How to stop meritocracy becoming a dirty word

Make it constructive: Recognise all types of talent and develop a sense of solidarity among Singaporeans so that people, regardless of their social station, care for one another

The issue of meritocracy has featured much recently in discussions in developed countries. In Singapore, it has sparked soul-searching as the country prides itself on being a meritocratic society where people can do well regardless of their family origins or social connections.

Meritocracy was a hot topic in this week's Parliament sitting, with Education Minister Ong Ye Kung acknowledging that meritocracy is "in danger of becoming a dirty word", as those who benefited from an open system went on to invest educational and social resources to boost their children's chances of succeeding in the system.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2018, with the headline 'How to stop meritocracy becoming a dirty word'. Print Edition | Subscribe