Ramasamy: “It’s not just about brain drain but the stifling of talent formation”

A FORMER DAP leader said while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has spoken about the brain drain issue and ways to overcome it by empowering the Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) nothing concrete and serious is done in overcoming the loss of talents in Malaysia.

He said while brain drain should be stemmed by rendering the educational system more equitable by way of removing obstacles in the form of non-Malay participation, bringing back Malaysians who have gone abroad seems to be a “Herculean” task.

“How do you entice Malaysians who have migrated by giving them opportunities when the colossal elephant in the room – ethnic discrimination of the non-Malays – remains [unaddressed]?” the former Penang deputy chief minister asked.

“Opportunities denied to the non-Malays in the name of Malay hegemony have cost the country dearly in terms of the loss of talents and expertise.

“This is the reason why there is significant level of talent shortage in the country so much that high-tech multinational companies might find it difficult to locate in the country.”

Ramasamy said this in response to Anwar’s recent address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, where he said the government was looking into ways to get more skilled Malaysians to return and contribute to the country to address the brain drain issue.

It was previously reported that 1.86 million Malaysians have migrated abroad, higher than the global average.

“Anwar might be sincere in talking about the shortage of talents in the country, but political expediency and the need to stay in power makes it difficult for him or the government to challenge the deep-seated structural impediments that forbade the consideration of merit or performance,” Ramasamy pointed out.

“If Anwar was dismissive of the question posed by a young Indian female student in terms of racial quotas in tertiary education, what hope is there for the country to move away from the race-based quota system of entry?”

Recall that during the “Temu Anwar” session on Aug 5, Anwar had received a question from a female student at the Penang Matriculation College who wanted to know when the government was going to do away with the racial quota system in favour of meritocracy for entrance into higher learning institutions.

Anwar, however, continuously interrupted her when she was trying to provide the context for her question and answered her in an abrasive manner.

“At the end of the day the government of the day, Madani or not, only pays lip service in eradicating the obstacles that give rise to brain drain,” Ramasamy reckoned.

“What is the purpose of attracting the lost talents when there is no equitable environment to encourage talent formation in the country?

“The door to the stable has been left open too long for the horses to come back, and the Madani government might not be sincere in bringing back the horses that have fled.” – Oct 2, 2023

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