Meritocracy versus Marriedtocracy

Since Professor Michael Hor Yew Meng assumed his Deanship in Hongkong University’s Law Faculty, after being by passed for the post in NUS when he was Number Two and first on the waiting list, there have been this funny talk of Marriedtocracy in Sin City. This is best exemplified by Michael Hor’s reply to the media when asked why he was found not good enough and a junior guy, a foreign talent was offered the top job instead, Michael’s reply, ‘I don’t know.’

What is this thing called Marriedtocracy? Simply, it is merit by marriage, as was suggested in the rumour mill. One can earn merits by getting married in Sin City. I think this is nothing unusual. It happens everywhere, in different degrees. It is just that in a small City state, oops, I am being dismissive as some think we are the biggest country in the world, when everyone knows everyone, when everyone is living next door to the Who’s Who, there can’t be many secrets that were unknown. All, or nearly all, secrets are public knowledge.

This rumour of Marriedtocracy over Meritocracy is just mischievous. There is no such thing in this corruption free state. Everyone is appointed based on merits. This is the secret to the City State’s success story. You can’t have dunces appointed based on Marriedtocracy and expect them to do well. It must be real merit at work. Or else it is only a matter of time when merit sounds more like married. The truth about married, or merit, will surface with time. Merit can last and can survive the test of time. Married often does not last and would lead to divorce, separation and unsavoury marital affairs.

As long as the City State continues to prosper, you can bet that Meritocracy is the guiding principle of appointments at the top level. Everyone at the top looks so meritocratic, so bright. But if it flounders, then you will know that Meritocracy should be written as Marriedtocracy instead. The proof is in the eating of the pudding.

PS: I did not coin this term. Pick it up from a post in TRE.

Kopi Level - Green


Anonymous said...

RB, u are writing a very dangerous article. I worry for you. I hope u don't get the love letter.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

This is what I said, 'This rumour of Marriedtocracy over Meritocracy is just mischievous. There is no such thing in this corruption free state. Everyone is appointed based on merits.'

You mean this is dangerous?

Anonymous said...

RB, the IQ of IBs is so low, they would only read what they want to read.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You are right in this sense. When simple minded assholes are running around acting like gangsters and think they have the power to threaten bloggers, and if they cannot read, then it can be very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Watch your pen RB. Don't let it run away and write something that will land you in hot soup. Roy already kena the red letter so you better be careful. In the eyes of well paid lawyers nothing is considered safe. Only praises and the expression of approval or admiration will be deemed acceptable. So RB, when you write on sensitive issues please be a little cautious.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

As long as the City State is prospering, anything goes lah.

Govt and how the govt chooses its own is fraught with ritual, procedure, myth and superstition. They make up a lot of unsubstantiated shit.

I'm very surprised they don't have a BOMOH on the civil service payroll. Maybe they do ;-)

The "married" thing is to prove to the taxpayer that you are not gay. Any rational person will tell you this is BULLSHIT. There are many people who are married and are also gay and bisexual. However in Singapore people who are some how "broken" in these ways cannot be at the top.

Stupid thinking of anachronistic BIGOTS. Wake the fuck up lah! The year is 2014 lah, not 1420!!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi anon 9:57, thanks for the concern. I am not here to invite trouble to myself. I will avoid things that you know I know.

I have written for more than 10 years and more than 8000 articles, avoiding the potholes and traps and mines all the way. It is very tricky to write things that people enjoy reading and not getting into trouble or becoming dull and lifeless.

But nothing is safe. If assholes want to attack you, even if you say yes or no can be an issue. Just look at the gangsters lurking around in this blog and in all other blogs and you will know what I mean.

PSS said...

Part 1:

Rb: /// What is this thing called Marriedtocracy? ///

Rb, "marriedtocracy" is covered somewhat in modern management theory and one of its main theorists is the late Canadian Professor Laurence Johnston Peter.

According to Professor Laurence Johnston Peter, " Never stand when you can sit; never walk when you can ride; never Push when you can Pull. "

Professor Laurence Johnston Peter suggested that there are two predominant means people can affect their promotion, namely “PULL” and “PUSH”.

PSS said...

Part 2:

“ Pull is via relationship, by blood, marriage or acquaintance.”

“ Push is somewhat via exceptional academic excellence, expertise and self-driven improvement.”

Professor Laurence Johnston Peter postulated that “ in small entities, Push may have a marginal effect but in large hierchies, Pull is likely to be FAR MORE EFFECTIVE than Push.”

Anonymous said...

RB, I am not IB. I sincerely worry for u. I know what u wrote but the lawyers may twisted to otherwise. Be careful.

Anonymous said...

Rb, remember the "老鼠哲学" by the famous Qin Dynasty Premier "李斯" back 2,000+ years ago?

The postulation by Professor Laurence Johnston Peter about "marriedtocracy" that "Never stand when you can sit; never walk when you can ride; never Push when you can Pull." is somewhat similar in essence though different in the approach.

2,000+ years ago Qin Dynasty Premier "李斯"'s "老鼠哲学" believed in being a "仓鼠" than a "厕鼠" to get ahead in life, somewhat not different from Professor Laurence Johnston Peter's theory of the predominant means of "PULL" and "PUSH" which people use to get promoted and ahead in life.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The term marriedtocracy was from an article posted in one of the sites, I think either TRE or TRS that was quite explicit in what it was trying to say. That is why I posted this one. The term is mischievous.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon 1:49, this kind of statement is dangerous and can get you into trouble. Please don't get personal. I will gladly remove it if asked to do so.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

In the net, when people post under anonymous, you would not know if he is friend or foe. A dangerous statement could be the work of IB or someone who is venting his anger.

It could be provocateurs trying to incite more angry statements from unsuspecting bloggers. Don't fall into the trap.

Anonymous said...

Rb just took a taxi yesterday. The driver is ex general manager with overseas experience but over 50. He said he can't find a job despite sending hundreds of applications.

PSS said...

Anon 2.13 pm. // The driver is ex general manager with overseas experience but over 50. //

Taxi drivers are required to clock average 250 km a day by the regulator to maintain their license.

With snarling traffic during peak hours and numerous traffic lights in city areas and heartland estates, at best the average distance covered could be 40 to 50 km an hour.

To reach the daily quota of 250 km, likely each driver needs to clock at least about 6 hours on the road non stop. Including waiting at taxi stand, cleaning up the vehicles for handover end of each shift, easily on the average they are working 10 hours a day.

To maintain the quota of mileage covered per day, many have to drive 7 days a week. That is easily 70 hours a week.

Some single hirer with no relief driver easily drive 12 hours 7 days a week which is 84 working hours.

What is the norm for the number of working hours per week?

Is there something not quite right under the current quota system such that taxi drivers are being forced to work far beyond the normal number of working hours?

Being downgraded from a high earning PMEs with annual leaves and all kinds of other benefits to a lowly tax driver with no employer cpf contribution, no paid annual leave and suffering a substantial pay reduction is already hard, miserable and demoralizing enough. Having to work at almost double the standard 40 to 44 hours work week throughout each entire year is certainly not a prospect an ex-PMEs turned taxi drivers relished.

What happened to "More good years" and "Swiss standard of living " promised by our Singapore government during the reign of our 2nd PM Goh Chok Tong during 1990-2004?

Broken promises?

Anonymous said...


Kindly delete posting made by anon 1.49 pm.

Thank you.
LWL's office.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Not sure if you are real. I take it in good faith. Deleted.

oldhorse42 said...

This is best exemplified by Michael Hor’s reply to the media when asked why he was found not good enough and a junior guy, a foreign talent was offered the top job instead, Michael’s reply, ‘I don’t know.’ ...RB

How could the good professor replied that he don't know ! A professor should or ought to know every thing.
The least he could do was to reply that he did not know what to say!

Anonymous said...

As an Oriental, I know Marriedtocracy exists since time immemorial.
In Ancient China, the Consort was as good as prince. Whether it was power(authority) or material affluence, the Consorts and their clan were given plenty.
I understand that most other Orientals were similar and I think it is still much in practice in modern time, as it is very much a cultural thingy, much like building and making 'Guanxi'(connection/relation). Although anachronistic, the Practice is acceptable in family business(commerce) and it is a dsirable way to keep ones' family fortune and status.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Patriot,

Marriedtocracy is not just a Chinese or Oriental culture. It transcends all cultures and a common and accepted practice in kingdoms and family businesses. Nothing wrong except envy.

In a democracy, it is frown upon, but nothing wrong too except envy and something that is seen as not proper, amounting to cronyism, favouritism etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Chua Chin Leng Sir;
points noted and accepted.

In democracy, any advantage and benefit derive from relationship with no other merit could be considered nepotism as well.
Thank You for the Enlightenment.


Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with Marriedtocracy as long as it involves only your own private property and money.

Anonymous said...

another daft opinion

u neber heard about papigs admiration for all thing foreign and sarong party gals yearning for ang mohs???

their motto;


dun believe??? ask goh chok tong aka wooden block

and cuntucky fry chicken presleedent tony tan ... they bery the experience

VOTE PAPigs .... for more good years

huat ah ... under papigs

better still ... outside your home dedicate a shrine for old fart, son n holey ho

definitely huat ah

Anonymous said...

@August 06, 2014 1:58 pm

redbean .... u dunnit to fear me

i am a proud papigs supporker!!!

huat ah ..... vote for papigs 4 more goody years

btw .... i spy with my little eyes
dun play play okay .... dun knock the table too often leh ..

Anonymous said...

fuck lah ... u neber advise ..oops, or "advice" him (sori hor, i opten go sammyboy)

horse die, cum down n walk lah..

be leelistic lah ...

his name not kuan yew, tony tan, ... how to get $million job?

vote papigs .... huat ah

maybe he can print banners for govt .... good money, every where u go surely see banners

by dun get injured by these banners ..ok