‘Let Talent Corp choose scholars’

By Joseph Sipalan | May 23, 11

The task of handing out scholarships should be re-assigned to the newly set-up Talent Corp as this falls in line with its job of retaining talent, said the DAP.

National publicity chief Tony Pua said the Public Services Department (PSD) has proven time and time again that it is incapable of fairly distributing scholarships to the country’s top-scorers.

“The transfer of this critical role and responsibility will be particularly fitting given the crucial role of attracting and retaining talent in Malaysia,” he told a press conference at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Pua accused the PSD of openly defying cabinet decisions on scholarship disbursement, creating new categories such as “Open scholarship” and diploma scholarships to get around Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s directive to issue 20 percent of overseas scholarships on merit.

“The outcome is a circus where Barisan Nasional component parties such as the MCA, Gerakan and MIC become public complaints bureaus and the de facto channel for appeals from disappointed scholarship applicants.”

Pua stressed that with the PSD scholarships becoming an annual issue, there is little to keep top students and their families from migrating to countries that would be more than willing to take in Malaysia’s best talents.

“… the never-ending scholarship controversies have led to as well as further exacerbated the serious brain drain crisis facing the country.

“The worsening brain drain crisis will also lead to the failure to meet our high income nation goals under the New Economic Model and Economic Transformation Programme,” he said.

Different approach needed

Pua said that the government and opposition need to set politics aside and come to a consensus on a lasting solution to the recurring scholarship fiasco.

He pointed out that despite heavy criticism of the PSD by ministers, deputy ministers and BN component parties, the public can expect little in terms of a long-term solution to the problem.

“Despite the obvious need to take strong disciplinary actions against top PSD officials, based on past experiences there will be little or no political will from the BN ministers to take any action against them.”

Pua said Talent Corp is in the best position to identify and harness Malaysia’s top talents, considering its close links with the country’s key industries.

“The Talent Corporation will stand a better chance in succeeding with honouring our best and brightest as opposed to the PSD whose role is complicated and confused, made worse by vested interest and little Napoleons,” he said.

Fighting Utusan’s lies

On a separate subject, Pua said the recent creation of the party’s online propaganda portal Roketkini (below) is needed to counter “unjustifiable and evil” attacks against DAP by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia.

He said the party has been facing a constant barrage of lies published by Malay mainstream publications, especially Utusan, with no room given to defend themselves.

“We have filed suits against Utusan and Umno, but they don’t care because it’s just money.

“We need to reach out to the Malay audience to counter these lies, and that is the intended purpose of Roketkini,” he said of the online portal, which had its soft launch today.

  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 - 5:07 am

    Trying to do two wrong things in order to make it right?

    wrong 1: giving out scholarships for overseas studies at the undergraduate level (no one in the country can teach A+ students, too many A+ students). we are still 50 years behind.

    wrong 2: using talent corp to run the scholarship? what is talent corp? it looks no more than a recruiting company. we can also recruit house maids through talent corp.

    it is important to leave the issue to the true experts. the politicians should put away their hands on academic issues.

    immediate action: to suspend the overseas scholarship for the time being. to appoint a group of academia experts to study this issue.

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