Outstation’s on the New Mandala blog

But, but, we’re not academics, we said. Nevermind, they said.

Here’s our piece –  – “Behind Malaysia’s Brain Drain, Surprise! Real People,” that ran Sunday in the New Mandala blog, hosted by the Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific

As always, the most interesting bits were the comments, both on the New Mandala site and on Facebook. Here are a few.

Chris Frankland:

Just read your article with interest. I’m a brit, and have been happily living and working in education, in Malaysia, for the past 32 years. I recently got a 10 year chop with Talentcorp, which could not have been easier or more straightforward. Tip top organisation. I have many talented Malaysian friends, of all races, who have emigrated, and now in very successful careers in the UK, US, Australia and NZ. I think your comments very much echo their feelings;once Malaysian always Malaysian. But to entice them back is easier said than done. Recent bad political press, and the increase in crime doesn’t help. On the other hand, life here is laid back, very convenient, and of course comparatively much cheaper. I guess the old addage “the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill” rings true. I come over here, they want to go over there. We are never satisfied with what we have, and always looking for something more. The only people who do seem to be happy are the airlines, flying us all in or out.Calling someone a Traitor presupposes dat person enjoyed all the rights & privileges of Citizenship, which is clearly not the case for Msia’s minorities, & until the day ALL Msians are treated equally, nothing TalentCorp does will seriously impact on the Brain Drain.


a major reason why so many malaysians seem to be persist staying abroad in places like silicon valley, wall street and around cambridge’s harvard-MIT nexus are the lack of readymade opportunities to pursue the work found in stratified economies like the US… and then there’s the political stalemate that’s way past time in being resolved, as Najib and Badawi themselves admit have much to do with their own party’s truculence. And no, those abroad aren’t just non-Malays – it’s one reason why Raya feasting is becoming such a big deal round here in the US!


TalentCorp is fighting a losing battle if its task is to reverse the significant brain drain in Malaysia. For every Malaysian that it manages to bring home, hundreds head in the opposite direction, pushed out by the present governmental policies that smack of racism.

The far-better solution is to change the minority 47% government into a majority government that does not pander to racism or corruption. Many of us in the Malaysian diaspora would willingly return to help this new government rebuild the nation and restock its talents, without even the need for TalentCorp.

For those of you in Canberra, the ANU is hosting a conference Aug 21-22 on socio-political and economic issues facing Singapore and Malaysia. Click here to see the list of speakers. It’s free and open to the public.

We’d go but we used up our travel budget. Oh wait, we don’t have one.




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