Pakatan: Limp reforms fuelling brain drain
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal April 29, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The government’s failure to see through announced reforms were partly to blame for the country’s chronic brain-drain problem, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers claimed today
Opposition leaders today said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s inability to deliver on promises of equality and a “needs-based” economic model, coupled with his “conceding” to ultra-Malay voices within his own party will only result in Malaysia being mired in the middle-income trap.
“Najib is not addressing the critical issues affecting talent in leaving the country... His message of inclusiveness is lost in translation as existing policies are discriminatory against the non-Malays in the country. This has been verified by the proportion leaving the country,” DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said today.
According to a World Bank report yesterday, more than one million Malaysians currently live abroad. The report stated that policies favouring the majority Malays were contributing to the country’s brain-drain while holding back its economy and limiting foreign investment.
Today, Pua said Najib’s “U-turn” over his heavily-publicised New Economic Model (NEM) has left little room in the country’s competition for talent.
“The fact is these policies do not encourage competition and a poor economy will deter prospective talents from staying. He has failed in an attempt from moving from a race-based culture to a needs-based,” Pua told The Malaysian Insider.
In a Bloomberg news service report, World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens was also quoted as saying that foreign investment could be five times the current levels if the country had Singapore’s talent base.
“Migration is very much an ethnic phenomenon in Malaysia, mostly Chinese but also Indian,” Schellekens told Bloomberg in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Governance issues and lack of meritocracy are “fundamental constraints” to Malaysia’s expansion because “competition is what drives innovation,” he said.
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