Oh well said Chua Mui Hoong!! In so few words too! Unlike the reams I spew!!
Further, Soon Sze Meng (Friday, 11th January 2013) wrote "The relentless focus on meritocracy, market-driven policies and economic growth have resulted in Singapore topping the charts in both GDP per capita and income inequality... If growth is pursued without effort to narrow income inequality, social distances result. This refers to the difference in lifestyles and experiences between the haves and have-nots, evident in different strata cocooned in increasingly separate living environments with limited opportunities to interact, thus fraying social cohesion."
Reading the words of Soon Sze Meng, I cannot help but think of the horrendous rape of the 23 year old physiotherapist by 6 men who waylaid her on a bus. If you think carefully about it, that was a crime of hate NOT a crime of lust.
Nowhere else in the world can one find such abject ignorance as in the slums of India. A young Indian who found himself locked into a container where he was napping (having no home to stay in) was shipped to Singapore where the newspapers reported that he had never been taught the notion of time. Yet, Indians form a disproportionate number of PhD candidates in many USA and British universities. These are the academic elite.
The reality in India is that if you have family resources (intellectual and material) you can help your next generation gain MORE resources. We all know that money can be used to make more money. More money can be used to make even more money. Well... that principle holds for every type of resources from emotional to social to academic, and is very well-documented in research on Conservation of Resources Theory, by Dr Stevan Hobfoll.
Over a few generations, social inequity becomes more and more apparent. Indian society today is fraught with social fault lines. The rich try as best they can not to hang out with lesser quality people. The poor look upon the rich with envy and hatred. Envy that the rich are so blessed from generation to generation. Hatred because there are obstacles everywhere to their attempts at making a better life for themselves... social obstacles (social class prejudices) economic obstacles (lack of money) and intellectual obstacles (the poor go to poor schools, if at all, and some don't go to school at all). What is worse is that, very often, crimes against the poor go unpunished. The hate build up in the poor.
The male psychology possesses immense drive to acquire status and wealth. Here you have a bunch of working class men who hate the world for having denied them opportunities, consigning them to a lifetime of hand-to-mouth existence. They have less mating rights than others simply because they are poor. Others, better educated and better connected, can exploit these folks legally (and often illegally). Rich folks often use poorer women for sex and buy them off with money. A lot of anger builds up over time. Then they see these well-educated young ladies traipsing around earning more than they do (girls that such men will never have to hold and cherish to death do them part)... and some primeval urge to master and conquer takes over. Infuse that urge with a miasma of anger and hatred handed down through generations... and you have the horrendous crime against a young lady of a better class... A crime so terrible that it involved inserting a sharp object into her vagina to pull out her intestines.
It was a crime of hate, NOT lust. But heightened emotions in their rawest form can get confused in the human mind. The hate and lust mingles and comes forth in a violence that both exhilarates and satisfies. Until social inequity is reduced and class hatred simmers down, it would be hard to ensure the safety of women from good families in India. Any other solution addresses the symptoms and won't be the cure.
Then along comes Donald Low who makes the following suggestion for a cure..."Because people start with differences in talent and resources, equalising resources at the start to some extent is justified on the grounds that this is necessary to ensure equal access to opportunities. Such a system is still meritocratic as the equalisation is done at the start of the competitive race and does not diminish incentives for everyone to run as fast as they can. The race is competitive and meritocratic but the state has intervened to adjust starting positions and given those with fewer resources a head start" (Donald Low, Friday, 11th January 2013).
It is my opinion that there is nowhere more important than in education where this must be done. Give every child rich or poor the SAME quality of teaching (not just have brighter and better-trained teachers go to GEP). Ensure bright children in EVERY school have easy access to HOT skills teaching (not just GEP). Ensure all classes are small enough to properly teach thinking skills (not just in GEP). Ensure high and consistent quality curriculum in every school (i.e., not have a dedicated branch write high quality curriculum AND exams ONLY FOR GEP). Let's not stream children by raw results ALONE because then children with rich parents who can afford enrichment will always get to the best teachers and schools. More resources begets even more resources.
We are not like India. Yet. But we could get there in a few generations.
I must say that I am heartened that there are so many successful and intelligent people who are not moved by self-interest to protect the rights and privileges of the "new elite" that they are part of. Lydia Lim, Chua Mui Hoong, Soon Sze Meng and Donald Low are assuredly part of this "new elite" - well-paid, well-educated and cosmopolitan. Fortunately, they not only have clear thinking, they also have good hearts.