Daily Lessons from Life 20 April 2018 - Inequality in Sgp?
"Government to tackle 'serious issue' of inequality from pre-school years: Shanmugam
SINGAPORE: Inequality is one of the most serious issues facing Singapore today and has to be dealt with or Singapore's society will "fracture", Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam said on Friday (Apr 20).
Speaking at the launch of a Singapore Red Cross project for pre-schoolers, Mr Shanmugam said that inequality has to be tackled by the Government and via community-driven efforts.
Pointing out that former Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee had, in 1961, warned about the risk of having groups of elites creating a favourable environment for themselves at the expense of others, Mr Shanmugam stated that "society will fracture and trust will be completely broken" should that be allowed to happen.
Mr Shanmugam quoted Dr Goh as saying then: "In advanced societies, it is not so much open nepotism that is to be feared, but the insidious 'old boy' type whereby no illegalities are committed, but in which the pinnacles of power, influence and wealth are the reserve of those born into the right families.
"The dominant majority is thus able to point out that those outside of the charmed circle just do not have the necessary qualifications to be admitted to the elite group. Thus, many able and aspiring people are denied the opportunity for the full use of their abilities."
Mr Shanmugam also stated that "increasingly, the starting points are different for those born into families of different backgrounds"."
Honestly i m shocked by this revelation that inequality is one of the most pressing issues for Sgp! This after tounting that everyone is equal n education n meritocracy r the best leveller regardless of your background since Sgp was formed! What happened?
Did PM Goh not come fr a humble backgrounds? Did even many of the 4th generation leaders not come fr humble backgrounds like Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat n Ong Ye Kung, etc.? Of course there were a few from privileged families of ex PM n ex Ministers. But aren't they the minority? Even the many armed forces Generals, current n x, got there through scholarships n not family backgrounds. So, why this sudden big thing abt inequality at the start?
Maybe it is abt the elite class Dr Goh Keng Swee talked abt. Maybe the voters r not discerning enough to remind the public officials they r the Masters n not the other way round? Maybe the parents who hv made some progress now put their kids, if they want any, through many enhancement classes, tuitions n whatever it takes to start ahead of most, if not all, at nursery, pte-school, primary n all through to JC?
Maybe Minister Shanmugan is talking abt the old boys system that IS IN EXISTENCE like how PAP select its candidates!! Armed forces, lawyers fr certain firms, ececutives fr Temasek n it's many TLCs, etc.
It is ALREADY there!! The government must think of ways to dismantle the current dysfunctional structure now while working on the pre-schoolers!!
Inequality in Sgp? Let's see if it will last or be banished?