Conversation: Elitism and Social Mobility

Prof Koh: DPM, the important question is not whether he (toilet cleaner) behaves with dignity, but whether people who enter the lavatory show respect and treat him with dignity.

DPM Tharman: Absolutely.

Prof Koh: And I would say in Singapore, the elite does not show respect for people who work as cleaners, gardeners, petrol station attendants, security personnel. One of the problems in Singapore is that these low-wage workers are treated as invisible people. You are one of the few gentlemen who greet him and talk with him. But how many of you did?

More: The toilet attendant, the disinvited speaker and the moving escalator