Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Great Feedback

I guess this is following my posting on Foreign Labour and Koon Yew Yin 's article on Malaysia's brain drain issue. Reader "syakir" made some very valid points which I like to post up here for all to read. My comments in colour.

syakir said...

1) You mean, simply by labeling everybody Bumiputera, Malaysians earning RM2.5k/month will suddenly feel migrating to Singapore for the same job paying SGD6k is not attractive anymore? I think that's BS.

Syakir, you are right, all things being equal, many will go for greener pastures. What may be of concern is that people who emigrate, USUALLY do not do it solely for CAREER/WORK/PAY. It is never easy to uproot your family, leaving behind relatives, friends and your roots. The bumpitra status is a sense of belonging, when you are sometimes made to feel unwelcomed, all these things add up.

2) Political patronage, monopoly, over reliance on foreign workers, industries not moving up the value chain and wastage & leakage. These are the real problems that lead to brain drain. And, don't even argue that Bumi policies caused these problems. For instance, Ananda Krishnan holding a monopoly on subscription TV and government building a RM500 million airport for Vincent Tan in Tioman have nothing to do with Bumi policies. Yet these are the real problems with this country.

I would agree with Syakir that Bumi preferential policies will extend to all races if/when you are rich enough.

3) Argue against Bumiputera on the basis that it divides Malaysians. Yes. Argue that it cause some level of hardship to non Bumis. Yes. Argue that Bumi policies should be amended to give more assistance to poor non Bumis and restrict benefits for rich Bumis. Nice. However to argue that it is the root cause of all the woes of this country that leads to brain drain is just BS.

For me there is not one root cause, but many, for a country to lose so many productive people to emigration. There is the sense of belonging, the future that may not be as equal for the kids or even bleak for them, the enrichment of just the elite few, prevasiveness of corruption, the sliding independence of our judiciary and the police force, the religion thingee, the free speech thingee, the ISA thingee, the lack of transparency in awardment of contracts and the bidding process, and possibly most importantly ... the absolute wastage, leakage of our resources and funds. We should address the issue properly, soberly but bearing in mind the following:

a) Be realistic as to the make up of our country, I don't think we can purely go for a flat out meritocratic society like Singapore.

b) Simple things such as the bumi discount for houses, it should be in placed but not for properties costing over RM1m ... please.

c) Finally, my one all-cure solution to the brain drain issue. NO NEED TO CHANGE bumi quotas for education, civil service, GLCs appointments. Just accord BUMI status to all Malaysian citizens who were BORN IN THE COUNTRY after Merdeka - who wants to argue with that??? Najib, if you do that, I will wager my assets that you will get 2/3 majority.


James said...

The problem with the bumi is the mentality, I believe they believe that the non-bumi are here to rob their wealth.

To them, if there are no non-bumi in Malaysia, the founders of YTL, Genting, PPB and etc are definitely their own kind, to them, we have rob them of their opportunity.

Sadly, they don't see that it is the non-bumi entrepreneurship that creates these big corporation, now venturing into China making $ for Malaysia. To them, YTL could have been Yasmin Tengku Latif instead of Yeoh Tiong Lay.

KK said...

Please somehow bring this to the attention of the "thought leaders" at ETP.... *sigh*

Subba Rao said...

Sense of belonging is the main one. When one looks at Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is clear the Bumi is an Apartheid policy. So many people I know are going out of their way to get PR, mind you it's not cheap or easy. Yes people will look for greener pastures, but there people like me who reluctantly make the move because of the future.

zaxh said...

To James,

Wow, what a comment. You believe what bumi believe? Wow kudos for being so shallow. Maybe, you should have more bumi friends MAYBE talk to professionals and get their views before 'believing' into your believes.

I am a bumi and I wish to migrate to Australia cuz I reckon its a nice place to live. So do you 'believe' I am scared that you'd rob my wealth?


Justin Choo said...

Hi Dali,

You have brilliantly responded in a very diplomatic manner.

I think this issue is just so glaring that those who refuse to see the truth are living with closed eyes.

Just walk into any government department, and we are in a different world. Talk about non-bumi not interested in civil service. I have very close relatives and non-bumi friends who simply can't get into the civil service, for reasons known to all of us.

There is one way hopefully we may change that. Kick out the present regime.

bonny b said...

Dear zaxh,
Its obvious you are one of the enlightened bumis who are not afraid of competition and a level playing field. Its the likes of Perkasa and the various Malay NGOs who represent the majority views of bumis and the ruling elite, that frightens me. If they are all like you, we won't be having this debate today.

ToeBear said...


How many malays/bumi in the country do you believe think like you?
If indeed majority of them are like you, Malaysia would be a much better country today, perhaps better than Singapore. Trust me, there are tons of the rural bumis who are very much like what James mentioned, no offense but that's the truth.

Perkasa is one of them.

Kingsmen said...

i think this brain drain talk thing is blown out of proportion. Everyone goes away (be it anywhere) in search of greener pastures and if it is lucrative enuf whats the point of staying in that particular country? A quick look at Americans all over the world will tell u that their 'brainnies' are exported all over the mother earth. But US has no qualms over this issue coz they have the law to tax these people. We shouldnt be overly concerned about our people venturing abroad as long as they pay taxes in whichever country they worked. Bottom line is are they paying their dues to their motherland?

syakir said...

I was reading a thread in lowyat forum and came across this rant.

it beautifully sum up what majority of Bumis feel when people whip out the "bumis are just waiting for their handouts/tongkat" arguement.

"it tough to be malay malaysian

Ppl always thought u go to UiTM, with Mara sponsor from A-Z, while the fact is your dad still not coming back at home (its 9pm now) just to make sure every of his son can go to ipt (all went to ipts, coz none got ipta).

Its hard to be malay malaysian

Coz when u got good marks, straight A's, first class degree and got an offer for scholarship to do master or phd, ppl will say "Melayu...senang ar dapat, cuba kalu cina or india, mesti tak dpt"

Its hard to be malay malaysian

Not only Chinese and Indian always dislike u becoz of NEP, even Malay Malaysian sometimes hates u. its what we call perasaan hasad dengki among malays. they see u succeed, they must bring u down.

Its hard to be malay malaysian

Everything cronies do, pm do, ppl will relate it with bumi quota, NEP, Perkasa and some sort. which in reality, u still not benefit from any. (didnt get MRSM, contracts, no mara loan, no ipta, didnt get bumi discount also for my house).

Its hard to be malay malaysian

when chinese and indian keep whining about their troubles and blaming it on you.. while in fact u having d same problem as theirs.

Its hard to be malay malaysian..."

Howyuan said...

"Bottom line is are they paying their dues to their motherland?"

Excuse me, who have been denying that status to non-Malays?

Who are the people that keep telling non-Malays to go back China and India, when Malaysia is the only motherland?

When you import Indonesians and Bangladeshis and accorded them the BUMIPUTERA status, do they not rob Malaysia's wealth?