Sunday, July 24, 2005

Moulded Meritocracy. What?

Moulded Meritocracy Posted by Picasa


This is an abstract from the NST interview with UMNO Youth President, Hishamuddin.

Q: How do you square the message of bringing back the NEP with the PM’s call to Malays not to expect any handouts?

A: Malays are not competing on a level playing field. If you look at education and the issue of strengthening national schools, there is nothing racial about it.

You are talking about schools that don’t have water and electricity. There is no way that students coming out of schools can compete with students coming from Smart schools, with the best teachers and facilities.

In that context, while we deal with the leakages, corruption, the delivery system, the civil service and the party, it’s very important for everyone to realise that we need to address fundamental issues such as the basic needs of those in the remote areas, villages.

Meritocracy is being discussed today. Umno Youth has always said yes, we want meritocracy. But at the same time, we want meritocracy in our own mould.



I tried checking Oxford dictionary, Webster, and Wikipedia - there is no vocab on moulded meritocracy.

Meritocracy means:

"a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement", or

"leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria"

Cambridge Advance Learner's Dictionary described it as:

"a social system or society in which people have power because of their abilities, not because of their wealth or social position"

Wikipedia explains:

Meritocracy is a system of government based on rule by ability (merit) rather than by wealth or social position. “Merit” means roughly intelligence plus effort. One implication is that whatever level in society a citizen reaches is held to be what such an individual deserves. Meritocratic can also sometimes be used to describe a government, or other body, that stresses formal education and competence despite other features (e.g. ancestry or sex or race).

Most systems of government contain some meritocratic elements; for instance, elected officials usually hire expert advisers to help formulate policies. Some would suggest that the military ranking system is perhaps the closest meritocratic organization which can easily be found. Pure meritocracies, however, are virtually unknown.

Proponents of meritocracy argue that a meritocratic system is more just and more productive than other systems, and that it allows for an end to distinctions based on such things as gender and race (though social classes would still exist).

Proponents of critical theory often argue that merit is defined by the power elite simply to legitimise a system in which social status is actually determined by class, birth, and wealth.


Is Hishamuddin trying to say that because rural schools don't have electricity and water in their school, therefore, if they fail SPM but have pass at least one subject, they should be admitted into university to study medicine or engineering?

If that's the case, we will end up with more unemployable graduates.

Whatever decision is made, meritocracy is merit, that is, INTELLIGENCE PLUS EFFORT.

The government can decide what they want and which Malay to put into unversity. I don't think any non-Malays would object. What the non-Malays asked is that their children be provided with educational opportunities if they pass their SPM and STPM with meritocratic results (minimum Bs and Cs as stipulated by the university of equal status; maybe, follow Oxford or Imperial College of UK standard). For UMNO, they can lobby to have those who have Ds and Es to be admitted but others, we only asked to be admitted into university based on the standard set by international quality universities - that, we consider fair and just.

Datuk Dr Norraesah Mohamad, an Umno Supreme Council member, chairman of Bank Rakyat and currently chairman of French telecommunication company, Alcatel Malaysia has this to say:

"It takes sharp business acumen to make it a success. At least, by the time all market barriers come down a few years down the road, there will be those among us who are ready with their “shields” for the “attacks” from foreigners in a globalised world.”

Likening the attacks on Rafidah and the Malay AP kings to herd mentality, Norraesah said:

“At MCA meetings, can you imagine them screaming for the blood of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong for getting the monopoly on the casino licence, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh for his IPP (independent power producer) licence or Tan Sri Vincent Tan for the projects that he got over the years? And no one complains about Ananda Krishan having a controlling stake in Astro.”

The Chinese and Indians, they would not cry foul if anyone gets rich or are given any privilege which they do not enjoy. What concerns them is any attempt to discriminate them by depriving them of the basic social necessity such as education and medical services. So far, we have not complain about the APs being given to Malays, projects classified as Bumi-only, Class F licence for Bumis' only, UiTM for Malays only, PM and DPM for Malays only, GLCs controlled by Malays, Civil services dominated by Malays, Metriculation for Malays, etc, etc.

We can find ways to survive, be it a hawker, a mechanic, pasar-malam retailer, VCD peddler, bookies, mini-casinos, karaoke, coffeeshop owner, insurance agent, salesmen, or any profession that can help us earn a living and feed our children. Leave us alone and don't try intimidate us. Being patient and humble does not mean we are fools. It is just that we love peace and harmony, and strive to co-exist and accept some bearable pain. We do all this to preserve harmony and for the sake of our children and the future generation. Please don't use the UMNO general assembly where you placade your toons and mock all others to derive some joy to camouflage your own mediocrity and weaknesses, which is no fault of others.

“We live in one global environment with a huge number of ecological, economic, social, and political pressures tearing at its only dimly perceived, basically uninterpreted and uncomprehended fabric. Anyone with even a value consciousness of this whole is alarmed at how such remorselessly selfish and narrow interests – patriotism, chauvinism, ethnic, religious, and racial hatred – can in fact lead to mass destructiveness. The world simply cannot afford this many more times”.

- Edward Said 1993, 21

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