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Monday, December 28, 2009

Do something to stop mass exodus of Malaysians

AT a time when we are encouraging Malaysians working abroad to return home and serve the country, it is indeed very disconcerting to learn that 304,358 Malaysians left the country between March last year and August this year for better educational, career and business prospects.

This is indeed a steep increase compared with 139,696 Malaysians who left the country in 2007. My sources told me that emigration statistics comprises Malaysians of all races, and not any single race.

Whatever the reason, this trend is definitely worrying, especially when we need all the skilled manpower to fuel the economy as we make a transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country.

If better education is the reason for this mass migration, then it’s time we take stock of the situation and draw up some concrete action plans.

Many parents have told me that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of their children getting a sound education.

I fail to comprehend the rationale of people leaving this country for other developed countries like Australia and Britain for business opportunities, when many foreigners are drawn to our shores for this reason.

The Government should conduct a study to ascertain the reasons motivating people to venture abroad. If education is the reason, then we must definitely undertake remedial measures in this area to arrest the brain drain.

A survey taken by NTV7 news found that 91% of the respondents were of the view that our school textbooks are out of date.

In my trips abroad, I have met many Malaysians who still feel nostalgic about the country, but are concerned about the future of their children. These are good and decent people who are still patriotic Malaysians, but just confronted with tough choices.

If we do not take urgent measures to check this unhealthy development, then I believe we will be facing problems obtaining the desired manpower to be a high-income economy dependent on technology and modern services.

JAMES GONZALES,

Kuala Lumpur.

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