Let me try to write something here to see whether I can be as polite as I have been made out to be.
Meritocracy is a philosophy of the conduct of human society where the view is that the betterment of the whole can be obtained from the efforts of a few who are best that are available in the nation. The purpose is to keep pushing the frontier of material progress as a basis for the spiritual enlightenment (although I will concede it is possible to push for spiritual progress as a basis for material enlightenment).
That, of course, where merits are spread among human beings of all races is a god-given reality which we have no choice but to accept. But to suggest that merits are naturally inherent in particular races of people is a gross generalisation that bears no resemblance to reality. But, in the normal teaching of young children, the exhortation is always on effort to cultivate talents inherently bestowed by god on all human beings, whatever those talents might happen to be.
It will be a sad case for society if the leaders of society predetermine what talents should be cultivated for two reasons: (a) other potentially interesting or useful talents which could save mankind will not be cultivated; and (b) the obvious talents which now seem to be useful may be a manifestation of past desires and hence the likely consequence of mass unemployment of perfectly trained graduates with no opportunities to exploit them.
Meritocracy is a philosophy which strikes a chord in the heart of every rational man and woman.
I blame the designer of the course on philosophy, politics and economics who puts the politics before the economics.
Meritocracy, in its original state, is an economic concept of social advancement, admittedly concocted during the era of the rise of science and technology and the industrial revolution. Given the problems of the world, especially of overproduction, there may be a case of less-than-the-best-of-meritocracy to lead the band in search of prosperity. Houses are now too small to contain all the TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and cars that households wish to buy.
Politics, in itself, is already a very difficult game to play, especially where the whole objective is power and wealth and the refusal to die (hence the need to build monuments).
Political power is got from the people, and the method is often through the art of lying with style and stirring up of emotions where none seem to have existed before.
It is an unfortunate result of the end of colonialism - it ended because Britain could not longer justify keeping the colonies on economic terms in view of the social responsibilities that came with the rise of the welfare state - that the new concept of nationhood was promoted and somehow given independence for.
The notion of nationhood gives rise to the idea that there is a nation, or is it a race (or some other configuration) that gets rise of the past of being subjugated by foreigners.
In the world before the British colonial rule, people of different races and races from all parts of the world were living together - all over the world. Globalisation is not a new concept - people have been mixing about for a long long time, in order to perpetuate and strengthen their genes.
That a people feel extremely uncomfortable with people of a different colour, culture or religion is feeling that can only come from fear - and this cannot be the most pleasurable way to live.
Fear is ignorance which can only be removed with knowledge and wisdom, and which can only be acquired by openness, exposure and interaction.
By preaching exclusivity, insularity, and isolation, the end result is inevitably polarisation and this is the recipe for racial strife.
There is much for everybody to learn, and each must learn from the other. If business acumen is the goal, then one must mix with people who are good at doing business. If personal peace and tranquility are the goals, then one must mix with the religious or spiritual.
The learning process must be made available to everybody so that those who are interested to better themselves can find the avenue in which focused efforts can be made. To be followed, naturally, by competition to see who is better and this can be done in a friendly manner.
Human society and culture will evolve as people struggle to survive or to find pleasure in a world with rising population and diminishing natural resources. As we struggle for ourselves, we must not forgot our neighbours whom we can help as well.
It is unfortunate for all of us if we have to fight tooth and nail with each other for survival. This means the beautiful society as we know Malaysia to be is gone.