Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 08:40:46 +1000
Local: Sat, Jun 13 2009 6:40 am
Subject: Re: Why talented Malaysians have to leave
The system is as thus because you own kind sold all of you for their own
Why talented Malaysians have to leave - Pt 2
George Lee | Jun 12, 09 5:16pm
Slightly more than a week ago, I wrote a letter to share with people,
especially Malaysians, on why talented Malaysians decide to leave.
Since then, the reactions have been awe-inspiring. They have inspired
me to continue writing from where I left off.
There have been many encouraging as well as challenging responses.
Truthfully, either way, I am moved by these eloquent individuals who
have uttered their constructive comments in a communal manner. It is
my humble intent to get the subject underway from the very beginning
in order to create greater awareness.
Over the years, we have heard the government pouring out its
disgruntlement over a ‘brain drain' but for obvious reason the seepage
is no way near an end. Like it or not, the flight of human capital is
intimately linked to the social and economic factors and these have a
lot to do with the political dynamism of the government.
It has been a year and three months (a big ‘sigh'!) since the last
election but the political parties of the ruling coalition are just as
incompetent of recovering from the devastation as seen from their
inability to advocate change, infighting and self-denial (it cannot
bear a single hard blow!).
Hence, we need to ask ourselves - do we still need this government who
has not only failed us (though it won the 12th general election) but
is on the verge of self-extinction with its apathetic approach to
issues concerning people's livelihood?
Previously, I momentarily mentioned that the solution to our political
predicament is people's power: ‘government to take stock and must
return to basics... else a change of guard'. I am very relieved that
the writer of We can buy skills and talents but not integrity was able
to see my point.
When we mention people's power, it means Malaysians regardless of
race, religion or region (where are we) with the same aim ie, a vote
for ultimate transformation in the coming 13th general election.
Yes, there are shameless armchair critics within the society today as
highlighted by the writer of Search for better lives, non-bumis face
dilemma. I do not feel any distaste towards the writer's observation
because everyone is entitled to their views. Similarly the writer of
‘We can buy skills and talents but not integrity' felt that because I
wrote a letter, I had done something which disqualified me from the
Truthfully, I do not want to make a fuss concerning the shameless
armchair critic. I strongly believe that all Malaysians no matter
where we are (with the exception of the extremists who do not want to
hear let alone do), can contribute to make Malaysia a better brand
name, so to speak.
Allow me to put few facts in perspective before I proceed. Many of us
who we are living away have not given up our Malaysia passports and
identities. Migration absolutely does not signify one's wealth as we
fall in the category of ‘skill migration'. As a permanent resident, we
had to start from the beginning and work our way through like anyone
else. The only difference is that we are living in a system that cares
for our livelihood and we feel safe.
As far as Malaysia is concerned, we are patriotic enough and we are
not ashamed to demonstrate that. Our hearts are still with it and we
are not about to leave it ‘dying'. Our feelings do not change no
matter how far we are. Besides having the prerogative to vote, we know
that we can continue to play a role for the betterment of Malaysia.
One important point mentioned was that we could contribute by looking
at Malaysia from the ‘outside'. This is a profound view. In my
previous letter, I had absolutely no ulterior intention to run down
the country. I was depicting the truth based on my many years of work
experience in Malaysia (17 years when l left).
Seventeen years is not a short time. I reckon a person would able to
feel whether the society is functioning well given this amount of
time. For example, I was definitely shell shocked by the egotistic
attitude of the staff from the ministry of education when I tried to
seek information personally. When I came over here, the system is
completely the opposite. I was flattered by the warmth shown by the
education department and schools at the state level.
I do not think it needs a genius to delineate what composites good
governance. I am always dumbfounded whenever I compare the two
systems. If the Malaysian ministry of education can take in two-third
of their Down Under counterpart's mind-set, I shall be over the moon.
Malaysia is probably still a developing country but the concern is
that some of the adored government servants are still preserving the
same old styles and habits year in year out. This mentality is a large
baggage to carry if Malaysia wants to become an indisputable developed
nation. It is time to change.
Without a doubt, many Malaysians are where we are because of the
attainment of basic needs like physiological and safety (rather than
those higher in the hierarchy like esteem, and self-actualisation -
Abraham Maslow pyramid of needs). Moving a way, for many
professionals, is a matter of economic survival rather than a love for
migration. Many professionals are global workers and they go where the
opportunities beckon. Can they be faulted for this? This explanation
is not to justify our reason to stay away but it is a fact of life for
Truthfully, the issue is not about why we leave or where we are but
how we fight and what are we are going to do. I empathise with the
writer of ‘Search for better lives, non-bumis face dilemma' in that
many Malaysians do not bother lifting up the broom to tidy our home.
I for one have a high regard for the courage and scarifies displayed
by Malaysians holding peaceful demonstrations within the democratic
space. These people are genuine ‘freedom fighters'. Nevertheless, we
need to respect that everyone has their own temperaments and beliefs.
To fight against prejudice, there are many roles Malaysians can play
beyond wearing headgear and shouting slogans. I would like to refer
the writer of It's time Malaysia changes for the good. The role he can
play is to continue highlighting Malaysia in Britain as a high-ranking
officer in the British government. He must not feel ashamed of what is
happening in Malaysia but instead replace it with proactive deeds.
As for the writer of Picking a fight with 'the system' our whole
lives, she is at a crossroads between two systems. In my humblest
opinion, her role is to make the most of the opportunity by choosing a
system that can assist her in her career and which could make Malaysia
proud. Eventually the world knows the quandary of Malaysians and the
reason for their leaving which puts pressure on the Malaysia
government (if it cares!) to act else risk losing its competitiveness.
Her role is to excel herself to demonstrate that it is the system that
fails her and not herself.
The point I would like to draw attention to is that while the
inconspicuously average Malaysian has been doing different things
(they raise their brooms), our actions have not reached a cohesive
altitude to render the final push. Average Malaysians need someone to
play a linking lynch-pin role.
For example, if someone could start to pick our brains from Britain or
Down Under or review the issues we have raised, many Malaysians
outside the country may have to chance to vote in the coming 13th
general election in our residential countries. We would love that
On another occasion, if someone could put in some time and effort, we
may have leaders from the political parties coming to the foreign
shores and receive thunderous applause for their political ‘ceramah'.
These are not easy passageways but we need politicians, political
parties and NGO to champion these tasks. The aim is to share the
roles, do different things, assist each other and together we aim for
one purpose ie, a vote for ultimate transformation.
My take is that we need to work smart rather than hard. If we cannot
implement democratic rights from within, we can play different roles
from where we stand and meet each other at a certain intersection.
Getting all Malaysians together outside the country could add muscle
to the voices within. It is time we start to work together despite of
our different temperaments and beliefs. We must encourage each one to
take different on positions and roles. We must explain and encourage
people on the need to take up ‘the brooms' as every single voice and
vote counts. Most importantly, we must have great perseverance and
patience as this is a long and hard battle.
This is the only way and the best chance after 52 years. Come the 13th
general election, we should have a checklist of all the unwarranted
things that the present coalition has done and circulate the list to
others to remind us of why we should vote for an ultimate
transformation. I can picture that many of us would be taking the next
flight home come the 13th general election with one mission. I shall
see you all at the polling station.