Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Of Nation Building and Patriotism

I was quite upset reading an article in the Star today titled "Why we can't get our experts to return". Here's my reply to the Star.

Referring to the article written by Another Migrant from Paris dated 13th August 2008 on “Why we can’t get our experts to return”. I totally agree with the brain drain problem that we have in this country. Students are sent overseas for higher education as part as our plan to enhance the workforce of k-economy. Government policies need to be improved to ensure that laws are enforced in the event students violate their contractual agreements and refuse to pay their student loans. Singapore sends out massive recruitment teams because they are a resource-poor country. Some resource-poor country strive better economically such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore because of the urgent need to remain competitive in securing a place in this competitive global world. Forget Africa. We all know that thousands of Malaysian expertise helps contribute to the vibrant Singapore economy. Obviously income disparity is typically a problem due to our purchasing power in this country compared to the developed nations. Singapore has an income per capita 4 folds that of Malaysia.

We do agree that we wish the Government machinery could work a little bit faster. We do agree that professionals find it hard to find competitive salary here in Malaysia. Perhaps Malaysians could be more courteous on the road, hold the door or the elevator for people, queue at the counter, stop littering their drains until they clog, say thank you or smile more often at counters, be more patient and courteous with customers at the store and give up their seats in the train for the pregnant ladies or elders. Perhaps politicians could stop politicizing petty issues and start thinking about solutions to increase mass transportation and reduce the dependency on oil. Perhaps municipals could enforce the law better and ensure people don’t double park literally everywhere at their convenience. Perhaps we could stop trying to make records of the biggest and longest roti canai and focus on increasing the number of patents and reducing the back log in the courts. Perhaps we could be like France which a net exporter of electricity generated by nuclear plants and thus reducing carbon emission tremendously. Instead of sending an astronaut to space, perhaps we could have studied how fuel cell works and create another industry in this country. The car manufacturing business was learnt in a matter of 15 years.

What disappoints me are Malaysians who stay comfortably in other countries, criticizing what Malaysian government should or should not have done, how Malaysians should do this or that, only because the countries they live in have certain luxuries that we don’t have. I think this whole country is everyone’s responsibility to develop, not just politicians, but the engineers, the doctors, the accountants, the teachers. To blame backwardness on racial politics is ludicrous. If you think white people don’t practice racial or religious politics, think about the Crusades, the Nazis and the aborigines in Australia. What makes them better than Malaysian arm chair critics is that at least they acknowledge it being part of their history and participate directly to make their country better. Perhaps getting a PR in France makes you feel better about yourself instead of having the red passport with the two tigers facing each other with pride and courage in the eyes of challenges.


bats said...

good response. it will be nice indeed if everyone comes home and does their part.

but back to reality, the mere mention of opening up 10% of spots to nons in UITM has stirred so much shite, that it's hard to see past race based politics. actually, it's impossible.

sure, racsim is alive and well, everywhere in the world. ask the Algerians in France, or the aborigines in Australia. But yet those countries are thriving? why? is their racism better than our racism? Are they more skilled racists than we are?

The brain drain even developed countries experience is no small matter. Hoardes of people leave their homelands to work overseas. Some are never heard from again. Maybe that should be the way then, if one leaves the motherland, one can never say anything about it ever again. That will make our pollies happy, maybe.

the way i see it, if we can't provide quality tertiary education locally for our citizens, we can pretty much forget about getting those who pissed blood to fund the eduction of their kids overseas to give a crap about the "brain drain". it's harsh, but it's true.

The whole returning to motherland issue is more about wanting to return. We could develop wormholes from the little red dot to KL, but even that won't necessarily change people's minds. They have to want to return, want to contribute if we're ever gonna umm... ease this brain drain.

One way to ease the conscience of our pollies and make em look better is to BAN whoever that works overseas from criticizing the gomen. That should sort out those smart asses that talk so much about our gomen. That'll fix it.

that'll give em more time to cut the ribbon at the officiating of longest roti canai made in space competition.

opcharlie said...

Brain drain could be a positive sign. It means that our graduates are marketable. Graduates are encouraged to work overseas to gain experience. The challenge is to get them back later!
Of course, Europeans are way ahead because of historical facts. We were colonized and our resources were robbed. We were behind in education. Harvard and Oxford were established for more than a century.

The trade of labor has increased tremendously in the advent of globalization. Software companies in the US are engineered by Indians. Chinese are flocking US labs in universities. American students are losing out because they have less and less engineering and science students. However, they have 250 million population and we only have 1/10 but we don't have a tenth of their GDP.