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My Journey Part 7: The Free Money Disease

One of the best things in life for some is when money just drops into the plate for free. Its however a disease for others. And part of the the privilege which Brunei student scholars get for studying overseas is getting free money or in other terms the “allowance”. This money is what I prefer to call the Free Money Disease and personally I am infected with it. It is money which one gets without having to give something in return. There is a price attached to this.

One of the prices we scholar students have to pay is in terms of time. Time is the most valuable resources out there. Materials, cars, clothes and everything can be replaced and brought but not with time. As for our case its being bonded with the government for at least 5 years. This is not a beautiful sight at least for me, the perception which I personally get for working in the governmental is me simply sitting down in an office becoming a paper pusher while letting in the “automatic” money come in. The free money disease is creeping on me and that price I have to pay is shadowing over me every single day.

As the money just keeps coming in, there is a surge of disease which builds up the weakness a person’s personal character. Students simply have to study, play, travel etc. and every single month as we all get the money. All for free. Its a something for nothing environment which we students face every day, or at least for me. I know that as a scholar recipient that I am entitled to get this privileged but somehow deep down it just does not feel right. I feel financially handicapped.

Its like having your parents paying for all your expenses whilst you were a kid, up until your married, instead of you busting yourself out there and making your own money through your own efforts and hardwork. Thankfully, I do not have to get allowance from my parents anymore, but instead of breaking free, the government sets into the picture and spoon feeds me. Its like jumping from a frying pan into the fire. The more money I receive and the thus the more loans I incur, and the more spoiled I shall become. I do not know what others feel but this what I think of my situation.

Everything is being paid for by the government, The university, the tuition fees, the rental house, the food, the clothes and every single thing. Someone would think that scholar students like myself are privileged, yet underneath the cloth of these advantages lies a hidden price. More often it is damaging, especially to the values and personal characters of students. Peter Drucker, the father of modern management said that skills are learnable but values are not. I do learn a lot over here but the values of thrift, self-reliance and commitment is slowly flying off. It is not nice.

I can not give a logical explanation over this but that is how I feel, hopefully readers would explain what I feel now. I sincerely hope that students reading this article would not feel the same as I do because it will be harder for me in the future if you understand what I mean.

In conclusion, the free money which we get is not free at all. The free money disease will one day haunt us and demands a price from each and every one of the students studying abroad. We have to pay it in terms of our valuable time. Get soaked to much of it and your character will melt away, replaced by the advent of bad a something for nothing mindset. Take the scholarship and you will end up paying more than you bargain for unless you know how to offset it. Til then Malik signing out.

“My Journey” is a ten part series aimed at Bruneian hopeful scholars who wishes to study overseas. The stories written are real experiences from an undergraduate student, Abdul Malik Omar that contains anecdotes, mistakes and advice made in his journey in UK in as so far. The writer wishes students the best of luck in their own journey in studying overseas. Here is for the previous Episode http://theamotimes.com/2012/03/27/my-journey-part-6-wheres-my-money-gone/


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2 thoughts on “My Journey Part 7: The Free Money Disease

  1. Salam. “the perception which I personally get for working in the governmental is me simply sitting down in an office becoming a paper pusher while letting in the “automatic” money come in.” I don’t agree with that. My parents, my family members, and the people I know who work in the government are hard working people. They work so hard sometimes they bring their work home. It isn’t the government’s fault if some people are not productive. It is up to us to make ourselves better people. When you’re in lectures, think of how the knowledge you gain can best be used in Brunei. Think of how best to implement best practice to reach Brunei’s 2035 vision. In your free time, think of sultan’s many titah. He calls upon us to be a Zikir Nation, one that remembers Allah in every action and deed. It isn’t ‘free money’. It is an investment, it is our AMANAH to become better people for the sake of Allah, our ruler, our nation, for Islam itself. Attend seminars, buy books, listen to podcasts, find an area of interest that you can help develop. If you go back over the summer, go for an attachment in different government offices. Observe and reflect what changes need to happen, what have you learnt from being here (UK) that can help Brunei. I’ve had the chance to do so last summer and it’s given me so much more perspective. It is an amazing blessing that we don’t have to suffer financially in our academic pursuit. So if you feel ‘financially handicapped’, use it for the good: seminars, charity, plan a big project that can help brunei. Be ambitious. If you want to see change, it starts with you. Verily never will Allah change a condition of a people until they change what is within their souls [Ra’d 13:11] 🙂


    Posted by hmj | April 7, 2012, 11:11 pm


  1. Pingback: Super Brunei? « The AMO Times - March 29, 2012

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