BOSTON: A snow storm and icy roads did not stop a group of bright Malaysians here from turning up for an important date with the Deputy Prime Minister.
About 100 professionals, researchers and students from world famous institutions such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Berklee College of Music braved the blizzard to hear what Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had to say about wooing talent home.
And his message to them was clear: “Please come home.”
After dinner, Muhyiddin took questions from the floor, mostly from students and professionals who expressed a desire to return to Malaysia but were concerned over the political situation, security, research funds and opportunities, education and salary.
A researcher, who has been in the United States for six years, asked whether her future husband would be able to obtain permanent resident (PR) status.
Muhyiddin acknowledged that there had been problems in the past.
However, he said the Government was now more flexible and was extending PR status to foreigners with the right qualifications. He cited the example of several foreign CEOs being accorded PR status a few weeks ago.
The bright sparks asked mundane questions about salary, research funds, security, PR status for their spouse. Is it because of a free dinner and being Malaysians you do not slap the hands that feed you that they asked these motherhood questions!
If they were bright (aka SMAR)T they would be asking these open-ended questions:
You said that you were Malay First and Malaysian Second. Can you elucidate, elaborate and equate your statement to 1Malaysia slogan?
Why are we overseas Malaysiabns not given our birth-right as Malaysians to vote in the General Elections?
Why is only government scholars allowed to vote from overseas?
We read that 1,806 (the latest was some two weeks ago a wireman M Krishnan aged 37 died whilst in custody at the Sentul Police station.) have since died between 2003 and last July whilst in remand cells, prisons, detention centres or whilst being questioned as witnesses. If not you, can any of your aides have available statistics to tell us how many died of ill-health, ill treatment or misadventure like suicide by self-strangulation or hanging? This information could dispel the rumors that our authorities, pledged to protect the citizens are not being protected when they are seen to behave otherwise.
Dang, there are more questions our smart overseas Malaysians could ask but I know why they did not. They obviously followed a cardinal rule learned in lawschool during cross-examination:
Do not ask the question the answer to which you do not already know.
Or maybe our smart people did ask but the Star decided it more expedient not to publish those embarrassing queries.