World Bank Brain Drain Report: Useless and Politically Motivated?

April 3o, 2011

World Bank Brain Drain Report: Useless and Politically Motivated?

Report from Shannon Teoh (The Malaysian Insider)

ALOR STAR, April 30 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad described the World Bank as “useless”, saying today that it was politically motivated for putting out a report that pro-Bumiputera policies are stunting the country’s economy.

The former prime minister said the World Bank report was politically motivated as it wanted a change of prime minister, seemingly referring to Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, a former chairman of its development committee.

“We have been critical of the World Bank since my time. We said that they were useless. “They dislike us and want to have their good friend become prime minister,” Dr Mahathir (picture) told reporters today.

The World Bank said on Thursday that more than one million Malaysians live abroad as policies favouring the Malays are holding back the economy, causing a brain drain and limiting foreign investment.

World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens was quoted as saying that foreign investment could be five times the current levels if the country had Singapore’s talent base.

He said Malaysian migration was increasingly becoming a skills migration with one-third of the one million-strong Malaysian diaspora now consisting of the tertiary educated and expected the trend to continue.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has pledged to roll back the country’s pro-Malay policies from the New Economic Policy (NEP) but also told the UMNO assembly last year that the government’s social contract of providing benefits to Bumiputeras cannot be repealed.

According to the Bloomberg report, Najib has eased some rules to woo funds, including scrapping a requirement that foreign companies investing in Malaysia and locally listed businesses set aside 30 per cent of their Malaysian equity for indigenous investors.

Last year, he unveiled an economic transformation programme under which the government identified US$444 billion (RM1.3 trillion) of projects from mass rail transit to nuclear power that it would promote in the current decade.

However, Dr Mahathir said today that while it liberalised the economy, the government should “be fair to the poor and make sure that they have opportunities as well.”

28 thoughts on “World Bank Brain Drain Report: Useless and Politically Motivated?

  1. Useless and Politically motivated? Dr. Mahathir thinks so. He is a politician. I don’t think so and I am not a politician. So, I am prepared to accept criticisms and will act to re-examine our policies to ensure that we can first stop the brain drain and second, initiate action to attract talent abroad return to Malaysia based on meritocracy.

    If we can stop race-centered politics and initiate Malaysian centered policies, we can begin anew. The NEM is a good starting point. What do you guys think?–Din Merican

  2. in my opinion, Dr.M is too deluded to see the obvious fact that is staring at all of us. i am still a student, so i may have not seen,nor experience as much as many others. But, one thing i can see is, many people are frustrated,with how things work in the country. i know a few, who gave up everything they have to start anew in other countries, so that their children can have a better future( that’s what they said).many of my generation, do not even want to go bk upon completing their studies.the reason? the better quality of life, and the policies of our gov. the racism card, is getting tiring. and truth is, i feel more welcomed in this foreign land than i do at home.and it’s just sad to feel this way. and i would say that most, if not all of us, would prefer to be in malaysia, and contribute to our nation.however, a lot has to be done, and many things need to be revamped .

  3. There is no political will power to correct the brain drain problem, its all mere lipservice. The 1PM is not sincere in solving the problem. Setting up this Talent Corp thing won’t do anything, just a waste of time and money if the root cause is not addressed.

    The key words in the World Bank report is is social injustice and lack of meritocracy in the system, Dato. 1PM already said it isn’t true ie the report is wrong!

    Now his sponsor Tun M is saying the report is useless and politically-motivated.

    So, where is the sincerity?

  4. Dato. you are confusing two issues here.Is there a brain drain from our country? Undoubtedly.

    Should the views of foreign bodies like the World Bank, IMF, even the Nobel Peace Committee be taken seriously? NO!
    Isa, if you don’t have confidence in the World Bank, the IMF and even the United Nations, then why is Malaysia a member of these institutions? Just leave and stay in our own world and isolate ourselves. There is a brain drain–a fact you and I have known for some time now– so why can’t you accept the World Bank’s confirmation of it. Mahathir disagrees with the causes, which are NEP related according to the Bank. It is the Bank’s criticism of his policies that Mahathir won’t accept. Now who is confused?–Din Merican

  5. I have been living abroad for 5 years now (Bahrain), prior to that, a few European and the Middle East countries. What we make as Malaysian here in Bahrain, be it as an employee or as a businessmen, no NEM by the present government will bring us back. One of NEM targets is the transformation from ‘ethnically-based to being need-based’ and ‘to reduce fiscal disparity between the wealthiest and poorest of Malaysians’. Najib disclosed this March end last year. It has been a year now, yet all we heard and read about on the political on-goings are nothing close to his NEM. Najib have to change the political scenes in Malaysia, make his 1Malaysia a true word of it and end all ‘’politik longkang’’ because Malaysia is the laughing stock of the century in the eyes of the world now. If not, his NEM will just be another Islam Hadhari. When I use the word we, I represent a group of my fellow Malaysians in Bahrain.

  6. Mr. Danildaud, I just have to say it when I read your comment ”integral part of a new world order” –
    It reminds me of a song by Kid Rock – Cocky – if you listen to the last 30 seconds of the song, sounded like the old man rocking, then ”Dude, there’s more to life than just you”

  7. This is typical of Malaysian leaders. If the report is against you, just dismiss it. If the report favors you like the english proficiency ranking, brag about it. Why can’t these people just learn to take criticisms for the good of the country? Just like how the higher education minister dismissed the university rankings just because malaysian universities aren’t faring well. I heard from my uncle that a lot of UM’s professors got riled up by his statement.

  8. yeah..the world bank is run by a group of stupids…malaysia is run by a group of excellent by product of btn educated geniuses..mahati..ah..bodoh punya mamak..cakap dgn otak didalam pantatmu…gua nak meluat dah.

  9. Tun Dr Mahathir has said the right thing belatedly what Tun Abdul Razak had stated five decades ago : ” the government should be fair to the poor and make sure that they have opportunities as well…”. Unfortunately for the Honorable Tun, his regime of twenty-two years only saw the enrichment of few cronies, most of whom had stashed their monies overseas, and, enjoying life in both-worlds !
    Hence, the terminology should be money-drain and not brain-drain so I propose we should’nt take too much heed on the World Bank Report !
    What should worry us Malaysians is the growing disparity & discontent internally is the ECONOMIC disparities between Malaysian ethnic segments in which less than 10% of the minorities holding 90% of the nation’s wealth & assets : not enough, never enough, always clamouring for more & more…( see CIMB Report two years ago stating that ONLY 10% of world population holding 90% of total Wealth )
    To the 67% majority of Malaysian-malays who can’t even reach their 30% target, their chief concern is ultimately ECONOMIC STRANGULATION ( from their own bitter lesson of ebvolution of Singapore ). This is NOT to blame others for their own default, caused by their own weaknesses, lack of skills & industry in the Economic sector.

    This fear is real and not imaginery, hence we observe the current sydrome or symptoms manifesting amongst radicals ( even extremists ) making flagrant & crude ” racist outbursts ” concerning their hidden fears of Economic Strangulation, once again repeating in their own original Tanah Melayu dissipating into ” thin air ” eventually….

    In my humble opinion, if the primary Economic imbalances are redressed, the other socio-politico-imbalances will fall into place and come back to normalcy ! It will follow.

    Was;nt that the primary objective of the late noble & venerable Tun Razak’s vision 50 years ago to eradicate poverty of ALL Malaysians beset by poverty : Chinese urban poverty, Indian plantation sectors poverty, & Malay rural poverty persisting to this very day ?

    If we collectively have’nt realised this basic fundamentals, then God help Malaysia..because it is our own obstinacy !

  10. Migration across borders is a fact of history. But when figures show many of the best and brightest are active participants, then if red flags are not raised questions may be asked if vested interest has anything to do with it.

  11. Dato : These organisations are finally being seen for what they are – selective in their opinions and judgements and therefore practising barely concealed double standards. This is true whether it is advice on how to handle financial crisis, (where it is one rule for the developing world and almost the opposite for the developed), opinions on human rights or the oft-used combo of democracy and free elections.

    Yes, it is a good question : So why belong to them? I believe that if there ever was a time for a real “new world order” it is right now. Perhaps one day the BRIC countries will provide the impetus to wean the rest of the world away from the current overpowering institutions. Until such time, the right thing to do is to listen to what they have to say and then do roughly the opposite.

    Heaven knows that our.Dr.M is far from perfect. But on this one issue his opinions are spot on.

  12. Dato,
    You posted this article from TMI. Why not post the one Najib opening BNs doors to PAS to unite the Malays? As PM he should unite Malaysians not just the Malays! That’s why his 1 Malaysia is flawed! A political gimmick and insincere!
    I just don’t understand how you can still have high hopes on Najib and his plans!

  13. There are none so blind ………………
    Similarly, ‘ It is better to believe there is a God, and later find there is none, Then to live your life thinking there is no God and then finding that there is really a GOD.’
    Or, maybe he likes to do what the proverbial ostrich does.

  14. When DSAI was implicated by Saifool, TDM was very exasperated as he knew Najib was incapable of being as convincing as him. Sure enough, majority of Malaysians now believe that DSAI is being set-up and are now convinced the same with Sodomy I.
    TDM is akin to clutching at straws now in a stream that is carrying him away from credibility and statesmanship that he craves for but the ugly truth is setting in faster and more furious.

  15. Dey IKerala-mpostor

    Say what you like and deny reality. You and your kind are doomed to be back to riverine fisherman and gatherers culture, waiting for the coconut o fall . keep snoozing. Ini satu bodoh punya tipu orang india

  16. Tun M, if the world Bank is really useless, my question is what have YOU done to redress the poverty of all M’sians whatever background to carry the spirit that the NEP was first put in place by Tun Razak?

    Show us evidence that world Bank is wrong and YOU have in 22 years changed the poverty levels of all M’sians, YOU have redress the imbalances and redressed it successfully. Show us the evidence.

    “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”
    Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

  17. The Tun proves he is not yet dead! He is quick to come to the defense of his legacy. Otherwise, people might suspect that he was only feathering his nest and all the birds up his tree all these while.
    His claims that his intentions altruistic, to protect the disadvantaged even though he became wealthy and lament they have not.

    So the World Bank is wrong! Things here are going well. We must continue on the same path. Besides, when his son take over things will really move!

  18. my sarcasm in agreeing with apanama’s view that bolehland do not need kwai-loh’s FDI to reach 2020 deveveloped status, and also yr 1pm’s denial of the world bank’s opinion, was sadly deleted…*sob* the truth really hurts. let ’em eat cakes. Cest la vie.

  19. Talent management is the key to success as talents help others to soar.

    Malaysia is now lacking behind Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, etc who were behind us before.

    This is due to racist politics and policies like NEP favoring the particular race who could not implement policies, create and innovate technologies to compete.

    Bear in mind, talents are well sought after by all advanced countries as it is race and nation blind.

    If Malaysia cannot take care and manage own talents, others would!

    No talents can work without the meritocracy, fair and equitable!

  20. Brain you seriously think UMNO cares?? Get real folks, majority who leaves are non-Malays, and a sprinkling are sons and daughters of privileged Malays who do it by choice .You think Najib’s Talent Corporation will succeed in luring them back?? Bring more ingrate pendatangs back????

  21. I can just see Mahathir sharing a class with my dad in the 40s and 50s, who would stand up to make provocative statements challenging the set ways of thinking of his class mates, partly in an attempt to win the attention of his teacher and partly in an attempt to get to the truth (of which he knew not himself) but instead earned his wrath. He would have made a good advocate had history not have its say. But the fact that he became a medical doctor instead of a lawyer does not mean he has less the qualilities of one and more the other.

    When Mahathir said the World Bank Report is “useless” it does not mean the document is a uselss piece of crap turned out by a so-called team of experts each with his or her own political agenda. In a sense he is right; and in the same way other world institutions serve the interest of the more developed western and more powerful western nations. They fund these institutions, for God’s sake, and to serve their interests. We would be naive to think otherwise.

    What Mahathir is getting at is that the re-structuring of economic wealth of a nation does not have to be at the expense of overall national economic wealth in the long run. But in the short run? In the short run there will be.

    And in this he is guilty like all economists are, because “in the long run we are all dead” – a statement oddly enough attributed to another famous western economist.

    Mahathir is an advocate, not an umpire.

  22. YAA Tun,
    Until the Constitution of this multi racial country is changed it is the incumbent duty of government to run this country in accordance with the Founding Document in which the position of the vairous races is enshrined. Any other approach is ultra virus to the Constitution.

  23. For once I agree with Yang Amat Ariff Tun. We need people like you to speak up before we are led into the sea by people who think that they know better than the government.

    Brain drain is like capital out flow. While government can restrict/attract the inflow of capital and brains through various incentives it cannot and should not restrict the out flow of capital and brains.

  24. Mahathir is forever right. Whatever he says must and will turn into gold. No one can oppose him. He is God! Satisfied Mr Mahathir?

  25. I would not be in a position to say Tun Mahathis is ” politically ” right or wrong, that’s left to experts.
    For once, he has just echoed the noble Tun Razak’s unaccomplished ” dream ” for a truly happy & united Malaysia, if only TM had implemented full programmes to eradicate poverty amongs ALL Malaysians : IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A WIN-WIN Situation for all races & communities., a truly happy & united Malaysia.
    In the present climate, however, a blogger has now said that the ” barometer ” is indicating a high temperature, indeed if we are not carefull, it will heighten to Radiation point ! All parties is to blame, not just one side.
    On one hand, those that utter extreme racist ourtbursts flagrantly, the other side subtly & silently scheming to achieve Economic strangulation, even if it might take 200 years, to see the final transition of power that has happened to Singapore, resulting in the disappearence of the Riau-Ligga Empire with the Sultan, Sultan Hussain Shah disapperaring into oblivion !

    To-day we the true Malaysians should feel aghast at this startling exposition by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar (NST, May 3, page 16 – ) which exposes the ” secret ambitions ” of one particular Malaysian race/ethnic group who, not being satisfied with 90% equity-holding of the Malaysian Economy despite being in the minority, are attempting to disrupt or dismantle the EQUILIBRIUM policies set forth by the Government : they seem hell-bent to demand more & more… Why is that so, what’s the insidious motives ?

    By the disclosure of Dr Chanda Muzaffar, I feel not only convinced but more & more justified to say, that ” Economic Sttrangulation ” is their final objective for the complete transition of political power, so that Tanah Melayu & its Constitutional restructures would be dissipitated into ” thin-air ” ultimately….

    So, members of PKR & PAS, would they consider seriously and take the drastic stand NOW before it becomes too late..for your fate as happened in Singapore – BETTER LATE THAN NEVER….
    That’s the heat indicated by the barometer by various disclosures.

    I make no appology for my blunt & open discxourse…. let us face these worries openly IF WE ARE TRULY SINCERE ABOUT 1Malaysia.

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