Elitism 101 is found here.
I am totally surprised at the reaction to Wee Shu Min's blog post on Derek Wee's concern about older workers in Singapore. The anger and criticism of Shu Min shows a lack of understanding of how our system works and netizens have certainly been unfair to Shu Min who is the daughter of an elite MP Wee Siew Kim. It is not her fault that she possesses such an opinion which her father shares (not the language but the logic, see quote above). To have all these less capable ordinary Singaporeans with ordinary degrees holding jobs with ordinary capabilities whining about their anxieties and concerns is certainly unacceptable and negative. ...MP Wee's message to them is stop moaning. You might expect an MP to share your concerns and troubles but please be understanding, an elite MP who holds a top post, say, in a GLC does not struggle to pay for his HDB flat, never needs to stay awake at night worried about medical bills or the cost of his children's education. His part-time MP position yields an income of $13,000 per month...and his full time job several times more. It is totally unreasonable for ordinary Singaporeans to expect their elite MPs to understand the challenges, problems and fears they face in their daily lives.
Many people believe we have an meritocracy. Actually we don't. What we have is an elitist system based on selection - resources and opportunities are generously continuously allocated to this group of elites through the system and a structure.
"Singapore is like Sparta, where the top students are taken away from their parents as children and educated. Cohort by cohort, they each select their own leadership, ultimately electing their own Philosopher King......But when I reached the end of the book, it dawned on me that though the starting point was meritocracy, the end result was dictatorship and elitism. In the end, that was how Sparta crumbled" - Ngiam Dow Tong, a former top civil servant (link)
The most important characteristic of real meritocracy is not that the winner takes all at the end but that everyone has a chance to play and compete. It is this competition that creates energy and dynamism in a society. To have this competition, we need a level playing field and for as many people as possible to feel that they have a chance. Other features of a meritocratic society is the lack of secrecy and tendency for the system to eliminate inherited advantages.
Elitism is different from meritocracy. It is the belief that the views of a selected group of people, the elite, are far more worthy than those of others (the non-elite)....and hence the views of the public can be disregarded. Because more resources and opportunities are allocated to the elites, the accomplishments will reaffirm the original belief that they are more deserving of those opportunities.
Singaporeans are so lucky that there is a group of elites leading them. These elites are very versatile and talented, they cross over from politics to business and vice versa with ease. Ordinary Singaporeans like Derek Wee should just keep his views to himself as his logic cannot simply cannot match those of our elites and their elite offsprings. He should spend his energy on the many challenges the PAP has created for him - high cost of living, foreign talents competition etc. These challenges are there to keep him motivated and it is for his own good. The elites have been selected are exempted from real competition even when they go for elections....this is so that they can focus their energies to work hard for Singaporeans' interests. For that they are paid $13K per month usually as a part-time MP or if they become one of the super-elite ministers they stand to make more than $1M a year. That is why we can be assured they will always show sympathy to the ordinary Singaporeans whose average household income is $3600 per month.