June 29, 2010
A Dearth of Thinking Minds and Quality Labour by 2020, say MP for Klang Charles Santiago
by B Nantha Kumar
Citing statistics, Santiago said between 2000 and 2009, some 700,000 professionals had left the country seeking opportunities elsewhere.
“Looking at the current scenario and the number of professional leaving the country we are unlikely to achieve the 6% economic growth target in the next five years. The brain drain is a serious reality. Between 2000 and 2009, Malaysia has lost 700,000 professionals… that is 3% of our total population. At this rate by 2020, we will have no professionals in the country,” he said.
Attributing the brain-drain to the current social and political climate, he told participants at a 10th Malaysia Plan forum here it was a fallacy to think that it was only the Chinese and Indian professionals who were migrating.
“It is no more the story of old that only Indians and Chinese are immigrating… a large number of Malays too are looking abroad for jobs and opportunities because of the social and political instability in the country,” he said.
Santiago said the continued uncertainty over prices of goods and services and stagnant salaries were contributory factors to Malaysians seeking employment abroad.
He also drew attention to the government’s lack of interest in developing new industries. “PETRONAS has no more money to spend… now is the time for the government to look at new industries and ensure the country has a diverse source of income,” he said.