PM Lee defends system of meritocracy

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday said it was important to calibrate on fundamental strategies but warned about the dangers of turning things “upside down”.

Defending Singapore’s meritocracy system, he said, “I ask myself if we’re not going on merit, what are you going to look at?”

Cutting to the chase in a speech addressed to more than 1,600 People’s Action Party (PAP) activists, Lee noted, “You have a choice. You can look at wealth – they got money, you give them. You want that? You have another choice. You have connections, you give them. Some countries do that. I don’t think that’s the Singapore you want.”

Some had previously questioned the value of meritocracy in the city-state, especially in the academic system of the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).

Lee reminded Singaporeans that it is the same meritocracy system that allowed students with disadvantages and disabilities to progress.

While a balance is required between meritocracy and economic growth, Lee said that he does not believe less growth is better.

He warned that it is the low pay workers and the young people that would stand to suffer first should the economy slow down.

Lee also took the opportunity to remind the party to take the lead in convincing Singaporeans that the party’s policies will benefit them amid increased foreigner influx.

“We want a Singapore where citizens belong and feel as one, as well as an open, cosmopolitan city that welcomes foreigners with skills and talents to help us succeed,” Lee emphasised.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 31 minutes ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • Why you can't buy America's greenest car 3 hours ago
    Why you can't buy America's greenest car

    Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one type of question that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?

  • Audi TT Offroad concept debuts as a 124-mpg hybrid with wireless charging 4 hours ago
    Audi TT Offroad concept debuts as a 124-mpg hybrid with wireless charging

    The TT. Audi's diminutive sports car. Since production began in 1998, the two-door coupe has aged with the pugnacity of a grizzled New Yorker, but not in size. And why would it, as the arrival of the TT RS proved, adding some grit makes for a rather captivating dish. And so you'll excuse us for being puzzled by the Audi TT Offroad concept.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania
    McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.