Lim Kit Siang may be getting on in years, but he's still as sharp as ever
"Unchecked escalation of the rhetoric of race and religion would have the effect of giving a major push to a greater brain drain from the country instead of pulling back talents from the Malaysian diaspora to return to serve the country," he said.
I know of at least 2 people who have left Malaysia to find work abroad. Before the more cerebrally challenged among you say good riddance to bad rubbish, consider the fact that both were leaders in their field. Cutting-edge professionals who had already contributed much to the country, but felt, for the sake of their families and themselves, that greener pastures could be found elsewhere (and as of today, they were right).
Why did they leave? The same reasons why anyone would.
- Sick of the corruption and patronage it takes to get ahead
- Racism made them feel under-appreciated -- they did not have the "kulitification" to be suitable recognized for their deeds
- First-world work but third-world wages
- A poor education system, they wanted more for their kids
After a few years overseas, not only did the society accept them handsomely, but they received recognition, award and appreciation for their work. I've been told, people there don't care where they came from, or that they were Muslims or that they were Chinese or Malay. Perhaps even if they were green-skinned aliens, they would have received the same treatment as long as they contributed to the society.
It took one of them more than 20 years of dedicated service to be awarded a full professorship in one of Malaysia's local universities, all the while seeing younger, less qualified, but of the correct race and colour, being promoted instead. Just 5 years overseas was all it took for the same recognition to be given, in a university that ranks amongst the worlds top 50 (let's not forget that no Malaysian university even ranks in the top 500
That's just one example of discontent. There are others, of course.
The ultra-nationalists will say that they don't need people like these in our country anyways. Disloyal traitors that they are. Well, they would be wrong on both counts. These people were loyal servants for many years but whose contributions were largely ignored and unrewarded. And, no, Malaysia does need people like this to stay in our borders -- no country ever became great with its greatest minds working for someone else.
Now imagine, if i know 2 guys who left. And you know 2 guys of the same. And the next person knows another 2 guys. And so on. Pretty soon it all adds up. That's a HUGE pool of talent working for the benefit of someone else.
There are 750,000 Malaysians working overseas today, many enjoying a life they would not be able to receive here. If there ever was a condemnation of how poorly we're doing as a nation, that would be it.