Sunday, May 14, 2006

There and Back Again. PM: Not all students who don't return are unpatriotic.

I think the problem with Malaysian students not returning to Malaysia after completing their studies is not as complicated as it's made out to be. Malaysian students going overseas generally fall into 2 categories. The self-funded and the govt funded.

As far as I'm concerned, self funded students can do whatever they want. They spent their own money and they are entitled to make up their own minds as to where their future is, be it in Malaysia or elsewhere.

For govt funded students though... it's a no-brainer as well. As a taxpayer, this is what I say to you. You spent my money, and I'm going to get my pound of flesh. In my opinion, govt funded students who finish their studies but do not return to serve the country are not only unpatriotic, they are criminals - as sure as borrowers who default on their loans.

To me, the govt should not spend money to "lure" them back. The govt should concentrate their efforts on collecting the money spent from the non-returning graduates or their guarantors. Our tax money was spent on "SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS" to produce more educated Malaysians who are able to help the country develop and prosper. I said SCHOLARSHIP programs, not EMIGRATION programs. The tuition fees and living expenses that your countrymen have paid for you is not for you to find a better life elsewhere. It for you to learn some skills and come home to build a better life for everyone.

You owe the country your services in return for your free education. If you can't get it through that foreign educated head of yours, I hope MARA, the PSD, or Petronas etc track you down and prosecute you to the full extent of the law.

As for the govt, make these scholarship students sign service bonds or use their parent's or a guarantor's EPF/fixed deposits as security before giving them the scholarship. And indicate the bond arrangement on their passports so that the passports cannot be renewed past the date when they are supposed to return to Malaysian and begin their service.

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