Malaysia’s brain drain ’caused by racial policy’

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Najib Chinese
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak visiting Malayan Chinese people

Senior politicians of the ruling Malyasian Barisan Nasional party admitted on August 8 that “race-based policies had contributed to Malaysia’s brain drain problem,” which the country needs to resolve if it is to join the ranks of high-income nations by 2020, The Malay Mail reported.

They were responding to former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks in his new book that Malaysia’s acute loss of talent was due to the Malaysian government’s insistence on promoting “one race” above all others.

According to Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, deputy president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the rise of “Malay supremacy” had caused local talents to quit the country.

“The issue in fact caused some migration of people from the country, but we want to emphasise that Malaysia is a multiracial country and we preserve harmony and unity,” Loiw said.

“So we don’t want to see any race dominant against other races,” the former health minister told reporters in Putrajaya.

“We are not forcing the people to leave the country and our policies will continue to ensure a multiracial society,” he said.

Asked about Lee’s comment that brain drain was caused by the promotion of a single race, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek disagreed, pointing at Singapore’s higher wages and better infrastructure as also having lured Malaysians to leave the country.

Malaysia in fact faces a severe talent emigration issue with an estimated 5 per cent of skilled Maalysians exiting the country on an annual basis — with most bound south for neighbouring Singapore. A 2011 World Bank report stated that 20 per cent of Malaysian graduates opted to quit the country, again with Singapore cited as the preferred destinations.

Worryingly for Malaysia, the report concluded that these migrants were being replaced by unskilled and uneducated foreigners.

In his new book, “One Man’s View of The World”, Lee had written: “They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race.” Lee noted that the percentage of the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia’s population had dwindled since 1970, saying that a 2010 census showed lower figures for both groups.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak visiting Malayan Chinese people

Senior politicians of the ruling Malyasian Barisan Nasional party admitted on August 8 that “race-based policies had contributed to Malaysia’s brain drain problem,” which the country needs to resolve if it is to join the ranks of high-income nations by 2020, The Malay Mail reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Najib Chinese
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak visiting Malayan Chinese people

Senior politicians of the ruling Malyasian Barisan Nasional party admitted on August 8 that “race-based policies had contributed to Malaysia’s brain drain problem,” which the country needs to resolve if it is to join the ranks of high-income nations by 2020, The Malay Mail reported.

They were responding to former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks in his new book that Malaysia’s acute loss of talent was due to the Malaysian government’s insistence on promoting “one race” above all others.

According to Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, deputy president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the rise of “Malay supremacy” had caused local talents to quit the country.

“The issue in fact caused some migration of people from the country, but we want to emphasise that Malaysia is a multiracial country and we preserve harmony and unity,” Loiw said.

“So we don’t want to see any race dominant against other races,” the former health minister told reporters in Putrajaya.

“We are not forcing the people to leave the country and our policies will continue to ensure a multiracial society,” he said.

Asked about Lee’s comment that brain drain was caused by the promotion of a single race, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek disagreed, pointing at Singapore’s higher wages and better infrastructure as also having lured Malaysians to leave the country.

Malaysia in fact faces a severe talent emigration issue with an estimated 5 per cent of skilled Maalysians exiting the country on an annual basis — with most bound south for neighbouring Singapore. A 2011 World Bank report stated that 20 per cent of Malaysian graduates opted to quit the country, again with Singapore cited as the preferred destinations.

Worryingly for Malaysia, the report concluded that these migrants were being replaced by unskilled and uneducated foreigners.

In his new book, “One Man’s View of The World”, Lee had written: “They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race.” Lee noted that the percentage of the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia’s population had dwindled since 1970, saying that a 2010 census showed lower figures for both groups.

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