at NOL, SMRT and ‘LTA all run by scholars and yet failures after failures. Give the alternative parties a chances to shine in the next GE, save the white the trouble of picking the next pm from the bunch of clowns. Wake up lah. 70% also wake up lah. Once the whites form the govt in the next GE then there is no turning back.

    1. Ace Chew says:

      Lhl himself was the fastest rising general in the world. Army general but scare of fire crackers, cat walk like a model and hand shake like a lady waiting to be kiss on his hand. General leh, spore general leh. Good DNA you know?

  2. I think not too many would arrive at this conclusion based on the article alone…too simplistic. But it’s hard to ignore the existence of an elite class that bears the trademark nepotism either. Perhaps this element of distrust more than anything else makes a quick leadership renewal critically important…as people will start pointing out and taking a stand against the widening chasm.

  3. WH Wong says:

    If really so, we would not see such a great and dishonorable leeder as well as our national icons and pride going down the tube over the last decade or two! Even our important institutions are running down to a symbolically important one while the highest house of the land a papleementary circus……….

  4. simple all are under table la more or less some strings are pull here and there to be honest I will also pull some string if it was my son or daughter. If fact no need to post anything to explain just ask yourself did you do it

  5. Given a benefit of doubt , let’s say Tony Tan’s son and daughter are given the scholarship based of the fact that their father was a president and not genuine capability ….
    The father itself an incompetent puppet alr and isn’t made president because he is capable , the chain reaction just continues non stop starting from his appointment as a puppet president and scholarships for his off spring ,wow now I need to reassess the term “scholarship”.

  6. Huton Benz says:

    Augustine, do your due diligence. I’ve no involvement nor connection with Govt but my son just left for USA on a Govt scholarship to pursue a PhD thru merits.

    1. Huton Benz says:

      Idle threats from bullies are despicable. By and large they usually stemmed out from very low crass homo sapiens. I grew up in the streets and I it is pretty easy to recognize and decipher such boorish tactics. It is a reflection of those with low self esteem or those who harbors from bad childhood. You and the rest of them are merely ass-lickers. Such act is likened to balls carrying. You are better off remaining in hibernation.

    2. Lau Tuck says:

      Benz pse visit the national museum to view the old photos of Sgp. It was a thriving entrepôt ( and not a fishing village)when PAP by some clever scheme came into power in 1959. Praise must be proportionately given

    3. David Lim says:

      “Cheok, it’s pointless to remain in this island disgruntled and dissatisfied with Govt Policy. Why not migrate and go elsewhere.” — seriously? This the classic establishment rejoinder that fails to engage meaningful debate

    4. Are you sure you are the biological father ?…
      Such an ill-mannered mother son of the xxx
      So you came in here , bragged about a son which is totally irrelevant to this topic or unless your capability to comprehend lies on par with a …. what is that word which you seems to adore … oh yes ” a moron”.
      As it is proven here that empty vessel does makes the most noise .
      “A deaf and dumb in the mist of morons is a renowed talkative among brains.”

      So your “son” has left the country on a USA gov scholarship ?…..
      I don’t give a damn “If” he is gay

    5. Huton Benz says:

      In a crunch you can tell the distinctive difference between cowards and men of valor. To my bewilderment those bunch of empty vessels are silenced and shaken. I’m still standing and waiting for you retards to slither out of your shells and cocoons. C’mon sissies and butches… there’s no point hiding…

    6. Huton Benz says:

      Hoodlums and the sort resort to violence whenever they encounter formidable opponents. I, for one will not succumb to idle threats. I reckon you are a butch hiding below a skirt. Bring them on! You faggot!

    7. You are really disrespectful by calling Lee a moron and imbecile, before you comment further, please reflect and correct your own unacceptable behavior, respect is earned not given!

    8. Uh no. Since the majority of the people in Parliament are from the PAP, let’s just use PAP history. When PAP is first founded, Singapore is no longer a fishing village. We have decent maritime capabilities, flats made of bricks, proper schools and government buildings etc. So fuck the “fishing village” propaganda.

    9. Huton Benz says:

      Jackie, if you accord high esteem to a President Scholar the more you should glorify this Govt of ours who transformed a tiny fishing village to a nation worth fighting for.

    10. Huton Benz says:

      So what if he is a scholar? Anyone who spouts nonsense or untruths doesn’t deserve respect. We should view Govt policies in a wider perspective and not simply criticize without thinking.

    11. Huton Benz you dare called Cheok Yew Lee, a President Scholar a moron??? Just because ur son gets some benefit doesn’t mean we r a real meritocratic society. Streaming in schools is already a elitist move.

  7. aiyah……just see how many of our MPs and ministers are the offspring of former high level civil SERPENTS………….just look at Pinky Lee, if his daddy wasn’t Lee KILL You……Pinky would be driving a taxi today……….

  8. 周文伟 says:

    Rich ppl are the stingiest of the lot.. they can afford to educate their children with their own money but they want taxpayers to foot the bill for them. And why not? Becos they CAN!

  9. Nasir Bj says:

    We have passed an era of greatness when our great leader passed on….. we can said much abt the son though … one thing for sure we are moving backward instead of forward….

  10. Chan Peter says:

    My oh my have u heard of leetocracy.That’s it happening in SG not meritocracy which is reserved for the very elite few n their cronies. So don’t dream of it.

  11. Lau Tuck says:

    The elites earns 160 times more than an average singaporean working person but the latter seem quite contented and continue to vote for the ruling party. The degree of decay has not gone over the threshold of loyalty

  12. Scrap this so call scholarships and change it to bursaries to help those who are not from well to do families to complete their universities study. It is a burden for those not well off to study universities but peanuts to those rich families.

  13. But why cry about all this now? When the right opportunity comes at voting stations, still vote for them. Many “crying” views about our rulers today are from you, the very double standard 70% asses who voted for them to begin with. So lets just stop this lampa wayang and vote otherwise to start with. Got lampa?

  14. Told all of you that Singapore government are “white“corrupted and we can’t do shit about it because they are the lawmakers! There is no justice in our legal system! That’s why to me police are always DOGS lackeys!

  15. Not all scholarship are smart or clever. Most of these govt scholars are due to their parents in these high position, but in fact, these scholars are just a normal student.

    It all bullshit and Rob others of the scholarship just because these idiots are too greedy and want to show off.

  16. Facebook Profile photo
    Gary Seet ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “The PAP would have us believe that meritocracy is the bedrock of Singapore’s success. How true is that? How transparent is this concept of meritocracy?”

    We would never know for sure, would we? But one thing is certain though. The credibility and trust of this ruling regime under LHL is rapidly being eroded away. Always amazes me how MIW can speak with a straight face about integrity, honesty, trust in the midst of all these unanswered concerns.

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