Tuesday, 26 September 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

The exclusion of runner Soh Rui Yong from 2019 SEA Games disrupts Singapore's beloved ideology of meritocracy

Meritocracy remains a key principle for recognising individuals in Singapore despite weakening faith in the ideology, says Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung, stressing that although meritocracy is ‘under siege’, it has yet to fail.
In recent years, the idea of meritocracy and its effectiveness has been debated due to its association with elitism, adding to the discussions around the social divide in Singapore society.
Speaking at the Raffles Institution’s (RI) 196th Founder’s Day ceremony on 27 July, Mr Ong defended the concept, saying “Even those who rail against meritocracy struggle to come up with a better system.”
He also noted that this doesn’t mean the system cannot be improve, noting that it isn’t just on the government but everyone in Singapore to “overcome the limitations of meritocracy and consciously fight against the ossification of social classes.”
In his speech, the minister also pointed out that the definition of merit should be broadened beyond just academic achievement.

Meritocracy only when it suits them

Now, the recent news of long-distance runner and two time SEA champion Soh Rui Yong being excluded from representing his country in this year’s SEA Games in the Philippines seems contradictory to Mr Ong’s insistence that meritocracy remains a key principle.
Mr Soh’s record speaks for itself, being the national record holder for 10,000m, half-marathon, and marathon events while also being the first Singaporeans to win two back-to-back gold medals in the SEA Game marathon.
But despite his capacity to bring home the gold, Mr Song was denied a chance to represent Singapore apparently due to his prior conflicts with the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).
In a statement, the SNOC said they denied Mr Soh’s nomination to represent Singapore in the 2019 SEA Games as “there have been numerous instances where Soh has displayed conduct that falls short of the standards of attitude and behaviour that the SNOC expects of and holds its athletes to, considering that they are held up and seen as representatives of the country and as examples to our sporting youth.”
These conflict include a warning by SNOC to Mr Soh for a breach of regulations relation to the promotion of personal sponsors on social media as well as another incident in which Mr Soh’s actions of cutting holds into his race vest before the 2017 SEA Games led to a loss of sponsor.
This year, Mr Soh was served a legal letter of demand by the SNOC to retract his accounts of what happened at the 2015 SEA Games marathon in which he had recounted how his fellow Singaporean runner Ashley Liew didn’t slow down after a route-related error left the leading group trailing behind. Mr Soh’s accounts contradicted SNOC’s view of the incident. In fact, SNOC had nominated Liew for an international award for the act of sportsmanship during that marathon.
However, even with those disagreements, doesn’t the SNOC’s decision run contrary to Mr Ong’s case for meritocracy and how it should work? Or is Singapore’s current brand of meritocracy merely for those to conform to the authority and agree to toe the line rather than for those who are capable and have a mind of their own?

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts