Archive for category Brain drain

Because the nasi lemak rocks

By C. Choong
June 08, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku,
Rakyat hidup, bersatu dan maju,
Rahmat Bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan,
Raja kita, selamat bertakhta.
Rahmat Bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan,
Raja kita, selamat bertakhta.

It’s been almost 14 years since I’ve sung the national anthem. Fourteen. Guess that’s what happens when you’re shipped off to an international school system. All I remember about it though is the fact that half the school would get the lyrics wrong (kurnia……SANNNNNNN), and the other half would get it correct because we just spent the last music class being corrected about it. One half would try to outdo the other in emphasising the fact it was KAN… so the poor song was obviously butchered in the process of all this. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

Purpose, meaning, choice

By Jerome Martin
June 08, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 8 — Nobody should feel obliged to stay or leave, wherever one might be.

Be it your birthplace, country of residence or somewhere you’re just passing through, no one should be compelled to be someplace s/he’d rather not be.

Which is why this entire business of our government begging Malaysians around the world to return disturbs me. You can ask someone to loan you 50 bucks as a favour. You can’t ask them to uproot, change their life plans and come home just to render some kind of “national service.” Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

DAP insists on overseas scholarships for all SPM aces

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 07, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7- All SPM top scorers should get overseas Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships instead of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) grants if Malaysia wants to retain the country’s human talent, DAP has said.

Putrajaya announced yesterday that 500 special education grants would be disbursed by 1MDB to rejected applicants to study locally. The categories (annual): Scholarships to public universities (RM7,500), scholarships for critical courses in private universities (RM15,000), and grants for non-critical courses (RM7,500). Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

14 Comments

We who left should not be seen as such

By Zewt
June 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 6 — Migration and the brain drain phenomenon seem to be the talk of the town at the moment. And when I read the comments on various articles here, I observe that people like me are being labelled in a certain manner.

Yes, I am one of those who left to ply my trade elsewhere. I don’t consider myself a migrant, though I would not rule out this possibility entirely.

“Unpatriotic” is probably the most common label — I wouldn’t want to deny this. Not that I agree with it, just that it is a never-ending argument.

“Greedy and selfish” is probably another thing we are called. Again — not that I agree, but I do not want to debate on this for now. And there are many more…

However, there is one label that I cannot accept, when we are called “cowards who took the easy way out” because we refused to stay and “fight.” Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

1 Comment

Why I joined the Malaysian diaspora

by LHC
June 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 6 — I was born to parents who were themselves born, and lived their entire lives, in Malaysia. Yet, solely due to the colour of my skin, I was called a “pendatang” (immigrant) by the Malaysian government, whereas someone who hails directly from Indonesia would be welcomed as a “Bumiputera” (“prince of the soil”) and be accorded the unfair privileges that came with that title.

I was, however, more fortunate than many of my other non-Bumiputera compatriots, because my parents were middle-class professionals who could afford to send me overseas to further my education. I obtained my medical degree from the British Isles, following which I was faced with the decision either to return to Malaysia, or continue my stint overseas. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

14 Comments

Spirit of adventure

By A. Razak
June 06, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 6 — I left Malaysia many years ago in the spirit of adventure. I went simply because the idea of doing something new in unfamiliar territory sounded like a lot of fun. I have now lived in the UK for 10 years.

Here in the UK we live a life of “relative isolation.” My wife is the third of seven siblings while I am second of five. My kids are two of 11 grandchildren. When you include uncles, aunties and family friends, life becomes a circus of birthdays, weddings and family functions. When you live thousands of miles away from your relatives, weekends are exclusively for your precious little family. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

Don’t turn talent outflow into brain drain

By Lim Mun Fah
June 04, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 4 — The world is fighting for talents. We can hardly find another country having a messy overseas scholarship system and yet blames the media for causing chaos, like Malaysia.

I have a book entitled “The Talent War” on my bookshelf. It wrote: “Talent outflow in European countries has made the United States the first country to successfully detonate atomic and hydrogen bombs, as well as send satellites into space and astronauts to land on the moon. Meanwhile, talent outflow in China and India has created Silicon Valley, a home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations, in the US. Talents are more important to a country compared to oil, financial streets and nuclear weapons.” Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

6 Comments

Brain drain and migration, so who’s left to save Malaysia?

By Yee Ziherng | June 02, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 2 — My name is Yee Ziherng and I am a Malaysian. I stand firmly on the ground that I am a Malaysian first, Chinese second. So there are no debatable issues about races and religion here.

I have been gravely disheartened by the recent deluge of stories of Malaysians migrating. More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon of supporting the move while enumerating lists of alleged flaws and problems facing those who choose to remain, all the while without providing viable solutions to the problem.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

7 Comments

A twist of fate…

By Kedah man in Japan | May 30, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 30 — Like AC who penned “First love, long lost”, life just happened and before I knew it, I found myself enjoying life outside of Malaysia.

I am but a padi farmer’s son. I was working in a construction site after obtaining three Ds and one O for my Higher School Certificate in 1979. One day, my older brother handed me an advertisement by Singapore Airlines calling for pilot trainees. Fate had it that it was the last day for the application. It was a Friday and the post offices in Kedah were closed. My nephew drove me all the way from my village to Butterworth on a 100cc motorbike just to post the application letter. I can still recall how my buttocks hurt.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

MCA’s failure in scholarship row may hasten brain drain, says DAP

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | June 02, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — The MCA’s failure to obtain overseas scholarships for 86 SPM top scorers may further hasten the brain drain of young talents, the DAP has charged.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that the party was “disappointed” with the Cabinet’s decision that the top scorers would only receive scholarships to study in local private colleges and universities despite MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lok’s recent statements that it would push for overseas scholarships to be awarded to these students.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

A dream of Malaysian unity

CKL
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2011

MAY 31 — I have read with sadness the many letters you have published regarding Malaysia’s brain drain. I am one of those, who left Malaysia for many reasons, chiefly, because I did not see any future for my children in a country which had become increasingly racist, moving from moderate to fundamentalist Islamic and also increasingly intolerant.

To those who say that I am unpatriotic and that I should stay on to help change the country, I tell you that it cannot be changed! Whilst working as a professional in Malaysia, I also served for 14 years in the Territorial Army of Malaysia (Rejimen Askar Wataniah), rising to my last rank of Major.

Rejimen Askar Wataniah is the army reserves of Malaysia and we undergo weekend military training every fortnight. During those years, not only was I prepared to risk life and limb for King and country, but I also initiated and helped set up Askar Wataniah societies in mainly Chinese tertiary institutes which recruited Chinese students into the Askar Wataniah. Every year, those societies recruited some 100+ Chinese students into the Rejimen Askar Wataniah, compared with a miserly 10+ in the regular army.

I expected nothing from my efforts because I enjoyed my time in the Askar Wataniah and I was patriotic, then! But I certainly did not expect brickbats and every effort being made by my fellow Malay officers to run me down because they were jealous (my efforts in recruiting such large numbers of Chinese into the Askar Wataniah had caught the attention of the military top brass and also assorted politicians, in particular MCA politicians) or as one of them told me, “perasaan dengki” which Malays always seem to have for those who are more successful than they are. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

Something to ponder before migrating

- From a doctor who stayed
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2011

JUNE 1 — It has been illuminating reading the various stories of the people who left and the people who stayed. I personally feel it is the individual’s choice and I agree largely with the opinions of John Rahman. However, I do want to share a couple of angles from a physician’s perspective.

1. To all those who have migrated whose parents are still alive, please make provisions for them if they are left behind. Most people write about the opportunities they need to give to their children but rarely mention what happens to their parents when they migrate.

As a doctor, I see this every day. There are many elderly patients who are admitted to hospital and their children are all living abroad. It is very sad. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

13 Comments

A fight for Malaysia

Dr Kamal Amzan
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2011

JUNE 1 — The country of nasi lemak, rendang, pasembor, rojak and yong tau hu.

A nation of colourful festivals and public holidays that dot the yearly planner, turning any calendar into a polka-dot collage.

It is where you find everyone is related. We are somebody’s “uncles”, “aunties”, “pak ciks” and “mak ciks”, akin to a super big family celebrating our differences in fashionably colourful ways.

A country blessed with pristine, tranquil mountaintops, sandy white beaches and whatever remains of our rich rainforest heritage everywhere.

A place where the east converges before greeting the west.

This is my country. My home, my heaven and my paradise. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

I will not give in to fear

Lim Ka Joy
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2011

JUNE 1 — Dear Malaysia,

It is with great joy and hope and also some apprehension that I undertook this task of writing why I have decided not to forsake you even though I have watched you grow from bad to worse over the years.

I speak to you as a single entity because that is what you are. You are a nation. Though not every part of you will understand this, but I am sure your brain does and that is all we need at the end of the day.

Just for the purposes of a personal intro, I am your average Gen-Y Malaysian who hails form Kuching, Sarawak. I was a victim of discrimination after SPM and STPM. However, thanks to my parents who funded the major portion my tertiary education, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in December 2008.

That year, my dad encouraged me to look for a job overseas. “Don’t work in Malaysia,” he said, “it is not worth it. Salary is one reason for leaving, but with the current un-meritocratic and un-progressive stance on politics, education, economics and social issues, our country is going down the proverbial drain.” Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

More Malays in Australia now, says academic

The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2011

MELBOURNE, May 31 — Thousands of Malays have migrated to Australia, citing career and business opportunities as reasons for their decision, said a Malaysian academic.
Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Dr Ahmad Zaharuddin Sani said in the in the state of Victoria alone there were about 5,000 Malays, three-fourths of them either permanent residents or Australian citizens, according to a Bernama Online report today.

He said they were both professionals — doctors and engineers — and support staff.

The fellow at University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute said most of them arrived after 1981 under family, skilled workers or business provisions for migration.

The increase coincided with Australian policy changes allowing overseas students to apply for stay extensions. Ahmad Zaharuddin explained this led to many students staying on indefinitely. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

5 Comments

Why I left Malaysia

PJ
The Malaysian Insider
May 30, 2011

MAY 30 — Some time in the middle of 2006, I walked out of the Majlis Perbandaran Seremban after another meeting with its pengarah. After two years of countless correspondences and meetings, I officially gave up on them picking up my household rubbish in a proper and timely manner. They were not capable of undertaking even these simple tasks. It was a lost cause.

That was the turning point of my life in Malaysia, and it left me exhausted. It put everything into perspective for me. Once again, the bureaucratic system in Malaysia failed me. Once again, it deprived me of a simple need in my life. A need I was already entitled to as a Malaysian.

I never asked for much, and regarded myself as a good example of a first-generation Malaysian. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

10 Comments

We are in this together

Y. Khairil
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2011

MAY 31 — I am a not-so-young Malaysian male of the majority type. You know, the type who people always accuse of being pampered by the government, being coaxed with many affirmative-action niceties and other stuff.

I have lived here all my life and, contrary to the standard image of the constitutionally-protected people, do not have the opportunity nor the money to even step out of my state border, let alone the national border.

I went from primary to tertiary education in government institutions, since it was the only viable choice for my poor family. Until a few years ago, I worked as a lowly factory operator earning just slightly above the officially recognised poverty-level income, although you and I know that “official” things are rarely dependable and practical.

No other employers would take me for some unknown reason, despite my degrees and several language proficiencies. I think I might have been deemed too rebellious for Malay firms or the civil service, and I’m definitely not “leng zai” enough to be courted by Chinese firms. I spent four to five hours of my life daily wasting away in morning and evening rush traffic. What a great life. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

I believe in us

Phua Kai Lit
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2011

MAY 31 — I had the opportunity to work and settle down in two rich foreign countries. Why did I return to Malaysia (in 1996, with a PhD and years of work experience in hand) and stayed?

Growing up in Kuantan (now in grave danger of being turned into a dumping ground for toxic waste material) and Malaysia during the 1960s and 1970s instilled in me a deep love for this country and appreciation of its mix of peoples and cultures — best exemplified by our wonderful food and our delightful dialect of English called “Manglish.”

Living in two foreign countries for almost 20 years (the years of study and work drifted by quickly — the thought of emigrating never even crossed my mind right from the beginning when I first went overseas for my higher education on a generous scholarship from a foreign university) made me realise that one can never feel truly “at home” in a foreign country even if one has lived in that foreign country for years and years. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

Malaysia needs a second chance

Lee Choon Kit
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2011

MAY 31 — We give people who have wronged us in the past second chances, in hopes that he or she can learn from whatever mistakes they have made. Malaysia needs a second chance from the people. In retrospect, the country has not wronged any of its people. It is after all built on the thoughts and foundation of equality.

I am not trying to antagonise any of the people who left Malaysia behind for the pursuit of affluence and happiness. I am no better myself, as I am pursuing my Bachelor of Arts in Australia; a degree of which can be obtained in Malaysia just as easily.

In my short four months here in Australia, I had an epiphany (or so I thought). I am contributing to the Australian society and my dear Malaysia is left out cold in the curb. I signed a petition for gay rights in Australia but I never did so in Malaysia. I pay tens of thousands of Australian dollars to the university every semester and the lecturers aren’t any better than the ones we have in Malaysia (arguably worse perhaps). Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

5 Comments

Negara Ku no more

By CeeKay
May 30, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

MAY 30 — I was born in 1958, a year after Merdeka. My dad came from China and my mom was born in Kota Bahru, Perak. I have known Malaysia to be my one and only home and I am proud to say that I am a Malaysian anywhere I go despite all the shortcomings of this nation.

I grew up in a kampung near Alor Star where there were fewer than 10 Chinese families but we were treated well by our Malay neighbours. We celebrated Chinese New Year and Hari Raya together, visiting each others’ homes, with no fear of whether the food was halal or against our religion?

Konfrontasi bought the villagers together and I can remember my Dad and my brothers helping out doing guard duties together with our Malay neighbours. May 13 came and went without any incident and, in fact, the Chinese families were escorted out to town by our Malay neighbours. Some of my best friends were from this kampung; we swam in the stream and played in the padi fields. These are fond memories. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

22 Comments