SINGAPORE (Nov 2): Conversations about the so-called elite class and elitist attitudes in Singapore have been bubbling for some time. Now, a hard look at Singapore’s focus on meritocracy as the guiding principle of progress could be due.

“Any elite would be deluding himself if he thought that his success is solely his effort,” says Eugene Tan, associate professor of law at Singapore Management University (SMU). “As society becomes less equal, the ability for the better-off to protect and pass on their privilege grows larger. This is often because they are able to transmit their privilege to the next generation.”

And the way some commentators see it, Singapore’s system of meritocracy is “producing some perverse outcomes”.

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