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Posts Tagged ‘Meritocracy’

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

In Uncategorized on 29/11/2019 at 4:34 am

I tot this as I watched a Mad Dog video where in Malay he dissed the PAP’s 4G team.


My tots on how meritocracy, S’pore-style works:

Yup, I’m no fan of the $G team

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

Meritocracy? What meritocracy? How our PMs are chosen

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM (Or “Another Heng cock-up”)

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Note this section was added minutes after first publication.

————————————————

Problem is “Is a coalition that includes Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng a better alternative to the 4G?”

Look at Lim Tean’s record. Still no jobs rally after collecting money in 2017 for rally, and no picture, no sound after collecting money to sue CPF yrs ago: Finally Lim Tean called to account on a “broken promise”. To be fair, he did deliver on defamation video two years late. But it was BS.).

Can he be trusted to do anything but grab the money?

Here’s the Election manifesto of Spastics League.

How and why meritocracy morphs into a rigid caste system

In S'pore Inc, Uncategorized on 07/11/2019 at 4:41 am

A rigid caste system of winners and losers.

Further to Why S’poreans don’t trust the constructive, nation-building media, are we already like this?

In “The Meritocracy Trap”, Daniel Markovits, a legal scholar at Yale, blames the loss of social solidarity, and much else besides, on the slow corruption of American meritocracy, which has ossified into a formidable caste system. As the economic premium on education rose, he explains, competition for places at elite institutions of higher education grew. That struggle has become an obstacle to success for all but the cognitive elite. The gap in academic achievement between the children of rich and poor families is now larger than that between black and white pupils in the era of segregation, Mr Markovits notes.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2019/10/24/in-the-past-america-was-not-as-unequal-as-it-has-become

And like this also?

If Mr Markovits is right … Subtly but corrosively, he thinks, the idea of meritocracy has validated inequality, because rich and poor alike “earn” their position. Success depends on educational achievement beyond the reach of many, but winners feel they deserve their spoils, while losers are asked to accept their fate.

In Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”, I wrote that Michael J Sandel who  teaches political philosophy at Harvard University said

merit is defined by those who “made it”.

I went on

The meritocratic elites define the attributes and qualifications that allows one into the magical citcle: in S’pore, the British or French civil service, Harvard or other leading universities, or investment banks. And it always means: People like us.

going onto describe

what Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the UK Treasury 1840-59, had in mind when he proposed that meritocracy should be introduced into the civil service.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says Greenaway. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.”

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23376561

S’pore: Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

My tots on how meritocracy, S’pore-style works:

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

Meritocracy? What meritocracy? How our PMs are chosen

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM (Or “Another Heng cock-up”)

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Here’s something on Gilbert Goh who shows up meritocracy S’pore style

And here’s Real meritocracy at work. 

Meritocracy? What meritocracy? How our PMs are chosen

In China, Currencies, Political governance, Public Administration on 29/04/2019 at 10:42 am

But first, where Heng and Tharman failed.

Further to  what was reported in London trashes S’pore, London in 2019 is still the king of the offshore renminbi payments market according to the Chinese.

The UK (i.e. London) accounted for 37% of renminbi foreign exchange transactions outside of China in January.In the final quarter of 2018, average daily trading volumes of the Chinese currency in London reached £76.6 billion, up nearly 50% on the same period in 2017, according to a report published on Wednesday by the City of London Corporation and the People’s Bank of China’s Europe Representative Office.

I ask again

Tot PAP govt said we had plans to be a leading off-shore renminbi trading centre.

What went wrong? After all we are already a leading global FX trading centre.

London trashes S’pore

And Heng is DPM and PM presumptive? While ang moh tua kees and some anti-PAP types want Tharman as PM?

Failure is being rewarded?

Thinking about it our PM became PM after failing big time:

Another decade, another restructuring report?

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

In 2010, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC). And now there’s the CFE. It’s a bit early, but then there wasn’t a report in the 90s: so maybe making up for lost time?
If Lee Hsien loong’s 1980s plan was so successful, why keep needing plans every decade? Plan succeeded, but circumstances change said people from constructive, nation-building media like Balji and Bertha then. Really?  Since that plan, new plans that are a copy and paste from the previous one: Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different.
(And anyway can believe Bertha and Balji, now that they telling us how they helped PAP govt fix JBJ?)

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM (Another Heng cock-up)

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

 

MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

In Internet, Public Administration on 25/07/2018 at 11:00 am

Remember CSA’s CEO downplaying the loss of NRIC numbers etc (Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?)?

Should you be worried?

In short, not really, said the authorities. CSA chief executive David Koh said the stolen information are “basic demographic data”.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Well it’s now clear that the central bank for one thinks he’s talking cock

“With immediate effect, all financial institutions should not rely solely on the types of information stolen (name, NRIC number, address, gender, race, and date of birth) for customer verification,” MAS said in a statement.

“Additional information must be used for verification before undertaking transactions for the customer. This may include, for instance, One-Time Password, PIN, biometrics, last transaction date or amount, etc.”

 

 

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

In Financial competency, Media, Shipping, Temasek on 26/04/2018 at 11:04 am

Double confirm: Paper general made Temasek and other NOL shareholders poorer too.

Not that Ho Ho Ho or other S’porean decision makers seem to care. Good luck SPH shareholders.

More evidence that NOL was sold when the cycle was about to turn &Sale completed in mid 2016).

Deutsche Bank is turning positive on Asia Pacific’s shipping sector with the strongest preference for the container sub-segment, followed by tanker and dry bulk.

This comes on the belief that industry conditions have now fundamentally turned, with the peak in deliveries of mega vessels and the recent acceleration of industry consolidation in recent years, which in turn means operators have the potential to achieve stronger price discipline.

https://www.theedgesingapore.com/tide-turning-favour-regions-shipping-sector-says-deutsche

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

— Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

— Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

 

SMRT: Why Desmond must go

In Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 03/11/2017 at 11:15 am

That SMRT has asked staff to own-up to lapses without being penalised before a detailed audit is carried out is very worrying. The implication is that SMRT’s senior management is worried that the falsification of records on the maintenance of a tunnel is not the work of “a few rotten apples”. As someone posted on FB:

To be at this juncture, they must have lost control over the operations of the company. Employees must be very unhappy and demoralised too!

Management must be worried that the falsification of maintenance records is systemic. If it’s systemic, senior management cannot escape responsibility even if S’pore does accountability and responsibility in its unique understanding of “meritocracy”: Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

Talking about the falsification of maintenance records and the failure to detect that work was done, a few days before the amnesty:

Singapore Management University’s Toru Yoshikawa said they are indicative that it was not a priority for SMRT’s top management and board to review its system of checks and internal audits.

Well Desmond has been CEO long enough (5 years) to be responsible for systematic mgt failings. so he and other senior managers should commit hari-kiri. And btw, Hali, the president, and Ong, a contender to be PM, were directors of SMRT: More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

During his 1984 National Day Rally speech, LKY had this to say about getting things done and what should be done when things don’t work: “Everything works, whether its water, electricity, gas, telephone, telexes, it just has to work. If it doesn’t work, I want to know why, and if I am not satisfied, and I often was not, the chief goes, and I have to find another chief. Firing the chief is very simple.

Wonder why his son forgot this Hard Truth when rereading LKY’s speeches? How PM honours “Pa”

Because LKY would fired him after the 2011 GE if LKY had the power? Instead LKY had to move on and was rumoured to have said that Teo Cheen Hean would have made a better PM than “Hsien Loong”.

 

 

 

 

 

Making MRT Great Again

In Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 19/10/2017 at 5:31 am

“Win back our trust”. Taz what Khaw, and the chairman and paper general CEO at SMRT should be doing to make Our MRT Great Again.

First world country.
First world transportation.
First world ethics.

Not the usual suspects KPKBing “PAP is always wrong”.

Someone by the name of Eugene Weeposted u/m on FB. Although he isn’t at present living overseas, he’s spot on on his take of SMRT and what needs to be done.

I think Singaporeans are an understanding bunch.

Yes, we complain like mad when the train service is delayed because in more ways than one, it affects our daily lives and jobs.

But this does not mean we are on a witch hunt to get people fired.

We have been brought up in a culture of honesty and responsibility, and we expect the same from the highest levels of management or government. I believe we are simply looking for an honest response, admission of the issue and a credible solution.

We are more than happy to move on.

But what is unacceptable is when problems remain unaddressed, and worse still, its getting more common.

In light of these, of course there is a swelling ground discontent. but what makes me really uncomfortable is the responses to the public are nothing more than PR spins… get the public to be grateful, look at the hardworking people, to empathize with the workers etc etc.

These PR stunts are not only failing to address our concerns but also basically missing the point, not to mention eroding public trust.

We are not blaming the workers; what we are saying is that the only affordable form of public transport (that the majority of Singaporeans relies on for their bread and butter) is not reliable and please fix it – that is the management’s role.

Yes, we get it. Transportation is not an easy role, and we are not saying it is. But please don’t whitewash or brush it over with some convenient statistics of how more reliable it is when it is not.

If we believe Singapore’s education is top notch; we too, have to believe that Singaporeans are not that gullible to believe in selective statistics, and ignore the day to day disruptions.

If we aim to uphold our values as a first world country that takes pride in what we do, then please don’t give third world responses.

Take issue with the problems at hand, fix it, stop pushing the blame and definately not passing the buck down the line.

We are better than this.

Please don’t take aim at the ground workers, it is not only an appalling display of poor leadership but a clear indication of a lack of moral courage to be there for your people.

And please don’t talk about increasing public transportation fares or increasing salaries till you can increase reliability.

We know it’s an uphill climb, but important sacrifices have to be made in the higher echelon and communications have to be more sincere.

Win back our trust.

First world country.
First world transportation.
First world ethics.

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

Where’s Khaw? (cont’d)

In Corporate governance, Infrastructure, Public Administration, Temasek on 17/10/2017 at 6:59 am

Since I wrote Where’s Khaw? on Sunday, he’s resurfaced like a submarine. From a flooded MRT tunnel isit?

And he’s not blaming the constructive nation-building media or new media or even commuters for misrepresenting the truth about the “ponding” at Bishan. Instead

In his first comments on the unprecedented flooding-induced train outage on Oct 7, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan apologised to commuters but pinned the blame squarely on operator SMRT’s maintenance regime.

But there’s more:

Chairman of SMRT Corporation and SMRT Trains Seah Moon Ming bowed and apologised to the public for the underground flooding incident along the North-South Line (NSL) on Oct 7-8 that resulted in a 20-hour disruption. 

But SMRT’s president and group chief executive officer Desmond Kuek, while expressing regret, did no apologies or bowing:

“Much progress has been made with the inculcation of a positive work culture, but there remain some deep-seated cultural issues within the company that has needed more time than anticipated to root out.”

Hello he became the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of SMRT Corporation Limited (SMRT) on 1 October 2012.

So it’s been a good five years since he took charge. He now owns the culture and all other bits of SMRT. SMRT’s history pre October 2012, is no longer an acceptable, reasonable excuse.

But in S’pore scholars don’t get sacked do they? Meritocracy? What meritocracy? Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

Here life is good for scholars. Multi-millionaire salaries but not accountable for results: juz for trying hard it seems.

 

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

In Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 26/09/2017 at 11:16 am

Meritocracy and accountability are two sides of the same coin as the US navy has recently shown (PM, this is accountability). (Btw, a long time ago, the British executed a white horse to encourage other senior naval officers to do their duty.)

Therev are many examples where despite all the talk of meritocray (Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness), by the PAP, failures are rewarded, showing there’s no accountabilty. Think NOL’s CEO who is now SPH’s CEO or Ong Yee Kung  or SMRT’s Desmond Kwek or paper General Ministers.

The reason is simple: they were doing what they were supposed to do. Juz like when algos fail, the algos are not faulted. They juz doing what they were designed to do: “only doing what it was told”.

This realisation came when I read this

If Facebook’s algorithms were executives, the public would be demanding their heads on a stick, such was the ugly incompetence on display this week.

First, the company admitted a “fail” when its advertising algorithm allowed for the targeting of anti-Semitic users.

Then on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg said he was handing over details of more than 3,000 advertisements bought by groups with links to the Kremlin, a move made possible by the advertising algorithms that have made Mr Zuckerberg a multi-billionaire.

Gross misconduct, you might say – but of course you can’t sack the algorithm. And besides, it was only doing what it was told.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41358078

Blame the PAP (or rather the leaders of the PAP). And blame the pioneer generation for allowing S’pore to become a de facto one-party state?

Looking at things this way, and maybe the poor among the pioneer generation deserve the “peanuts” the PAP are shelling out.

What do u think?

Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2017 at 7:13 am

Michael J Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. He recently wrote something perceptive:

The relentless emphasis on seeking a fair meritocracy, in which social positions reflect effort and talent, has a morally corrosive effect on the way we interpret our success (or lack thereof). The belief that the system rewards talent and hard work encourages the winners to regard their success as their own doing, a measure of their virtue – and to look down upon the less fortunate.

Those who lose out may complain that the system is rigged or be demoralised by the belief that they alone are responsible for their failure. When combined, these sentiments yield a volatile brew of anger and resentment, which Trump, though a billionaire, understands and exploits. Where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speak constantly of opportunity, Trump offers blunt talk of winners and losers. Democrats such as Obama and Clinton have difficulty understanding the hubris a meritocracy can generate and the harsh judgment it renders on those without a college degree. This is why one of the deepest divides in American politics today is between those with and without post-secondary education.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/01/themes-of-2016-progressive-parties-address-peoples-anger-in-2017

He’s right but even he doesn’t get it (Heh, he’s from Harvard): merit is defined by those who “made it”. Is that “fair”?

The meritocratic elites define the attributes and qualifications that allows one into the magical citcle: in S’pore, the British or French civil service, Harvard or other leading universities, or investment banks. And it always means: People like us.

Lucy Kellaway, the FT’s court jester on management, once described what Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the UK Treasury 1840-59, had in mind when he proposed that meritocracy should be introduced into the civil service.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says Greenaway. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.”

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23376561

My posts on meritocracy the PAP way

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Real meritocracy at work, not the PAP version

In Political governance, Public Administration on 18/11/2016 at 6:05 am

Furlong, 30, enrolled in a three-month coding boot camp that usesHackerRank, a web platform that trains and grades people on writing computer code. After earning a top ranking for Java developers globally, Furlong was hired by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in December for its two-year technology training program.

This is Wall Street’s new tech meritocracy.

Wall Street needs coders. Banks need to fill so many programming jobs that elite schools can’t possibly pump out enough candidates. So the industry is looking in places it never did. – Bloomberg

From NYT’s Dealbook

Contrast this with the PAP way.

My posts on meritocracy the PAP way

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Lucy Kellaway, FT’s court jester on management issues, once described what Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the UK Treasury 1840-59, had in mind when he proposed that meritocracy should be introduced into the civil service.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says Greenaway. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.”

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23376561

Sounds like the PAP way doesn’t it?

Gilbert Goh shows up meritocracy S’pore style

In Political governance, Public Administration on 11/08/2013 at 4:41 am

(Or “Meritocracy isn’t about opportunity or equality or talent, it’s about keeping the masses away from power, discuss” )

When one GCT spoke about “Meritocracy good, elitism bad” to an old RI audience recently, he got a lot of flack from the usual suspects (mostly not from RI). Interestingly, I got the impression that they all shared a common assumption: meritocracy is all about fairness and equality of opportunity, giving the talented poor or deprived the opportunity to do well. Where they disagreed was on the way the PAP govt defines meritocracy and talent, and how well meritocracy works in practice.

But let’s start with someone who doesn’t fit into the PAP govt’s mould of meritocratic talent.

Gilbert Goh only has A levels from a non-elite school (St Andrew’s or CJC I assume?) and a diploma in counseling. He doesn’t have a salary of millions, he depends on donations to fund his work of helping the unemployed and underemployed.

Yet three times in the last seven months, this fifty-something S’porean has been able to bring out the crowds onto Hong Lim Park, the latest on National Day. GG got 700 S’poreans out onto Hong Lim to celebrate National Day in a way that is not “right”. True, it was much smaller than the last two occasions (about 5,000 each time) when he called for a gathering, but 700 with only about a week’s notice is pretty decent by any S’porean standard.

Aside, perhaps he might to rethink his panel of speakers. Quite a few have appeared in earlier events, and the potential audience might be put off by hearing the same old themes articulated by the same old people. And maybe for future “celebrations”, he should dispense with the speeches, and let the let the music and spirit speak.)

He is not without controversy. Juz goggle what happened before the first two events. And the run up to the last event was juz as shambolic  This wickedly funny piece sums it all up: What’s been planned for the gathering? The organisers also “want to take this opportunity in our event to support our local cartoonist Leslie Chew who has been charged by the authorities”. Erm… you mean we are gathering to make a political statement and wade into legal territory? Isn’t this adding contempt to the contempt of court charges filed against Leslie Chew?

Then in an FB post on early Saturday, Mr Goh said he was going to drop the “reclaim Singapore’’ slogan as it was “too strong”. Good. Maybe we’ll get back to celebrating National Day.

Then, to add to the confusion, Mr Goh said in another FB post on Sunday evening that the event will also be a dedication to “our late President Mr Ong Teng Cheong who spoke up boldly for us Singaporeans”. Hmm. Why bring in the late President? Is he referring to the dispute Mr Ong had with the G over the access of information regarding Singapore’s financial reserves in the late 1990s?

It seems that the organisers are trying to pitch its event “right’’. Celebrate National Day yet keep something “political’’ about the event.

Now why can’t we gather just to sing some old but heart warming National Day songs? Or do a Pink Dot style event with singing and dancing? Or watch a big-screen TV set broadcasting the parade we didn’t have tickets for?

Oh wait! Now he’s saying there will be singing of songs and face-painting et cetera. In fact, he’s calling a press conference on Wednesday to talk about the event. Maybe by that time we’ll know exactly what this Aug 9 event is about. http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=6751

(The official programme)

Still when scholars like PM, DPMs, Kee Chui etc (from the PAP side), and (from the non Dark  non White side) Tan Jee Say and the NSP’s Dynamic Duo (Tony and Hazel); Show Mao and  s/o JBJ (Harvard and Cambridge scholarships respectively); and Tan Kin Lian* (he is an actuary) have difficulty enthusing S’poreans** about the nation’s well being, this A levels guy can do it. He can bring out the crowds.

And unlike the Opposition, he had the courage to call for a rally to protest the population White Paper. He also showed his judgement in thinking that he could bring out a decent crowd that would make the govt listen. He had the smaller opposition parties rushing to join him, parties led by those trained in same ways and places as the PAP leaders.

So three cheers for him. And make a donation to http://www.transitioning.org/. A worthy cause.

Finally, since we’re on meritocracy, the truth about how our meritocratic system came about. It ain’t from the PRC communists as Berrie Bear claims. It came as most things S’porean (like our flag) from the British. Our meritocracy has its roots in the exams-based system for entry into the highest ranks of the British civil service.

And meritocracy wasn’t (ain’t?) about fairness, or opportunity, or about using the best talent. It had its origins in maintaining the status quo in Victorian Britain. Let me explain.

Charles Trevelyan introduced meritocracy into the British civil service in the 19th century. He got the idea from the Chinese imperial exam system. Hence the use of the term “mandarins” for the most senior British civil servants especially those in the Foreign Office, Home Office, Treasury and Cabinet Office.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says [Prof John Greenaway from the University of East Anglia]. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.” [Doesn’t this sound familiar? Its a line that the “noise” say about the PAP’s idea of meritocracy: comes from a certain self-perpetuating group.]

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

From then on, upper class simpletons didn’t get jobs in the civil service.

There were exams for all – slightly easier ones for the “inferior roles” and harder ones for the “superior” policy-making ones.

And that’s how it remained. I know this to my cost, having failed to get one of those superior jobs at the Treasury some 30 years ago. I now know I have Trevelyan to thank for that. [The “I” in question works for the FT, a place not known for employing dumbos.]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23376561

So next time anyone, PAP or Jedi or juz plain stupid kay poh pontificate about “meritocracy”, remember the above passage. It was (and is?) meant to entrench the existing order, not make it more democratic or equal. At best, it opens opportunities for 6talented lesser mortals.

*I helped out the minibonders.

**TKL and s/o are so bad that they lost their election deposits.