The idea of granting permanent resident status to foreign students is good but something is lacking in the whole idea.
Higher Education Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin said all quarters should view the proposal positively as many developed countries like the United States were practising it.
“Only students at PhD level will be accepted and they have to be researchers or lecturers with local universities.
“We are not giving it to foreign workers but foreign students with high knowledge. Other countries are also chasing after them,” he said.
Errr...Khaled is correct to point out that many countries are practising it. In fact, most developed countries are no longer focusing solely on attracting FDI but brains.
But why only PhD students in local universities? Does it mean that the government is going to reject an application from a PhD holder from Harvard University or Princeton University or Oxford University?
If the government is serious enough in attracting brains especially those who can contribute towards Malaysia's aspiration to become a knowledge economy by 2020 why can't PR status be given to gifted, skilled and innovative foreign talents/workers?
It is odd to just give PR status to PhD holders studying in local universities. We know how good our universities are.
Malaysia should strive to attract the best if it is serious in its new PR proposal.
The government should also think how it intends to keep/cut brain drain and attract our local brains to come back from overseas.
One of the things the government must do is stop practising its race affirmative policy.