Malaysia's Economic Planning Minister Abdul Wahid Omar

Malaysia's Economic Planning Minister Abdul Wahid Omar

Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

“I got a scholarship because we came from a poor family then and I excelled in my studies,” said Abdul Wahid Omar, a minister in the Malaysia Prime Minister's Department overseeing the economic planning unit. “Meritocracy should not be based purely on absolute excellence alone, but it must also be based on relative performance taking into account socio-economic background and needs.”