One of the notions that PAP likes to perpetuate is that the modern Singapore skyline would not have existed without them. They have also boasted that under their rule, Singapore has become a meritocracy where anyone can succeed regardless of their background.
I would like to debunk this myth. First, let’s talk about their “success” in bringing Singpaore up
While there was indeed some level of uncertainty after Singapore’s separation from Malaya in 1965, one also needs to note that Singapore was already a British crown colony then with its GDP being amongst the highest in South East Asia. Heck, even Ford had a factory here in 1940s.
Even though Singapore subsequently became a modern industrial nation turned financial hub under the PAP’s rule, this was due to the basic ideas promoted by Albert Winsemius – foreign investment and low-cost public housing. This has nothing to do with LKY or the PAP even though they subsequently claimed plenty of credit for it.
When Singapore entered the 1980s, they grew very arrogant where even their own MP Cheng Bock scolded them in Parliament in 1985, saying that there “was an erosion in this faith and trust” after the PAP had introduced policies such as the graduate mother scheme which was perceived to be “elitist”
Next, let’s talk about meritocracy.
With so many foreign talents dominating sectors such as banking and accounting, we see more and more of them giving jobs to their own kind. Even worse, the PAP is continuing to let them in even though there are no longer enough jobs to go around.
Singaporeans are told that a degree is not important if you cannot eat it (Khaw Boon Wan) while so many foreigners are given scholarships to study in our local universities. Singaporeans incur an average student debt of $20,000 while parents go broke in sending their children overseas.
Indeed, the very opposite is true: PAP is not as good as they claimed while the idea of meritocracy is an insult to those who needed to serve NS as a “privilege” (Koh Wee Kiak)!