“We are creating more exciting things to attract Malaysians and foreigners to come and play a part in our next level of growth. If we can create more opportunities, some of you might want to come back and those married to Belgians can bring (your) spouses with you; they will be allowed to work.
“Our policy is to be more open because a society that is open will thrive in the 21st century. A society that is closed will not attract the best brains, you will attract mediocre people and the good ones would have left the country and we will be a lot poorer as a result.”
– Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia
So are we supposed to hail this as a new brainchild of our beloved PM the way 1Malaysia was?
You can’t help but wonder why it took this long for someone in the government to realize that Malaysians are finding better opportunities outside the country, better opportunities with companies that are more than willing to both recognize and reward our homegrown talent.
Note the “creating more exciting things” promise there in his sentence. A big, bold statement, but exciting for whom: the unemployed woman with four little starving mouths to feed? Or the graft-eating political cows whose wallets and bank accounts are fatter than a stuffed turkey on Thanksgiving?
And I see nothing about luring people home on the basis of national pride or loyalty to King and Country (or, heaven forbid, 1Malaysia!).. which is pretty good actually. Because in real life, MONEY TALKS, with a mouth that’s faster than a Gatling cannon.
However, spend some time and read into the situation a little: people who’re more willing to return to their homeland for cold hard cash and business opportunities can’t be all that good for the country, practical as it may be to lure them into a trap- uhh I mean home. 🙂
Thus, as brilliant a plan as Najib’s idea may seem in the onset, it only deals with the most minor symptom of a far more life-threatening disease. There must be some underlying causes that are driving Malaysians to desert in droves. It would be just plain ignorance to write it off as better money and working conditions overseas.
With better money comes family planning and all the strings it entails. Would-be parents would carefully consider the kind of environment in which their children would be growing up, not just in the home but also education-wise. What happens when the parents deem the national environment as being inappropriate for their children?
Then there’s the question of equality: suppose two people qualify for the same position, with the difference that one of them finds his employment overseas. When the Talent Corporation buys him home, so to speak, does he command a higher initial salary? How would his colleagues, particularly those whom were employed locally, treat him then?
Given time, this brain drain will eventually reach a level where all the money and fringe benefits in the world wouldn’t convince Malaysians overseas to give their lifestyles up for the homecoming. Watching the country have to die a slow death that way would then be every bit as painful as if it were razed to the ground by war.
What do you think about the Talent Corporation? Is it a timely, necessary move in a highly competitive world; a last-ditch, desperate measure to stymie the loss of capable workers; or a soon-to-be lost and forgotten venture?