Sunday, June 17, 2007

Excuse me, are you an elite?

I have very probing readers. They give me lots of ideas about topics to blog about, and can even tell me what most Singaporeans may think what I am simply based on my educational background. So today accidental elite girl, or AEG asked said, after reading the reply by sunny flowery:

sigh.. see. . the christians = old school elite

You are the 'elite' whether you like it or not. It doesn't matter if you don't behave like one, or don't think you are; but your education is privileged and in 'meritocratic' Singapore, you are considered a member of the elite. Whether or not you choose to behave like one is another matter.

My background is very humble, but if you were to look at my academic record, schools I went to, what I studied, and the fact I am still getting an education, I am probably classified as 'elite'.

With my background.. I could have ended up as a checkout girl at NTUC, just as easily as I will be ending up with a PhD. Living off the state, not paid taxes, I don't worry about money because I am fairly confident I will be ok. Not rich..because scientists never are.

I think I have been pretty unsullied by financial troubles living in singapore brings to you, because i am still at student at 30. But sure.. when the time comes to 'grow up', get married etc..oh boy I will be in trouble.

(M)Any of your friends who are scholars etc think they are not is delusional.


"We will all deny strongly. There is this 'guilt' factor, to admit anything like it."

Yeah.. the guilt. I know. But deep down in the bottom of your heart you all know you are. You guys are educated, you have options, you have skills, you aren't trapped in Singapore. The world truly is your oyster.

"I mean, it's not hard when u have mckinseys, goldman sachs coming down to your campuses to recruit"

To deny that these opportunities present themselves to you because you are the educated elite smacks of hypocrisy.

She asked for anonymity, but agreed to a pseudonym. I suggested 'elite girl' or 'little miss elite', but she said those are too Wee Shu Min-ish. So we settled on 'AEG'.

Perhaps you can post this question on your blog and ask your readers

"Am I an elite?"

since i reckon many of your readers are also part of the educated elite

I then posed this to loiseaurebelle, and she has duly blogged about it our subsequent conversation.

I guess you can call this post her (lr's) prequel. But I take no responsibility for what she had written about me, or what the Gahmen thinks about us.

Edit: Sze blogs about this too.

4 comments:

L'oiseau rebelle said...

You haven't answered the title question yourself. Or rather, the answer is obvious, but what are your thoughts on it?

aglassofwine said...

exactly, tak. you haven't posted YOUR own thoughts on the matter. Are YOU an elite, given your background?

as for me, i suppose i can be called one, but i make no bones about it. after all, it's just another classification, and singaporeans love to put things into categories.

takchek said...

See what 'AEG' meant? It doesn't matter what I say or do - people assume I am one just based on the schools I went to, the results/degrees I obtained, the companies I worked for, the job titles I got.

Actually I don't want to think of myself as one. I was always taught to think of myself as a lean, mean hungry machine, even if I may be the thousand pound gorilla in the room.

Because "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive." - Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel

The only gift my folks gave me for doing well in school was a Sega 16 bit game console for my PSLE results. For the Os, As, and uni they had expected me to perform what I did.

LuckySingaporean said...

First understand what elitism really:
http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/2006/03/elitism-101.html

http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/2006/10/elitism-201.html

http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/2006/11/elitism-301-transforming-meritocracy.html

Elitism and being an elite are 2 different things. Some of us will be better educated than others - it is natural. The fact that I have a Masters or a PHD does not mean I subscribe to elitist view or elitism. Elitism is a belief that only the opinion of the elites matter, the elites have an elevated importance hence entitlement within our society.

Once you understand what elitism is...you have no problem why some people in our society dare to ask for the highest salaries in the world for the role of serving the public...as a public servant. You will have no problem understand why there are no debates in Singapore and why our daily reading is unstimulative propaganda...and why alternatives have to be fixed, crushed and destroy...you will also understand why everything is done for your own good so you should shut up, stop whining and learn to appreciate the grand achievements of our elite leaders.