High SES? Low SES?

Saw this annoying content on Mothership.sg and mrbrown.

The social studies text explains what is social class in Singapore. Among which, if you live in a HDB or eat at hawker centres, you are deemed to be in the lower strata.

So much to comment about this. I will like to point out a few inherent flaws in the arguments and post more questions.

1. HDB
– are you saying our president Halimah Yacob belongs to the lower class?
– Social studies- besides enabling our children to know more about the country and to boost their general knowledge, it is also a nation-building exercise by the government. I am not sure this type of artificial class divide helps in boosted an already-polarised Singapore.
– there are people who are cash-rich who live in HDB, and there are those who are 30 years in debt living in condominiums. To classify one as affluent based on the place he stays is not substantiated. Perhaps more astute investors would rather take advantage of government subsidies and not pay the hefty monthly maintenance of facilities which he is too busy to use.
– the Singapore government mooted the idea of HDB to allow every Singaporean the opportunity to own his own apartment. This is to boost patriotism. I am not sure classifying 85 percent of Singaporeans as “low class” helps the case.

2. Hawker centre food
– any Singaporean will know that hawker food is at times more delicious than restaurant food
– Just because you are in a “restaurant” doesn’t mean you are of a higher status. Continue doing this with your brash behaviour and you are no better than a hooligan.
– Recently, we even had hawker food awarded the Michelin star. Low class too?

The above are only a few of the many rebuttals I can think of off the top of my head. I understand this is not the MOE text but rather a supplementary book. (I hope)

Perhaps the author has a greater agenda: he wants us to critically think about these issues. If so, he has succeeded.

My students, do think of other weaknesses in the text’s arguments. Useful for your argumentative essays. 😀