Monday, April 07, 2008

Hubris comes before a fall

A break from my travels to rant – prompted by something I read in the paper.

Years ago, a 13 year-old girl obtained a place at Oxford University – the youngest ever to do so. She was the daughter of a Malaysian woman and a non-Malaysian man, both living in the UK. The Malaysian government immediately claimed this girl as one of their own and gave her a scholarship, even though she had not applied for one, even though her connection to Malaysia was tenuous at best, even though her citizenship was surely suspect.

You see, in their myopic denial of the equality of men and women, the children of a Malaysian woman married to a foreigner are NOT entitled to citizenship, although a man’s children by a non-Malaysian are.

My eldest daughter is a Malaysian citizen (and coincidentally an Oxford graduate). She cannot get citizenship for her son. (Is it any wonder she won’t return to Malaysia to live? She can’t even be sure her husband could get permission to work, and he would certainly find it hard to so!)

Anyway, Malaysian taxes paid for this girl’s university education. She never graduated, and now – the newspapers tell us - it seems she earns a living as a prostitute, advertising her services as an Asian escort over the internet for 130 pounds sterling per hour.

And I am wondering what the Malaysian government is saying now. Not being back in Malaysia yet, I don’t know …Are they still falling all over themselves to claim her as one of their own, I wonder? After all, she’s earning good money. Or are those responsible realising at last that they might have done better to offer scholarships to people who actually live in Malaysia and think of themselves as Malaysians?

Might it now occur to them that there are real Malaysian women with Oxford degrees that might like to come home, if they could be sure their children are granted the right to their mother’s citizenship?

I am tempted to say to those idiots who, in their hubris, spent our tax money so blithely , “It’s serves you right.”

2 comments:

Jo said...

The stupidity of governments can astound you. But £130 and hour is excellent money, knew I had the wrong job.

Jason said...

Given the typical behaviour of politicians the world over, I'd predict that the silence on this subject will be deafening. It will be as if she never existed.

I'm under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that the media in Malaysia aren't exactly forthright in questioning the leadership... and so with no one to press them, they'll be able to get away with it.