Sunday, May 16, 2010

Time to shift gear to higher mode

WE cannot go on being known as the region's importer of cheap and unskilled labour. Malaysia is unable to attract the best talent but what is worse is that we are in danger of becoming an exporter of professionals.

Malaysia is attracting workers from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar but they are mostly kitchen helpers, cleaners and security guards.

The country needs doctors, engineers, accountants, scientists, academics, bankers and lawyers but unfortunately they are not coming. And worse, the local ones are migrating.

More from this column, click here.

An interesting insight into migration patterns, click here.


sharon said...

and to think they are mulling over building an MRT line between Singapore and Johor Bahru for the sake of improving trade!
More like trading in our best human resources. Where does that mean for the businesses here?
Will ALL the best brains from all parts of Malaysia move to Johor Bahru and travel to Singapore to work.

Why isn't anyone doing anything about the brain drain here!

Anonymous said...

Certainly there is a big inbalance micro economics crisis here. We are not depands cheap and unskilled worker but the reality we need them to fill up those labours lost to neigbours who offer more. We still struggling to survive because we are the unfortunate not being to the higher value add industries. We are facing high cost, low productive labour and lost of time. We are not only need professionals but a good balance of labour force.

Unknown said...

We are not exploiting cheap labour but the reality is that gov policies that create an big inbalance distribution of labours. There are estimate 2 million illegal workers which show the lack and shortage issue of labour is not being address. We are not only lost talent and our labour force too.

There is a friend who an owner a coffee shop, the employee who make coffee tell my friend he wants a raise, so my friend ask how much he wants. he say 4k cos, my friends almost faint to hear this, he says that a coffee maker in Singapore makes 2k plus lodging and food. So my friends say he can't pay him so much. Half a year later the employee came to his coffee shop driving a brand new honda civic park beside my friends perodua kancil.

Anonymous said...


At least the unskilled workers from the countries you mentioned are persons who even while unskilled take the risk and go outside their country of stay to find unskilled jobs yet of respect and dignity unlike others from elsewhere who the whole world largely hears everyday being rounded up as prostitutes or call girls.
Their presence affects unlimited households and bring about direct breakdown of relationships in individual families.

However,there is actually nothing wrong for those unskilled workers from the countries you mentioned who seek genuine work which most importantly God respects as GOOD work. Even our countries benefit from the progress made as a result of their hard work and no play.

Infact even the skilled or professionals from the countries you mentioned rarely come here as they are well respected by USA, UK Europe,Singapore and Arab Nations as intelligent persons who contribute to these countries industries and progress in the new global order.


Anonymous said...

I suppose the BN government, especially the UMNO folks, must be very happy. Non-Bumi professionals and liberal well educated Bumis alike are leaving by the droves. All we have left eventually will be the ultras. Soon there will be no producers left to give to the takers in UMNO, hurrah!

Anonymous said...

We cannot stop people from leaving. People move around since the columbus' period. What this country should do is to import professionals as many as those who have left. If singapore gives preference to people of chinese origin in their immigration policy, then we should do the same but to indonesians and bruneians. We should make it easier for these people to obtain PR provided they are educated and rich.

Anonymous said...

NO Sharon, we are building a bridge to Indonesia so that we can import more Indonesians. No need to sneak in by boats anymore. Just take a bus over, arriving at night so that it is easier to buy their way in when less people are looking.

nstman said...

How to have engineers, doctors, lawyers when the government still practises racial discrimination when it comes to hiring professionals in government linked companies. Now you tell me, where's the logic. So Wai, pse dont ask fallacious questions which border on the ludicrous.

Odette said...

National Service : Our best scholars go abroad and never return.....
We really need some firm policy changes to attract this talent back. But this has been mooted time and time again yet nothing ever happens because the rest of the country is not developed enough to be ready to openly accept competition. That is the sad part and the failure of the system.

On another note Mr Wong, appreciate if you can consider separating out The Star newspaper into separatable sections for example, please make the sports section a pull-out so that I can the read the newspaper (the actual hard copy) together with my husband and we don't have to tear in paper in half.