There are those who mistaken my position as simply letting the scholars be set free with unpaid debts on this article. Not at all. Instead it is as follows:
Firstly, the idea behind my position is to use public finances as an enabler for our Bruneian counterparts to launch their careers in the foreign markets. The bond, should they take this position, is to be turned into a bond-loan-scheme with interest payable after 5 years for 10 years at 5% interest annual charge. This is what the Europeans and the Norwegians are doing. Why can’t we? Why are we slow to change/innovate the system?
Secondly, I want to combat this negative perception of those who break their bonds among the public eye. Instead of looking them as traitors or as they say seperti kacang lupakan kulit, I want people to realise that they are in the position to make the greatest impact to society such as the examples mentioned in this article. Question now is: Is the system in BN enough to cater to these highly skilled individuals or not?
If it’s the latter then there’s little point of them wasting their time in Brunei. The option is for them to develop their skills and develop their wealth in foreign markets. Here is where the bond-loan-scheme option come in(as mentioned on the first point). It’s simply an option for them to take without being ostracised by society.
Thirdly, doing the bond-loan-scheme will then give the govt. the opportunity to create a bond fund on which it can offer to and thus make mature the financial markets here in Brunei. There you go. With interest, say 5% in returns, companies such as TAP, BD Holdings, HSBC can purchase the bonds, share the risk, and get the returns. The returns may be volatile but it does give Brunei a challenge to test its financial markets on one hand, and have a higher percentage of public finances invested locally in the other.
Finally, consider the case of Apple. In its quest to dominate the market, it has got to innovate its way from time to time. Failure to do so is to admit defeat and be pulverised by the likes of Samsung, Google etc. Thus the constant churn of innovation such as the iTunes, iMacs, iPhones1,2,3,4,5,100(?). Brunei is no different. If we still have the same laws, regulations, polices and behaviours catered what was acceptable ten years ago-such as the scholar policy-then we are accepting the status quo amid the rapidly changing world.
Either Bruneian leaders change their mindset or let the people be blasted to kingdom come. As a person who will have a family living in Brunei for the past and next few generations to come, I will make sure the latter does not happen.