I wonder if I am hearing things. I thought I heard on the news on radio yesterday about scholarships being offered by A*Star to foreign students with a condition that they become Singapore citizens. I looked for it in the Straits Times yesterday & today. Nada. I tried searching for it on the Channel NewsAsia website. Nada. I tried looking for it on the Today Online website. Still nada.
Hmm. Perhaps I am having auditory hallucinations.
Either that, or the Powers That Be are trying to spin it such that it will sound more "acceptable" to the average Singaporean before publicising it in the print media.
After all, citizenship is something that should be something held dear to one's heart; you can't buy patriotism or loyalty with material rewards (with the cost of higher education these days, a hefty sum in this case). And in order to become a Singapore citizen, these scholars would have to renounce their original citizenship as part of the process. Not something that should be done lightly.
That's why I was looking for details in the news on how this would be implemented.
Will we be attracting people who would change loyalties at the drop of a hat? What will happen if a few years down the road, after they have completed their studies, they decide that they are not willing to be Singaporeans after all? What will the authorities do? Confiscate their passports? Fine them? Make them pay $xxx,000? Can you really put a price on this?
I guess I really shouldn't be surprised if this is true. Sporting talents have already gone this route.
I anxiously await to hear more.