Can’t stop brain drain if race politics persists
Published on: Sunday, January 15, 2023
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I HAVE been reading reports on TalentCorp and would like to give my perspective as one of the industry captains in the local electrical and electronic (E&E) sector.

Understanding that its role is to strengthen Malaysia’s talent ecosystem, my involvement with TalentCorp was further strengthened after meeting the CEO, Thomas Mathew, who assumed the role in November 2020.

In partnership with TalentCorp and the Human Resources Ministry, we were able to drive many initiatives together, including an apprenticeship programme to help B40 families, school-to-work transition for graduates, and donation of laptops to enable needy children to learn from home. We also put together a progressive policy for hiring expats and returning Malaysians, promoted and advocated for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), including flexible work arrangements, women career comeback, women in engineering, and the first industry childcare centre with a reputed multi-national corporation.

We too faced unprecedented challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic and kept in close contact with Thomas and his team. I approached them for help when one of our Korean partners was unable to obtain certain pass approvals, which would have caused delays to our project and monetary loss. Within 24 hours, I received a call from the delighted partner thanking me for the assistance.

Fast forward 12 months later, this Korean company recently announced new investment expansion plans in Malaysia through Mida (Malaysian Investment Development Authority) of about RM800mil.

On brain drain, it is evident that it continues to be a phenomenon affecting our nation, including the healthcare and academic sectors.

While it was refreshing to note that our new Health Minister is up to speed and aware of her predecessors’ recommendations on the human resources for health strategy, one has to note that there needs to be strong willpower to address this longstanding issue.

It is also reassuring to hear another healthcare official saying there is no guarantee that emigration would stop even after efforts are taken to address complaints by junior medical doctors on poor working conditions, bullying, low wages, inadequate training and career opportunities.

The fact is that the powers that must be held accountable for these gaps because they are bestowed with the real authority to address the issue, not TalentCorp.

The key take-away here is that brain drain will continue as long as lack of meritocracy, race politics, currency depreciation, apple-polishing and blatant corruption exist.

Recruiting expats with foreign spouses and then not recognising their children as citizens when they are born on our soil does not make our nation great. In fact, it has the opposite effect – it encourages emigration because all parents want to bring up their children in the right environment. Political will is needed to resolve this particular situation, which requires, among others, amending our Constitution to resolve the gender inequality affecting women with strong DEI focus.

I look to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to address this gender gap.

As Malaysian born and bred, I truly hope we can all contribute to be nation builders together with TalentCorp. As a parting note, I will share what I have learnt in order to ATTRACT, NURTURE and RETAIN talent:

l Try to notice the good in others. Praise more than you blame!

l When criticised, remember your own great qualities and the good in you. Remember, you are worthy and capable of great things.


- The views expressed here are the views of the writer's and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]


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