Lubricatio​n for the Singapore meritocrac​y

What is your first impression if you were told that someone who scored two A1s and one A2 for his ‘A’ levels was awarded the president’s scholarship? This person thus sat for only three papers instead of the usual four and still didn’t score A1 for all three papers and yet was awarded the president’s scholarship.

This is no fiction. This person is none other than PM Lee who scored A1s for pure and applied mathematics and A2 for physics for his 1969 Cambridge ‘A’ level examinations [1]. Coincidentally, when PM Lee finished his secondary schooling, the first junior colleges were created and he got into the first batch of the first junior college [1]. Coincidentally too, as PM Lee was serving NS, the SAF scholarship was created and he became one of the first recipients of that prestigious scholarship [1]. In his 14 years with the SAF, PM Lee worked for only 7 years and got promoted to BG [1]. The remainder of the time he was attending this course and that [1].

That is meritocracy in Singapore.

[1] Constructing Singapore: elitism, ethnicity and the nation-building project, Michael D. Barr and Zlatko Skrbis, pages 76 to 79

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3 Responses to “Lubricatio​n for the Singapore meritocrac​y”

  1. Barry Song Says:

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, in Singapore it may not be a duck.

  2. Saycheese Says:

    “This person thus sat for only three papers instead of the usual four and still didn’t score A1 for all three papers and yet was awarded the president’s scholarship.”

    And soon after, exam papers for the ‘O’ and ‘A” were graded in Singapore instead of UK.

  3. Saycheese Says:

    There is no nepotism here. The PM did not select the recipients for the President scholarship. Neither did the president. There is also no cronyism involved in the selection of Ho Ching for Temasek as Lee Hsien Loong was not in the selection panel.

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