Class distinction in Singapore

18
I found this on marketwatch.com :
"Britain's Prince William walks with Kate Middleton at RAF Cranwell in this April 11, 2008, file photo. William, the elder son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, met Middleton, daughter of middle-class self-made entrepreneurs, at university in Scotland."

I have 2 issues with the phrase in bold.

Firstly, it seems like social classes still exist and is even mentioned in the news. Do we still make class distinctions today? Whether we mention it or not, I know social classes exist. A Singaporean taxi driver shared with me that his wife is Korean. Her family runs a business. They didn't approve of their marriage because of his job. From his reflection in the mirror and his photo on his taxi licence, I could tell that he must have been good-looking when he was younger. But good-looking or not, as long as he's from a different social class, marriage was unacceptable.

In Singapore, middle-class men always discourage women from marrying or going after the upper-class men, telling women that upper-class men are playboys. If all fails, they just call those women gold-diggers. Of course, it's just a conspiracy in the battle for women and sex. We all know that rich men are not always playboys and poor men are not always faithful.

As much as I would like to think there's no class distinction in Singapore, there clearly is. We don't mention it any more in the news but in the past, there was a distinction between blue collar and white collar workers. Now we replace those terms with other less obvious ones such as executives, managers, professionals, administrative, etc and then there are obvious ones like elites, scholars and "white horse" - a term that is used for sons of high-ranked civil servants or prominent members of society to supposedly prevent preferential treatment during national service. (If they don't want to give special treatment, why don't we simply not identify them? I know someone who claimed to have received worse treatment than others and sustained permanent injuries because of his WH status)

Secondly, isn't "self-made" redundant? Entrepreneurs can't be made by some other person or organisation!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Self-made entrepreneurs mean they funded the biz themselves, not with money from daddy and mummy.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The class system in Sillypore is upheld by LEECHes who worshiped the British class discrimination in order to distibguish themselves from ordinary Singaporeans.

The English language based culture in Sillypore further enhance such class culture.

"white horse" is the proof that their is LEGALISED corruption in Stinkipore.

Anonymous said...

LET THE "THREE GRAVE STONES" WORK THEIR MAGIC FUNGSHIU TO RID SINGAPORE OF SUCH EVILS!

Anonymous said...

"Elites" is a term popularised again by Sillypore's U-know-who emphasizing that they obtained "First Class Division" in some kind of exams in UK, thus further enhancing the class discrimination in Singapore, to con people into thinking that they have "Haven's edict" to rule this red-dot.

There are many university graduates who obtained "First Class Division" results in their exams, but you can see how some people play on this to con you into thinking they are superior!.. Unfortunately, it turned out they have inferior genes.

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boh.tak.chek. said...

No point coming up with all these "fancy" terms lah, it all boils down to how much you earn. End of story

Yu-Kym said...

Anon, I didn't realise "self-made" meant not being funded by rich family. It's a nice term that I can use!

boh.tak.chek., what boils down to how much you earn? Your status in society?

Anonymous said...

Yu-Kym,

We cannot but accept that in this world, there will always be the haves and the have-nots. There will always be class distinctions along with other forms of discrimination. If you have wealth, you just cant help harbour some less than pleasant thoughts. If you have beauty and brains, it's the same.

But although we cant do much about these shameful human traits, we can still do lots about showing compassion and giving to the have-nots and helping them uplift themselves.

The two behaviours are not mutually exclusive.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

If you have lived in places like OZ, NZ, Canada you will find that the class discrimination is NOT as strong as SG

Anonymous said...

What is upsetting is going into the casinos, SGers have to pay a hefty fee, but foreigners are free!

Are foreigners at a higher class than local SGers? Yes, absolutely!

Bangla construction workers, maids, etc are "Foreign Talent" and they take away our jobs. So if local SGer gets a Ph.D. from SG Uni, is he a "Talent" or a "crap-Pot"?

Anonymous said...

Yes, class discrimination is undesirably stronger in Singapore and I believe in HongKong, Taiwan, China too its a similar situation. Class discrimination in Japan is even stronger except that they have a homogeneous society and foreigners are not as abundant to highlight the discrimination.

Has stronger class discrimination in Singapore got something to do with a nation and its people developing too fast that they lack the social graces and sophistication of the western developed 1st world countries?

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Singapore's class system is a transplant of India's caste system

Anonymous said...

Every country has its own class discrimination. Even in England eg where I believe the migrant populations suffers the most. But I daresay that class discrimination has also its roots in race at the forefront of it all.

No, not a transplant of Indian's caste system. I believe more likely an ethnic Chinese majority society where the possession of wealth in all its manifestations is a status symbol.

Therefore we in Singapore have our own discrimination mainly based on material possessions and perhaps education, jobs and even race to start it all.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

The fact that locals have to pay a fee to enter the Casinos tells a lot about our social development and our maturity as a people. A nanny state is perhaps not too unreasonable a name to call Singapore in this case. lol

It also tells a lot about how Singapore's own political scene shapes its own social and economic policies.

I can understand why our Government makes such decisions.....But slowly we are getting there to become a mature, sophisticated and graceful nation. Dont fret, we are still relatively young.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Let foreigners be gambling addicts. Our gambling addicts are even richer and can pay the fee, no problem.

Yu-Kym said...

curious cat, I agree that these will always exist and the privileged (in wealth, beauty, brains, etc) can help others who are not so fortunate at least with their words and actions.

Anon, I suppose it depends which state you're from too. In some states, people who take the bus are a different class from those who own cars... and perhaps other forms of discrimination might be more common.

Anon, the government has never called construction workers "foreign talent". Construction workers hold "Work Pass" while educated, skilled foreigners hold "Employment Pass". It's Singaporeans who misconstrue "foreign talent", which was used to describe experienced consultant, managers and executives (i.e, CEO, CFO levels) from whom Singaporeans can learn.

curious cat, "nanny state" is appropriate! But it's only because the people need a nanny. Like you pointed out, we are a relatively young nation. We have seen the government relax certain laws and regulations such as allowing the import and sale of adult magazines (subject to certain restrictions). It will take time for Singaporeans (as a group) to mature and accept new things.

Anon, ya... I wonder what's the big deal about not gambling. Everyone knows that the house always wins and the gamblers always lose.