Singapore’s ASEAN scholar Alvin Tan Jye Yee has openly declared that he will not return a single cents should he be requested to return the $110,000 in total of the scholarship fund which covered all of his expenses and allowance in his 7 years in Singapore. The Malaysian apparently has no sense of gratitude to Singapore and is neither the slightest apologetic in his interview with the Malaysia media over his porn blog saga. Yes he had made a fool out of Singaporeans but who is to be truly blamed for letting errant foreign scholars take advantage and getting away with it?
The PAP government is sole culprit for not laying down a comprehensive clause for foreign scholars who break their bond during their course of study. It is the system that allowed the exploitation in the first place and there is no use crying of spilled milk as there is no penalties as safeguards to prevent abuse. Ironically for an anti-welfare government stance for citizens, this is in fact a free welfare for foreigners who do not contribute to Singapore’s society. So when some angry Singaporeans are complaining how ungrateful Alvin Tan is, they are slapping themselves in the face for voting in a pro-foreigner party to take liberty of their taxes. Anger is logical but it must be directed at the right source, and Alvin Tan is certainly not one.
But what is the rationale behind the PAP policy of giving free scholarships to foreigners? The true reason couldn’t be more naive and unbecoming to the point of outright stupidity of a leadership calling itself “first rate” in the international scene. The PAP government expects their goodwill billed to Singaporeans be returned with gratitude by converting to new citizens and contribute to Singapore’s society, which in their defense, “ease the falling birth rate and brain drain in Singapore”.
According to Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, 20% of the foreign scholars break their bonds upon graduation and only 15% convert into citizenship within 5 years from graduation. Although Permanent Residency is automatically given to all Singapore’s foreign scholars, only 15% became citizens within 5 years, or, 85% of them do not turn out to be grateful as the PAP expected them to be. So why do we still pay for a broken policy that delivers only 15% result? Despite having the figures, the PAP chose to sit on the issue and continue their relentless import of foreign scholars at the expenses of Singaporeans. If the PAP is still keeping a policy that is 15% efficient, what kind of quality and caliber that Singaporeans are having for leaders? And how much are we paying them for?