Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has confronted proponents of meritocracy, highlighting its inherent flaws and stressing the perpetuation of inequality. In a candid address at PKR’s 17th Annual Congress, Anwar, citing John Gardner and Harvard’s Michael Sandel, argued that merit-based systems overlook the struggles of the less fortunate. This challenge to conventional wisdom prompts a reevaluation of policies aimed at achieving true societal fairness and equality in Malaysia.
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In a candid address at PKR’s 17th Annual Congress, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim debunked the myth of meritocracy as a panacea for inequality in Malaysia. Contrary to the idealistic view of fair competition, Anwar highlighted the harsh reality that meritocracy can perpetuate difficulties for the less fortunate.
Quoting American literary critic John Gardner, Anwar emphasized that the beauty of meritocracy often obscures the pain experienced by those lacking necessary abilities.
Anwar further bolstered his argument by referencing Harvard philosophy professor Michael Sandel’s book, ‘The Tyranny of Merit.’ The prime minister contended that meritocracy, while noble in concept, has the potential to breed more inequality, a sentiment echoed by Sandel’s critical examination of the system.
During his policy speech, Anwar shed light on the challenges faced by individuals who may not have equal access to opportunities, emphasizing the need for a nuanced understanding of meritocracy’s impact on society. This sobering perspective challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding merit-based systems and prompts a reevaluation of policies aimed at promoting fairness and social equality in Malaysia.