Malaysia’s got talent, but they’re being driven away, mostly to Singapore – world economic report

The Malaysian Insider
October 10, 2013

The huge presence of foreign workers in Malaysia has led to static wages, according to the WEF report. – The Malaysian Insider pic, 10 October, 2013.The huge presence of foreign workers in Malaysia has led to static wages, according to the WEF report. – The Malaysian Insider pic, 10 October, 2013.Affirmative action policies and an overreliance on cheap foreign labour have led to Malaysia’s best and brightest leaving to find greener pastures, particularly in Singapore, according to a new report released by the World Economic Forum.

The Geneva-based body’s Human Capital Index evaluates such things as quality of healthcare, infrastructure and education, in order to gauge a country’s ability to develop a skilled workforce.

Its 2013 report ranks Malaysia at the 22nd spot in a list of 122 countries. Topping the list is Switzerland, followed by Finland, Singapore, the Netherlands and Sweden. Asean countries in the list include Thailand which is placed at number 44, Indonesia (53) and the Philippines (66).

The report notes that Putrajaya’s affirmative action policies as well as cheap migrant labour have kept Malaysia from achieving a skilled workforce to compete with its smaller and richer neighbour, Singapore.

The presence of foreign workers, mainly from Indonesia and Bangladesh, has left business owners with little incentive to increase wages or upgrade operations to boost productivity, according to the report.

Recruitment consulting firm Kelly Services has revealed recently that 20% of Malaysia’s highly educated population now opted to leave the country for richer economies, frustrated by the lack of opportunities at home. Many have settled in neighbouring Singapore. The exodus of local talent means that Malaysia faces a shortage of skilled professionals, including bankers, researchers and engineers.

Economists say Malaysia’s economic potential has been stifled by affirmative action policies which favour Bumiputeras. Critics say the policies, introduced in the 1970s to eliminate poverty and close wealth gap between Malays and other communities, have only enriched a handful of individuals close to the ruling coalition.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has vowed to dismantle the policies, promising economic reforms under the New Economic Model. But his recent announcement of the RM20 billion Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Programme has riled up critics who said he was backtracking on his pledge.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab, in launching the latest report, said developing of skills and talent is the key for a country’s future.

Kelly Services has on the other hand revealed that 60% of foreign immigrants in Malaysia only had primary school education or less. Malaysian universities have recently slipped in global rankings. None of them made it in the top 400 universities in the 2013-14 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. – October 10, 2013.

  1. #1 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 3:19 pm

    Nah. Singapore has no ketuanan rights.
    And better still malaysia is a land of Endless Possibilities.

    And oh yes one more thing which I hv forgotten. We hv angkasawan!

  2. #2 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 3:36 pm

    ///The exodus of local talent means that Malaysia faces a shortage of skilled professionals, including bankers, researchers and engineers.///

    Nooo. More than that. Much more. Even my kids’ music teacher got an offer by singapore school to teach there.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 3:39 pm

    Unfortunately, given Tun Razak “good riddance” mantra is gospel for UMNO corruption and abuse of power junkies, even if they see the train wreck coming, they still won’t really avoid it..They will just pretend and cover up..

  4. #4 by yysktan on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 7:07 pm

    May be some international human right bodies need to be put on advanced notice of these monstrous human right violators so that hopefully, their actions could be curtailed to some extent before these low life endanger more Malaysians.

  5. #5 by cintanegara on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 7:25 pm

    Probably they like to live in a high-rise apartment…coz no matter how hard they work…they surely couldn’t afford to buy landed property….Another thing, how sure are they that the ‘real’ citizen of that country …… really welcome them??? Vice versa many of the singers/actors/actress from that country carik makan in our country…what say you LKS?

    LGE graduated from Monash Universtity which is not in the top rank as well….no wonder Penang is led by flip flop CM…

    • #6 by ChinNA on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 7:52 pm

      You are right. High rise apartment is no fun. But why are people still attracted to that place?

    • #7 by jh93 on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 11:53 pm

      Monash not on top rank?
      Monash University is on the world Top 100.

      Pls read this link..

      Property is one thing, but seeing a future is what we wanted.
      Singer cari makan in our country? Alot of singer had went overseas to cari makan.
      Even Shila Amzah is in China and multiple chinese singer in Taiwan too…
      even Fast and Furious 7’s director works in Overseas.

    • #8 by megaman on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 6:53 pm

      Errmmm … right now in Malaysia … for a lot of people, me included, no matter how hard we work also cannot afford to buy landed property.

      Worse still, the so-called high-rise apartment we live in now lower quality than theirs.

      Monash U is no. 99 in THES 2013 but Malaysian universities nowhere in the list.

      You are so full of crap …

  6. #9 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Thursday, 10 October 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Main bola pun adyik kalah….

  7. #10 by Noble House on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 4:36 am

    Analysts, said the World Street Journal, blamed affirmative policies for the exodus. It said these policies departed from its noble intentions of elevating the Bumiputeras, to enriching political cronies.

  8. #11 by undertaker888 on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 7:46 am

    Those tuans don’t need talent. They need serfs. Talent prevents them from doing what they are good at doing. Plundering and pillaging.

    And like all failed states, they have one thing in common. A lot of Guns but no brains.

  9. #12 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 8:53 am

    Tuan Rempit McBullys. Them.

    Hamba deBullys. Us.

  10. #13 by Bigjoe on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 10:30 am

    Since we are on the subject of talent, I would like to go off-topic here and add my experience of replacing DAP’s old guard with young talent which have been raised problems.

    I was very intimate with PAP’s own experience back in the 1980s and 90s when they did it. I have spent many hours listening to old-PAP guards lamenting about how they were sidelined and treated unjustly. But in hindsight, what LKY did brought in highly talented people that Singapore would not have done as well without them.

    Was the old-guard unfairly treated and victims? Yes. Not being treated fairly sometimes is just life and in public service you are not suppose to have expectation of what you deserve. ITS A SERVICE, a sacrifice.

    These new group of young talent may benefit far more than they really deserve especially if PR gets into power but that is the way the world works. It can go the other way around – they could completely still never get there and suffer the worst defeat and the worst burden if everything falls apart.

    Its hard of old people to accept the world is passing them by especially when they have invested so much. Its evern doubly hard when their nemesis Mahathir who should justly be in worst shape by now is not worst, still flying high. But its the circle of life in everything these days.

  11. #14 by tuahpekkong on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 4:26 pm

    It is a fact that highly talented none-Malay Malaysians are treated better in Singapore than in their home country. They are welcomed with open arms in Singapore, whether they are there to seek employment or in search of high quality education. Limited scholarships are offered to those who make the mark. For others loans are readily available. Foreign undergraduates can even participate in student exchange programmes overseas, with part of the expenditure funded by the Singapore Government. I wonder if students at local Universities have this kind of opportunity. Many well-known Singaporeans originated from Malaysia. They include a Cabinet Minister, several MPs, a retired Chief Justice, world renowned liver transplant surgeon and the richest woman in Singapore. They would be in a better position to tell you why they chose Singapore instead of Malaysia.

  12. #15 by boh-liao on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 11:36 pm

    As UmnoB n Perkosa openly barked: Good riddance! Balik wherever U came from!

  13. #16 by Sallang on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 10:38 am

    “Malaysia’s got talent, but they’re being driven away, mostly to Singapore.”

    Why S’pore? May be its because its nearer to home.
    And not only skilled Malaysians, its all level of the working class.

    Yes, Cintanegara is right to say that not all ‘pure’ Singaporeans welcome us, but they have no choice, because Malaysians have talents.
    Actually, for Singapore to accept you, you must have substance. They do not simply give away work permits.
    Why not give it a try Cintanegara?

    Its Singapura we cari kerja. Its Malaysia we cinta.

  14. #17 by john on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 2:35 pm

    These Dumno like Mamak, his clones, macai won’t mind at all as they are already filthy rich and won’t be affected one bit. In fact, Mammak for one, example, will be the happiest as it is as what he had planned all this while – to allow other immigrants ( pakistanis, indians, bosnians, bangla, etc.,,, mainly of Muslim faith,,, etc. ) to fill-up and take-over. Regardless of whether how the Nation will be affected Mammak ( and his clones) won’t mind at all as it’ll allow them to able to PLUNDER and hold on POWER and CONTROL this Nation tighter, better, continuously,,, Only comes the day this nation has been bankrupted, ruin totally, in choas, etc. will these “suckers” flee with their ill-gotten wealth ( already transferred overseas), and ,,,

  15. #18 by john on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 2:42 pm

    ….. by opening the floodgates for these immigrants of muslim faith to come here in huge numbers, this One Mammak think, by this he can feel LESS Mammak with them over here !

  16. #19 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 - 12:45 am

    Cintanegara has been counting his rambutans hence may have not been able to travel around much. He likes to ‘pin-point’ that Singapore is so small that one has no place to move around; of course he does not realize that most of them simply fly around the world for their holidays while cintanegara has to count rambutans underneath it. The last time I was in Munich last December, I met their secondary school students holidaying there! When you aim at world class, you don’t make it into a slogan and put it through hare-brained news editors just to bluff some kampong folks with lies and twisted truth. You work on it openly to achieve it. You get acknowledged by others! not by your own assessment!

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