By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
In an emotionaly charged statement, the family of murdered real estate agent pointed the finger at institutes of higher learning.
The agent could have not been the only victim. There could be a printer and several others on the victims' list.
So far most of the evidences have been directed against the few Pakistani students. But, are they the only perpetrators around?
Shouldn't we also hold those bringing in bogus students responsible for the tragedy?
How about government officials who have recklessly issued the permits?
Other than making some good bucks from the tuition fees paid by bogus students, the rest is of hardly any concern to these irresponsible colleges. The officials issue student visas for their own gains and are now washing their hands off the crimes committed by the bogus students.
Indeed these students are criminally responsible, but that does not mean the colleges and reckless officials are free of their accountability, legally and morally.
A hideous fact about the whole thing is that these people are most definitely safe under the existing bureaucratic system. They can continue to churn out bogus students, and keep enjoying the safe partnership in crime.
They are more probably commended than condemned given the national aspiration of making Malaysia an exporter of excellent education services.
I have no idea how many bogus students have been produced under such mechanism over the past decade. These foreigners are present all over the country, mingling in our midst, and could very likely end up becoming our neighbours.
No one has the guts to query them whether they hold valid visas, attend a school, and where the school is.
We need to ask the authorities, in particular the higher education ministry and immigration department, how these foreigners have obtained their visas and whether they have come into the country through proper and lawful channels.
Not many countries would allow foreigners holding student visas to overstay without attending a permitted school.
But then who would benefit from the presence of bogus students? The answer to this question is no secret to many. Colleges need to survive, and there are simply too many who would gain from the visa issuance. Each visa issued could be translated into glittering gold.
Under the banner of "exporter of education services," everyone is given free passage into the country, and is much welcome by the colleges here.
Upon their arrival in Malaysia, these bogus students will become free men and women as soon as they have shown up at the colleges' admission counters, engaging themselves in whatsoever they desire. It is said that some colleges even undertake to help make arrangements for the men to work as labourers, and the women, hookers.
Of course, only a handful of colleges are like this, and only some government officials are actually corrupt. But then even a handful of them is enough to wreak significant havoc to our society.
Over the years, even as these colleges, bogus students and irresponsible government officials have forged a solid evil alliance to erode our society, the same fails to serve as a wake-up call to those in power.
In the meantime, the ministry of higher education has expressed its intention of bringing in more foreign students to the country, and has set a target of 200,000 by the year 2020 to truly qualify ourselves as a major exporter of education services.
I can feel a penetrating chill running down my spine.