Elitism Is Alive In Singapore

The concept of elitism has been the subject of countless debates over the past decades. Given our obsession with face and image, Singaporeans would be no stranger to elitist remarks, whether they are aimed at themselves, or dished out to someone else. 

To find out the extent to which elitism exists in Singapore writer and comedian Kok Wei Liang posted a question on his profile on Wednesday (May 3), urging people to share their run-ins with elitist comments.


The responses were quite shocking, and really cast the spotlight on how ubiquitous elitism is in our society. The post gained quite a lot of publicity and more than a few people stepped up to share their harrowing episodes.

Here are a few cases of blatant elitism:

Cultural Elitism

Racism has always been a sensitive topic in Singapore, as the government enforces a zero-tolerance system.

In a way, you could say that racism is a type of elitism, where one feels a sense of “superiority” because of the colour of their skin. Singaporeans share a few horrific remarks that have been hurled at them.

One woman felt insulted at the stereotyping that Bangladeshi people speak English with a strange accent.


Someone actually told a user that the reason behind her academic success was the fact that she was part-Chinese. Of course, that makes perfect sense.


Nothing is worse than having your dreams belittled — not to mention a racist remark to accompany the blow.


It is no secret that some Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of foreigners into our tiny country. However, that is no excuse to treat them as an anathema.


Academic Elitism

When we hear the word “elitism”, our minds immediately drift to the image of an upper-class citizen with impeccable academic achievements.

It’s therefore not too shocking that quite a few people have fallen victim to off-hand elitist comments.

While we cannot figure out how someone’s looks can indicate how they fared in school, some seem to have met people with that special sixth sense.


Affluence-based Elitism

Another form of elitism that is ever-present in our society is based on material wealth. They say money cannot buy happiness, but it definitely seems to be able to get you some friends.


What’s worse is that this snobbish mindset is actually getting passed down through the generations, with even kids subscribing to this school of thought.


This list is incomplete without the shoutout to that one person who looks at the price of everything and anything.


While remarks made by upper-class locals is not unheard of, we found it startling that this vile concept can be extended to the staff of certain establishment. Some commenters recounted how they were insulted by retail staff who had decided to provide them with their “professional” budget advice.


Abolishing Elitism

While it is a little naive to have high hopes of completely erasing the concept of discrimination in our Lion city, we have to put in the effort to educate others who are still stuck in their ivory towers or their 17th-century mindsets.

Although we cannot expect elitist thoughts to not cross our minds, we can, however, choose to keep quiet about them and consider the feelings of others. Voicing your ignorance only serves to make you look hoity-toity and rude.

Maybe some of us need to live and let live.

Featured image from hdbrenovation2009.blogspot.sg