Why the migration business is booming

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
11 July 2014

One of the better media outlets in this country is the Business Radio Station or popularly known as BFM radio. According to its mission statement, BFM is

*Malaysia’s only independent radio station, focused on business news and current affairs.
*BFM’s purpose is to build a better Malaysia by championing rational, evidence-based discourse as a key element of good policy decisions.
*BFM applies its discourse-based approach to other programming areas such as entrepreneurship, health, fashion, the arts, sports and music, as well as to its executive education initiative.

A short while ago, I was alerted about a BFM programme in which the director of a migration service which has been in business for over ten years appeared to talk about the business of migration.

Since I have written quite a bit about the wastage in talent and human resources in this country and how this constraint can prevent Malaysia from attaining Vision 2020 and reaching our goal of an advanced country, I was naturally interested.

Fortunately, although BFM can be heard only on frequency 89.9 MHz in Wilayah Persekutuan, Selangor, and parts of Negeri Sembilan and Melaka so that listeners in the north where I am cannot receive it, the station has a website where podcasts of its daily programmes are posted and can be heard.

Hence I was able to access the programme through the internet. Readers interested can hear the interview for themselves at http://www.bfm.my/breakfast-grille-rayford-migration.html.

I should also point out that I have been the subject of a BFM interview on two separate occasions. One was when I spoke about the importance of an open tender system and why it is unproductive to pursue affirmative action because the results show that such a system does not create competitive individuals (http://www.bfm.my/breakfast-grille-050410-koon-yew-yin.html). The second was when I was interviewed by Melissa Idris on political change and corruption in the country. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdnz6C989Ag)

Why Malaysians Are Migrating

There are several points raised during the programme which it is important for the Prime Minister and other BN leaders to note. One is that the migration business has been growing steadily during the past ten years that the business has been in existence. This means that rather than declining after the uncertainty of the 2013 elections, Malaysians are continuing to lose confidence in the government. The interviewee confidently predicted that his business will grow even more in the coming years as more Malaysians look for a brighter future elsewhere.

The second is that we are losing highly talented human resources to countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. These are people in engineering, IT, management and other key sectors whose skills are sought after worldwide and which we can ill afford to lose.

The third is the expectation that the highly publicised programme to attract talented Malaysians living abroad to return to Malaysia will not be able to produce much positive results.

Though the radio respondent and interviewer were politically correct throughout the interview and avoided any direct mention of politics, it is clear that Malaysians are leaving the country not simply because they are in search of a “better lifestyle” and “work opportunities” but also in response to the low standard of our politics and politicians, and the misgovernance found in the country.

It is significant that the migration service director noted that there was a big spike in the calls his company receives from interested clients every time one of the government leaders makes stupid or careless comments. Although no names were mentioned in the interview, it is clear that both interviewer and interviewee had in mind the tweet of Bung Moktar Radin, the Kinabatangan MP, who tweeted:

“Well done…Bravo…Long live Hitler,” all in capital letters, via his Twitter handle @mykinabatangan, following Germany’s shocking 7-1 defeat of Brazil.

As the interview noted, people in the migration business need to send leaders such as Bung Moktar “thank you” cards everytime they open their mouths or their twitter accounts without thinking.

Many Malaysians have written to express their shame and anger over this faux pas. However, instead of apologizing to Malaysians, the people of Germany and all nations and people, especially the Jews who experienced war, suffering and atrocities as a result of a demented and power crazy fascist politician, Bung Moktar is unrepentent.

Bung Moktar and His Power Base

Bung Moktar, the Deputy Prime Minister of “another May 13” and “I am a Malay first” fame, and leaders like them who make stupid or inflammatory speeches and comments, are one of the main reasons why Malaysians are giving up on our country and migrating.

But why are Bung Moktar and his type so arrogant and unapologetic? This is because the MP thinks he is no ordinary politician. His ego and powers have been considerably enlarged by the rewards provided by Umno for his ‘leadership’ qualities. One of these rewards is the Chairmanship of Felcra, one of the largest government-linked companies (GLCs).

And how has Felcra been performing under the leadership of this eminent Umno leader? Recently the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) urged the government to review the relevance of underperforming GLCs. According to Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed there are GLC’s which are no longer relevant to the changing times, not properly managed and no longer fullfilling the objectives of their formation. These GLC’s which receive federal funding should be providing better returns and meeting the objective of their formation”.

Among the prominent GLC’s which has come under scrutiny for management issues which have been in conflict with financial procedures and procurement is Felcra. In more forthright language GLC’s such as Felcra have weaknesses arising from leakages, corruption and abuse of power. These leakages, corruption and abuse of power throughout our national system – not mentioned in the BFM programme – are also at the heart of why Malaysians are migrating.

My advice

Finally, I should emphasize that when young people ask me for advice on whether they should pursue opportunities abroad, I make it a point to tell them about the great potential that is found in our country and urge them to make their future here rather than in some other country. I am beginning to see that there are more people like me who are criticizing the BN Government openly for all their wrong doings and at the same time putting their faith in the country.

The result of the last general election shows that the opposition, Pakatan Rakyat won more votes than Barisan National although they did not win the control of the government. Since then more people including BN supporters are beginning to appreciate Pakatan Rakyat’s good management of Selangor and Penang.

We must not migrate because, in my view, Pakatan Rakyat will likely win in the next general election and we need everyone to improve the country. Even if BN wins, that is no reason to leave the country since they will have to change for the better or be thrown out of power eventually. – July 11, 2014.

  1. #1 by winstony on Saturday, 12 July 2014 - 2:40 pm

    Well, well, well.
    Mr Koon, don’t we all know that the Malaysian government is very good at creating business opportunities?
    We have muck flowing out of our taps and Malaysians have to use water filters at home.
    We have a serious lack of personal security and this created the gated and guarded housing estates where private guards are employed to safeguard those staying there.
    We have Malaysians migrating in droves and this created migration related companies to cater to this group.
    All in all, nobody can say that this government is not creating creating lots of business opportunities for the various businesses in this country!!!
    The only people at the short end of the stick is the long suffering wage earners!!!!
    Yes, with the electorate getting younger and more enlightened, resulting in more voters for the opposition, there is a strong possibility the latter has a good chance of winning the next GE.
    But there is no stopping the incumbent from doing a Myanmar here.
    The opposition must therefore think a few steps ahead of them.

  2. #2 by Noble House on Sunday, 13 July 2014 - 3:34 am

    One could conclude that since the time of the Mahathir’s era until now it has been mere public relations exercise, one which that is flawed and void of character.

    For a change of government to be possible, you need to first change the Election Commission. While we are discussing over this, the EC is busy burning the midnight oil planning of what to do next to dash our hopes and aspirations for a better Malaysia.

    The politician themselves cannot do this alone. You need the civil societies and the people at large to rise up to the occasion to take back their country and all that belong to them.

  3. #3 by Justice Ipsofacto on Monday, 14 July 2014 - 8:19 am

    More than scientists, engineers, professionals etc etc we need street sweepers, cleaners, labourers, mamak shop coffee boys etc etc.

  4. #4 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 7:38 am

    Without doubt, GLCs and Boards of Statutory bodies are created to provide such opportunities to those noise makers in BN albeit to a much greater portion to UMNO! All they are concerned with is the allowances and perks! The GLCs will only survive within the country where their share of business is guaranteed! As long as meritocracy is not practised, say at least the real 25% quota; this nation will soon enough be an also run. The 21st Century of speed based on IT will not wait for us! Even a choice, will our weakening ringgit, every item in the market is up by a factor of double digits! We will never be able to offer anything; say 50% of what the Little neighbor can offer! Yes, Lau Beh said we need 70 million people to serve the Asian Labour Industry replacing Philippines, Bangla, Indonesia by 2025!

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