Malaysia’s Human Resource Ministry estimated in 2015 that there were about 350,000 Malaysians working in Singapore and another 386,000 Malaysians with permanent residency status. Jan 28, 2018
Remember when it started? A long time ago.
Robert Kuok had warned about it.
Kuok, in his autobiography titled “Robert Kuok: A Memoir,” noted he had met then prime minister Hussein Onn to implore him to bring the best brains into the government, instead of relying on a race-based system.
According to Kuok, Hussein replied by saying: “No, Robert. I cannot do it. The Malays are now in a state of mind such that they will not accept it.”
The meeting took place a few years after the 1969 racial riots.
The tycoon, who has since relocated himself to Hong Kong, said he knew Hussein understood his message, but that things had gone too far.
“I had seen a picture developing all along of a train moving in the wrong direction. During Hussein’s administration, he was only partially successful in stemming the tide.
“The train of the nation had been put on the wrong track. Hussein wasn’t strong enough to lift up the train and set it down on the right track,” Kuok says in his memoir.
Dr Mahathir knew. It didn’t matter to him. Some say he encouraged the brain drain.
And how Lee Kwan Yew loved it! They were among the best, and most went to Singapore…
Tuesday August 6, 2013
11:58 PM GMT+8
PETALING JAYA, Aug 6 ― Malaysia’s acute brain drain problem is due to its government’s insistence on promoting “one race” above all others, former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew wrote in his latest book.
Malaysia experiences a severe talent flight issue with an estimated 5 per cent of skilled locals exiting the country on an annual basis, with the main beneficiary being Singapore.
A World Bank report from 2011 concluded that 20 per cent of Malaysian graduates opt to quit the country, again with Singapore cited as the preferred destinations. Worryingly for Malaysia, the report concluded that these migrants were being replaced by unskilled and uneducated foreigners.
“They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race,” read an excerpt of Lee’s book, “One Man’s View of the World”.
“This is putting the country at a disadvantage. It is voluntarily shrinking the talent pool needed to build the kind of society that makes use of talent from all races,” Lee continued in parts of the book reproduced by news portal The Malaysian Insider. In a report last month, British newspaper The Guardian cited analysts as saying the cloud of the New Economic Policy (NEP) race-based affirmative action may stifle investment and hamper Malaysia’s quest for developed nation status come 2020 and drag the bottom 40 per cent of its population into high-income status.
The NEP and other policies in its vein have been blamed for driving the country’s non-Malays to find an exit, with Singapore being the destination of choice for geographic and cultural reasons.
“The Chinese made up 35.6 per cent of the population in 1970. They were down to 24.6 per cent at the last census in 2010,” Lee wrote in his book
“Over that same period, the Indian numbers fell from 10.8 per cent to 7.3 per cent,” he said.
While saying “40 per cent of our migrants are from Malaysia”, Lee said the group were now casting their sights farther afield, heading for Europe, America and Australia.
“Some have done very well for themselves, such as Penny Wong, Australia’s current finance minister.”
But perhaps most damning of Lee’s assessments was why some non-Malays who remain, do.
“Among those who have chosen to remain in Malaysia, some lack the means to leave and others are making a good living through business despite the discriminatory policies. Many in this latter class partner with Malays who have connections.”