152 Reopened: Rewritten 2

Who'd have thought that I would be able to blog all the way in Sabah... well, actually, I'll explain later.... The posts in the next few days are canned posts, which never got around to publishing, due to one or a combination of the following reasons:

  • They were "missing" stuff that I planned to put up, but I forgot about them
  • They were posts I wanted to put up, but due to "over-blogging" constraints and "lousy WiFi" constraints, they had to be shelved
  • Old blog materials that I just found, in some obscure corner of my computer memory

The first of these "mysterious" posts is the Nanyang Scholarship essay, like the USP essay, it's put up because it's considered a good luck charm to place your essay on your blog, at least, according to some little-known Malaysian subculture. So here it is:

Is a scholar an elitist?

The principle behind awarding scholarships is ostensibly deemed as one of the tenets of meritocracy, forming the basis of the question. While we have to agree that scholarships are awarded to those who have shown outstanding academic achievements, we cannot extrapolate the statement to argue that a scholar is an elitist.

Elitism has been cited as a negative by-product of a meritocratic society, which upholds practices such as awarding scholarships and they are thought to be ticket for the bright student to enter the upper class, However, herein lies the misconception, since elitism is a result of condescension of this so-called upper class, to those who are not as “worthy”. I will not attempt to deny that elitism is degraded form of meritocracy, where the “worthy” upper class has amassed enough power to form a vicious cycle causing the lower class to never advance. In this case, the scholar has definitely become the elitist, since he has access to many more opportunities. However, this situation will not occur if the scholar does not perceive and accept that there exist stratification between him and the “others”. If the scholar does not choose to condescend and discriminate the “others”, all people will be on equal footing, since the scholar will assist, using his privileged position, to ensure everyone achieve their best. Ultimately, it is up to the scholar to choose whether to perceive himself as of a class of his own, or reject the label of elitism. It may be bold to postulate that this is a question for the scholar himself, but elitism is a result of a group of people creating an “upper-class”. When no one believes and acknowledges that a particular boundary has been drawn between the “elites” and the “non-elites”, the ideology of elitism is moot.

PS: My interview is no longer on the 9th of May, it's been postponed the following week...