The Gryphon Award Dinner that “for Singapore

The social system, meritocracy, in which people’s success in life depend “primarily on their talents, abilities, and effort” (ThoughtCo), is clearly used in order for individuals to better ourselves as we strive and compete for top grades, approvals to the best universities and receiving scholarships. For a fast-developing country like Singapore, it is necessary to have such a system, ensuring that everyone works hard rather than depending on their reputation. I have often experienced this form of thinking as it is engrained in the educational system in Singapore and having lived there for 8 years, it is something I have been taught since I was young. This pillar of national identity in Singapore, has recently received criticism due to its association with elitism. The global city has become obsessed with “a war for talent” (The Washington Post). Singaporean politician, Goh Chok Tong mentioned in a speech he delivered at the 2013 Gryphon Award Dinner that “for Singapore in particular, a meritocratic system, while not perfect, is the best means to maximise the potential and harness the talents of our people.” (United Youth Journalists). To some extent, I agree with what Mr.Tong expressed, however on the other hand, I am reminded of the disabled and those who are not born into a wealthy enough family to support them in receiving a good education. Competing alongside the more fortunate, makes it an unfair play. I believe an education raises the chances of one have a secured, successful and bright future. Furthermore, the intense atmosphere which seems to appear because of this system, could isolate ones from being more outgoing as their focus is on nothing besides the academic aspect. As I mentioned in my debate, in terms of psychology, it is reasonable to make the descriptive claim that people are primarily motivated and willing to work harder by the possibility of gain and glory. Individual’s’ earnings are directly related to their productivity.

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