Monday, February 8, 2010

Malaysia: Do we really need to court Malaysians abroad?

Genoa has a medium-sized highly regarded university which is strong in engineering and technology. But most of the its science students leave the region – and the country – once they’ve graduated (85 per cent according to one source). Italy has one of the oldest populations in Europe and Liguria’s is the oldest in Italy.

“This is our chance to keep young Italian talent in Italy and invite those who have gone abroad to come back” says Professor Giuseppe Rasero, chief coordinator of technology park project. “It’s an opportunity for our brain balance.”

Hmm. Sounds familiar isn’t it? I vaguely remember reading an article about the Malaysian government’s realization of the same predicament and wanted to lure Malaysians who are abroad to come home because it finally recognized the serious lack of such talent and experience. And Malaysians who are currently living abroad would rather die than to be home (and called Malaysians). Well, sorry if that sounded harsh. Some, not all (you can be Some, if you’re one of those who are easily offended).

While I do understand the opportunities which lie abroad, I myself, am tempted to take flight. Simply to gain greater experiences in certain professional fields that are arguably way more advanced than this country. The question then becomes, where do you draw that line between going overseas to gain invaluable experience to be able to put them into practice here and just pursuing a fatter paycheck? Cheaper cars? Side-walk cafes? Better weather? Whatever?
Perhaps the government should consider those who have left, gone. And learn from its mistakes for not being able to provide a better or at least a more equal opportunity for all and start afresh with those who are currently still here. They are probably the safest bet right now. Sometimes to be able to make a strategic decision, we not only need to forecast our gains but also know the right time to cut our losses.

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