Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Brain Drain Debate Rages On
The blame game continues: Penang CM Lim Guan Eng argued that the NEP has failed to address hardcore poverty. He said it only benefits a select group of people to the detriment of non-bumiputeras who then take their expertise elsewhere.
A potential emigrant Natasha Adnan said "“It is very depressing to be Malay now. Everything about the Malay identity is disappointing, because other races view us as helpless and incompetent... a sort of backlash from the NEP."
A migration agent Robert Chelliah sees as a slight but rising trend of young Malays migrating. “Young people today plan their lives wholesomely, and will move to places where they feel award them more life opportunities,” he said.
Indeed higher salary packages and job satisfaction are the reasons cited by Chelliah's younger clients, regardless of ethnicity. He said they tell him of a sense of “hopelessness and stagnation” and the existence of a “glass ceiling”.
What is obvious is this old Malaysia must transform into a new vibrant, colourless, democratic and just Malaysia which offers a better quality of life to all. Nations no longer compete against one another. The competition is between cities.
How are Malaysian cities faring? We have to admit that none of Malaysian cities are registered as among the Asian most vibrant. KL is in a mess. Second tier cities such as Georgetown, Ipoh and Johor Bahru are not comparable to even third tier cities in China, Japan, South Korea or Australia.
Apart from the declining manufacturing and services sectors, we have not grown any other new sector which can provide a wider spectrum of opportunities to our people.
Malaysia's dilemma is deep and serious. It takes two generations of good leadership to pull this country back on top.
The road to recovery is a steep one. The first question we should ask is if this nation can even stop the slide? Like what Robert said, most of skilled Malaysians migrated for better career and life opportunities. We must be able to offer Malaysians these opportunities back home if we want to talk about a serious brain gain initiative.
Stop just feeding us more slogans, brainless statements and arrogance.
However, it appears that none of our politicians can offer us any solution. Sadly, Malaysians continue to depend on them for everything.
Be more proactive. Talk to your neighbours, colleagues and relatives. Better still make some friends not from your own community and share with them your concern.
Be an agent of change!