Re-think the notion of Meritocracy in Singapore

By Darren Chan

I agree that the People’s Action Party (PAP) needs to re-examine its idea of meritocracy and how it can better cater to the citizens of Singapore. (“PAP activists urge party to re-examine notion of meritocracy” (9 Dec), TODAY.

Meritocracy is one of Singapore’s pillars of good governance. Everyone has to start on the same page and everyone can contribute in their own way to Singapore’s continued growth and future.

The big picture is to nurture each individual not based on their ability or intelligence but their goals and contributions to society. The abolishment of the school rankings and Primary School Leaving Examination results gave students the equal opportunity to excel in whichever school they go to. It is not the school that brings out the best result or the brightest student but the student who as an individual who strives to do their best and their attitude towards having a good education. With the right infrastructure such as parental support and government appraisal rewards, I am positive that students will want to excel and achieve good results for themselves. Opportunities should be given by the school to every student to have a good education.

Singapore’s ageing population is also another concern as more companies are reluctant to employ older workers for fear of having to spend more time and effort to train them. However, this is a misconception, as the older generation have the experience and are ready to learn to improve themselves. More recognition and appreciation needs to be given to the older generation who have contributed or stayed with their companies for a long period of time.

The government also need to listen to the people and continue to address their concerns. Positive solutions and understanding need to be the part of the PAP’s framework to help the citizens and create new avenues where people can contribute back to society such as more job opportunities, affordable housing and healthcare.

I believe that with the now modern meritocracy and leadership, the government is better able to look beyond the paper chase and focus more on skill sets for everyone to achieve their potential. By doing so, this will ensure that the government understand and act on their citizen’s concerns.

Singapore needs to re-think the idea of meritocracy and step up its game in transparency of information, helping the less fortunate, developing Singapore’s youth community and ensuring that more is done to help the older generation.

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