20 Sep '11, 5am

Our reader explains why meritocracy has its shortcomings.

THE bottom line is that meritocracy is a euphemism for institutionalising a caste system ("Meritocracy is the only way to tackle inequality fairly" by Dr Khor Swee Kheng and "Level playing field" by Mr Alex Tan; Sept 13). The corollary of the so-called positive aspects of meritocracy is that it provides an equal opportunity to also dump the least advantaged into socio-economic badlands in pursuit of individual advantage and influence for oneself above all others. Some call this elitism. To claim that the alternative to meritocracy is communism is bizarre. Why would Singapore want to be communist? To state that there is such a thing as "compassionate meritocracy" is to make as much sense as former United States president George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism". Putting the term "compassionate" before an ideology does not suddenly add heart power to it. Coming up with ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/OnlineStory/STIStory_...

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Understanding meritocracy

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