During a parliamentary session on Monday, Workers’ Party MP for Hougang, Png Eng Huat asked the Education Minister Ong Ye Kung for the number of international students who defaulted on their bond obligations in the last three years, the amount in grants they received and the outcome of recovery efforts.
In a Facebook post, netizen Philip Ang wrote that Mr Ong did not reply to the first question about the number of international students who had defaulted on their bond obligations.
While Mr Ong did not give the exact number, the Education Minister said that about 4 per cent of international students defaulted on their bonds.
Mr Ong added that tuition grants given to these defaulters amount to some $5.5 million a year.
On why the amount of grants doled out to defaulters has now come to $5.5 million, Mr Ong explained that there is a backlog of international students the MOE was trying to reach in 2016.
“Some were working here but didn’t declare that to us, so they became a question mark. Others were indeed defaulters. We put all of them together and it came up to $30 million still being accounted for,” he said.
Even with these figures, however, Ang asserted that Mr Ong did not reveal the number of international students MOE had been trying to contact.
Ang also questioned why data that should have been in the public domain years ago was not revealed.