Change our mindset not just the equipment
It was earlier reported in the Star that most of the 300 scientists who returned to serve the country under the government initiated 'brain gain' programme had opted to rejoin the 'brain drain' programme after a year here.
Some may have quoted the lack of research facilities as their main frustration, I have personally spoken to a number of them at one of our top local universities on the real reason behind their departure. It is the mindset of the local administration. These researhers are used to working in a merit based and professional environment.
At our local universities, meritocracy is still a dirty word. Until and unless we implement a system which recognises merit and performance, we will not go far in attracting the real brains.
In the Star, Dr Fong Chan Onn said that the Government will embark on a programme to provide high-tech research facilities, in a move to attract foreign-based research experts to return home. He said the programme, which will be carried out under the 9th Malaysia Plan, would include providing research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and government grants to conduct research.
Spending on state-of-the-art equipment must come with a mindset shift.