Getting into this box is what's best for both of us. During your time in the box, you will learn so much, and yet experience so little. It's a wild ride, my friend, one well worth the time spent...and let's face it, you don't have much to do these days anyway.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Cracks show in the grand Cult of Meritocracy.

Minister makes controversial statement, people pissed:
 Yesterday (28 Feb), MG (NS) Chan Chun Sing, who is also the Acting Minister for Social and Family Development and Senior Minister of State for Defence, appeared on a Ch 8 TV forum to talk about the Budget.
During the forum, he made some controversial statements which later sparked hot discussions on the Net:

“We discover, regardless of which society, in the long run, the rich will marry the rich and their children will have more opportunities. And those who are not rich, will form another type of social condition. And that is, those who are not rich and do not have much opportunities will stick together.

In the long run, if this situation doesn’t change, will polarize the whole society. For example, if we look at some of the other countries, the rich are really rich and the poor are really poor. This has a great impact on the cohesion of the society as a whole.

Therefore our aim is to give more opportunities to Singaporeans. Regardless if you come from a rich or poor family, the moment you start school, we hope that all will start from the same starting point. It won’t be the case where one will be far behind from others.”

Unsurprisingly, Many netizens weren’t too happy with his stereotyping:

Luckyboy04: gong jiao wei again!!!!!!!!!! (talk cock again)

jgyy1990: Classical stereotype.

waterdestiny: Why not say good looking ppl marry good looking ppl?

Mr Anonymous: By going with this logic, kee chiu wife cfm also another jiak liao bee

Another netizen, abcworld, gave a good rebuttal, “Prince William married a commoner leh.”
As I mentioned on my chat with Aurini,we Singaporeans have bought so deeply into the Cult of Meritocracy, that it's become so ingrained into the national consciousness that when reality starts to reassert iself and social stratification progresses, there's no going back and admitting what's been going on. Doing so would destroy a good chunk of the national identity.

"I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er."

etc, etc.

We also get to see a little window on the state's eugenics-lite program:
Years ago, Lee Kuan Yew was alarmed at the perceived demographic trend that educated women — most of all the college-educated — would be less likely to marry and procreate. Such a trend would run antithetical to his demographic policy, and part of this failure, Lee conjectured, was “the apparent preference of male university graduates for less highly educated wives”.

This trend was deemed in a 1983 speech as “a serious social problem”. Starting 1984, the government gave education and housing priorities, tax rebates and other benefits to mothers with a university degree, as well as their children. The government also encouraged Singapore men to choose highly-educated women as wives, establishing the Social Development Unit (SDU) that year to promote socialising among men and women graduates. The government also provided incentives for educated mothers to have three or four children, in what was the beginning of the reversal of the original Stop at Two policy.

The measures sparked controversy and what became known as The Great Marriage Debate in the press. Some sections of the population, including graduate women, were upset by the views of Lee Kuan Yew. By 1985, especially controversial portions of the policy that gave education and housing priorities to educated women were eventually abandoned or modified due to public unhappiness of such a policy.
Guess our women have always loved their Worker Drone Merit Badges. A few things we can take away from this statement:

*I know it's common hearsay around the Androsphere that asian societies know about female hypergamy, but whether it's because we've lost that knowledge due to outside politically correct pressures from the West, or because our knowledge of hypergamy was never quite complete, I can't say. The most I ever heard about it was the knowledge that women like to marry up, and this came from my grandmother. No modern Singaporean woman is going to speak of it in the open, that's for sure.

*I'm pretty damned sure the Singaporean government knows that intelligence and potential, to some extent, is determined genetically, but is unable to articulate that thanks to the Cult of Meritocracy. Hoisted by their own petard, so to speak.

On a side note, one thing I do wonder is that the government does seem quite intent on smartening up the country's population, as opposed to dumbing down the masses like western countries do. Then, the question: why is our tap water fluoridated? Deionised and distilled water here is largely used amongst aquarium enthusiasts to fill up their fish tanks...and I've been buying bottles for my stockpile.

Another quick thought here:

SINGAPORE : Students from families with at least one or both parents being university graduates are likely to have a better learning environment.

The correlation was evident in statistics released when Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew visited Dunman High School on Monday.


His first conclusion was that neighbourhood schools are as well-equipped with physical resources as "brand name" schools.

Secondly, he found that teachers are competent - even though the better ones may gravitate towards "brand name" schools.

Mr Lee said: "Of course, the better teachers gravitate to the 'brand name' schools because the status is higher and the principals scout out the better teachers, but in the neighbourhood schools they are equally competent."

However, he commented on one area of difference - referring in particular to the educational background of parents.

He said: "If both or at least one parent is university educated, the chances of the home background would be more favourably supportive, with books and all the paraphernalia that makes for a learning child.


Mr Lee also released a table which showed the proportion of students who have graduate parents in some of Singapore's leading and neighbourhood schools.

For "brand name" schools like ACS Independent, it is nearly 72 per cent; Dunman High 42 per cent and Raffles Institution 55 per cent.

At schools like Crescent Girls, the figure is about 50 per cent; and Victoria School 45 per cent.

On the other hand, for neighbourhood schools, the percentage of one or both parents being graduates ranged from 7 to 13 per cent.

During his visit to Dunman High, Mr Lee spent much of his time interacting with the students, finding out their family background, the language they spoke at home as well as among friends in and outside schools.
Poor home environments certainly is one possiblity, but the unspoken question here is to what extent genetics plays in this grand little game.

Whatever the cause, after fifty to sixty years, the Cult of Meritocracy is starting to crack. Despite everything being set up for even the lowest of the low to rise through the ranks via the Cult of Education, it still seems that society is settling into layers when it comes to the proles. We've always had the ruling elite - the colonial government and those associated with it, like the Malay sultans and Chinese and Indian trade maganates, but now it seems that even the common man is divvying up the spoils.

Sure, education and evnironment can change some things, but the government, despite having success at economically uplifting the local Malay community (25% of Singaporean malays are professionals, compared to 14% in affirmative action-heavy Malaysia), is still having problems bringing the Malay community up to snuff with the other ethnic groups.

The solution, as always, is to double down on the Cult of Education. Whether it be innate or environmental...the Cult of Meritocracy is starting to crack, even if no one is noticing the fractures.
"That is the situation we face - to get the lesser educated parents to understand that at an early stage, they must try to get their children accustomed to go to the library, reading, trying to get used to acquiring knowledge by themselves, and not being spoon-fed by the teachers."

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