Monthly Archives: October 2010

Why me and many others left Malaysia?

All Malaysians that have left Malaysia and working abroad are so much better off-financially as well as the quality of life!!!
Forced to take their skills abroad

DR GEORGE LEE, 41, urologist who was trained in Oxford and Cambridge, Kuala Lumpur

“I returned home in 2007 from London after more than 20 years. Malaysia is an adventure for me.
Dr Lee: Happy to be back even though he now earns one-tenth of what he used to.

I came home to find myself. I first left home at the age of 16. My dad wanted me to have a good education and sent me to northern Ireland as it was the cheapest place he could find as a war was going on.

I lived on a farm and would milk 500 cows a day for £20 to earn money to help pay my rent. I didn’t get to come home for a visit until five years later at the age of 21.

When I was in the UK, I wanted to throw off my Chinese past and adopt Western ways. I later realised success is not how people view you but how you view yourself.

I came home for myself, my family, to preserve my culture, my tradition for my two children. Just the other day, I was teaching my son how to fold the Chinese hell currency which we burn for our ancestors.

When you live abroad, nobody cares about you or comes to visit, unless they have nowhere to stay. I went back to London in 2009 and visited the place where I used to stay. The coffee vendor by the street was still there. He saw me and asked,“your regular expresso?” He didn’t even notice I had been gone for two years!

I am happy to be back even though I earn one-tenth of what I used to. I am grateful for what I have, my family.”

AZLINDA ARIFFIN-BOROMAND, corporate counsel, international law firm Fasken Mertineau, London

“My work covers cross-border mergers and acquisitions, capital market work, fundraising and listing on AIM Market of London Stock Exchange, with a focus on Asia-Pacific businesses.

I left six years ago after 10 years of practising as a lawyer in Malaysia to get more international exposure. London is a financial hub of the world and I know to be an international corporate lawyer, I need to be there to gain experience.

In order to be a developed nation by 2020, Malaysia has to speed up on our skills and intellectual property. A lot of good progress has been made so far and I think this will continue.

However, we don’t have much time, so we need to be more receptive and adaptable. The education system needs to be beefed up so that we have the necessary skills to compete in the global arena.

Meritocracy is important and we need to get this right.

My years of working in London has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I had to start from scratch in my profession as everything is judged on merit here.

I think it is good as it has helped me to be so much better as a lawyer as well as a person. No doubt, I would like to bring this back home someday.”

IGNATIUS RASIAH, 52, (pic) materials scientist, Ireland

“I feel so sad that what I do, developing new technology, is not for my country.

I would love to come back because Malaysia is home and there is no place like home. We did try to come back in 1995 but we could not get any jobs despite trying for 10 months. In the end, we went to Singapore and I got a job within a month.

Malaysia has missed out on several waves of new technology; we didn’t build on what we have (Intel set up its first plant outside of the US in Penang).

For me to come back, I would like to see a meritocracy-based system, total transparency in economic, political, academic, technological and administration management and equal enforcement of law for all.

DR MALINI OLIVO, 49, medical scientist, Ireland

“To conduct research that leads to new discoveries for the advancement of medical science which can help the world, we need funding and I don’t know whether Malaysia has the resources to commit to that.

As a principal investigator of the National Cancer Centre of Singapore, I held S$5mil (RM12mil) funding at any given time for my research.

Malaysians do well anywhere they go, not only because they are smart but because they are very hard-working. Their attitude is ‘work hard and do what you have to do but don’t expect anything in return’.”
Happy abroad: Nor Eleeza and husband Mohd Fadzillah Razali prefer the quality of life in Bahrain.

NOR ELEEZA ABU BAKAR, 38, architect, Bahrain.

“Although Bahrain is not as well developed as Malaysia, we find the country adequate, less hectic and are able to have more quality time for ourselves.”

A female Malay academic working in London.

“I don’t know if there are any changes that would influence my return or otherwise, because my reason for leaving was strategic rather than really being upset with anything.

There are some changes I want to see in Malaysia, but I am realistic enough to believe these changes may not happen in my lifetime. Perhaps when my commitments have been fulfilled, I can return to help make those changes. But it would be nice to return to less traffic jams and a more efficient public transport system.

I think there is a case to be made for the Government to recognise talent we already have at home – unpolished gems lost in the back offices of MNCs, GLCs or the private sector. They may not be able to move without support due to financial constraints or other issues.

There needs to be a mechanism to support local-based talents with potential to secure employment in areas where they could flourish and contribute. Needless to say, they should also be rewarded with a salary that commensurates with their achievements and abilities.

Driven to greener pastures

Driven to greener pastures

What drives a person to uproot from a peaceful, modern country like Malaysia, known to the world for its easy-going charm, divine food and friendly people? The reasons are more varied than just earning better wages to have a higher standard of living.

MENTION the names Ignatius Rasiah and Dr Malini Catherine Olivo and few Malaysians would have heard of them.

These are two outstanding individuals, unacknowledged at home, who have contributed much to the advancement of science and technology in the world.

The couple is among 784,900 Malaysians working overseas, many of them highly educated or skilled. In foreign countries, these professionals claim to have found fertile ground to grow and develop their talents, through opportunities and facilities provided by both the government and private sectors which recognised their potential.

Ignatius and his wife Dr Malini left the country in the mid-1990s but not by choice. They were unable to get jobs after their post-graduate studies despite applying to several major local universities.

Today, Ignatius is a well-known materials scientist while Dr Malini is a pioneering medical scientist in the field of biophotonics – the use of lasers and light for the early detection and treatment of cancer.
On the winning end: Countries which play host to Malaysian talents have benefited greatly from their skills. – AP

Each time someone turns on a computer or snaps a photo with a mobile phone camera, he or she is using an electronic component developed by Ignatius and his fellow scientists.

“I touch someone every day of their lives each time they turn on the computer or take a digital picture,” Ignatius, currently based in Ireland, said in an e-mail interview.

Ignatius, 52, was previously the Global Technology Manager at the giant US firm Honeywell where he was in charge of research teams in Asia and the US which developed and launched thermal solution for microprocessors that continue to be used by top microprocessor companies today. He is now head of research and development with Western Automation Research and Development Ltd, an Irish company.

Dr Malini, who has won several international awards for her work, is currently Stokes Chair Professor of Biophotonics, National University Galway, Ireland and also a visiting Professor of Harvard Medical School.

These are the same people whom Malaysia needs to catapult the country into a high-income economy by 2020 and whom the Government is now trying to woo home.

In his Budget speech on Friday, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that a Talent Corporation (Talent Corp) will be established under the Prime Minister’s Office in early 2011 to increase the number of talented and quality workforce in the domestic market.

Talent Corp will formulate a National Talent Blueprint and develop an expert workforce database to help the Government attract, motivate and retain talented human capital from within the country and abroad.

Former Human Resources Minister Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn is all for bringing our talents home, noting that the country has suffered as a result of the loss of highly qualified and skilled Malaysians.

“More than half of the medical specialists in Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital (one of the country’s top hospitals) are Malaysians,” said Dr Fong. “There are also many Malaysians working in Silicon Valley, working as IT experts.”

Countries which play host to Malaysian talents have benefited greatly from their skills. From Silicon Valley in the US to China’s booming city of Shanghai, Malaysians are part of the dynamics which innovate and invent to bring new technology to the market.

They are also bankers and lawyers, handling multi-million dollar acquisition and mergers which create jobs for thousands of people.

Some have claimed that the lack of meritocracy and openness has left them without jobs or miniscule prospects of promotion to develop their skills, forcing them to leave the country to seek employment in foreign countries.

Others left the country over low wages which became insufficient to live off after they got married and had children. The high crime rate, congested traffic and lack of good public transport system were also cited as factors which led to the decision to leave.

But before one gets judgmental and labels these Malaysians as unpatriotic, it has to be pointed out that some had in fact returned earlier to serve the country but found themselves stone-walled, unable to find employment and ultimately ended up leaving.

Take the case of Ignatius and Dr Malini who were completing their post-doctorate studies in Canada when they heard Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad calling for Malaysian scientists to return home to help develop the country.

Well-meaning and idealistic, the couple returned to Kuala Lumpur in 1995 and applied to major universities and two government departments for work. For 10 months, they waited and hoped for a job offer but none was forthcoming.

“Each time I called up a university, I was told my application was being processed,” Dr Malini recalled.

The couple survived on Ignatius’ private consulting jobs. But as the months went by with no permanent job in sight, Dr Malini applied to Singapore and was offered a job as a research scientist at the Singapore General Hospital.

The couple moved to Singapore together and Ignatius landed his job with Honeywell within a month of arriving.

“We wish so much to contribute to our country what we are contributing to the world,” said Dr Malini.

“I would still love to come back but only if there is the facility and infrastructure to conduct research in biophotonics.”

“The work I do is on the cutting edge of science and for such research, we need to work together with talents from all over the world. The country will need to open up to allow foreign talents in. We also need adequate funding for such research.”

Kenneth Teh, 52, works in one of the largest US science research laboratories as a data acquisition physicist where he develops data acquisition systems for nuclear physics experiments.

A major consideration for returning, he shared, is his son’s education.

“If I do not return, it is for a myriad of reasons,” said Teh.

“Is the Malaysian education system positioned to train my son to compete effectively in this century in what will most likely be the Chinese century?

“Is the society progressive and forward-looking, with a blurring of racial lines and heading towards a common Malaysian identity,” he asked?

Nor Eleeza Abu Bakar, 38, and her husband left Malaysia in 2007 to work in Bahrain as architects for higher salaries and a better quality of life which gave them more time with their children.

Eleeza would love to come home if the salaries here were better and security in the country improved as she is a mother of five.

“If we can earn the same amount of income and enjoy a good quality of life, we would love to come home,” said Eleeza.

“The working culture in Malaysia has become unhealthy where the employers demand more and more from the employee, and yet pay inadequate wages. We are also concerned over the crime rate in Malaysia, the gory news that we read in the newspapers every day.”

The Government and the private sector could do well to listen to the concerns of these overseas Malaysians – they represent some of our finest talents – talents that are of global standing and crucial human capital critical to the next phase of Malaysia’s development.

The country cannot lose any more talents who ultimately end up advancing the competitiveness of foreign countries to our own detriment.

Malays rule Malaysia-Fuck off Chinese and Indians

MNO and Population Engineering

Thanks to the reader for this post:

Hope he won’t go to jail

Since 1957 UMNO has effectively carried out the population engineering of our country to ensure its long-term survival b creating the myth of a two pronged “Ketuanan Melayu”. “Ketuanan Melayu” for the Malay masses who are lull into a feeling of being superior over the non-Malays because of their numbers and “Ketuanan Melayu” for the UMNO Malay political elites through the accumulation of massive material wealth for themselves and their cronies. And while UMNO has failed by almost any measure you chose to gauge them – good governance or morality – without question they have succeeded too well in the engineering of the population of this country of ours.

The duplicity of UMNO in proclaiming Satu Bangsa, Satu Negara while all the while undertaking a relentless program to whittle down the numbers of the non-Malays through very precise and focused initiatives is breath taking in its  effectiveness!
Consider this:
In 1957:
45% of the population was Chinese.
12% of the population was Indians.
In 2010
25% of the population is Chinese.
7% of the population is Indians.
Over 600,000 Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship and possibly 60% of them had passed away due to old age.
Since 1957:
2 million Chinese have emigrated.
0.5 million Indians have also emigrated overseas.
3 million Indonesians migrated to Malaysia to become Malaysian citizens with Bumiputra status.
Now the non-Malays are well aware of this tinkering and engineering of our population and it would do us Malays no good to say that it was UMNO doing and that we had no hand in what happened. As a Malay I was then comfortable that UMNO was the dominant partner in the Barisan Nasional.
It was comforting to know that Malays controlled four of the five major banks.
Education? Between 1968 to 2000:

48 Chinese Primary Schools closed down.
144 Indian Primary Schools closed down.
2637 Malay Primary Schools were built.
Of the total government budget for these schools 2.5% were for the Chinese Primary Schools, 1% for the Indian Primary School and 96.5% for the Malay Primary School.
Petronas Petrol Stations? Of the 2000 station the Malays owned 99%.
Yes we Malays were indeed in control. In control of what?
We were in control of the all the business licenses and permits for Taxis and Approved Permits.
We were in control of Government contracts of which 95% were given to Malays.
We were in control of the Rice Trade through Bernas that bought over 80% of Chinese Rice Millers in Kedah.
We were in control of UMBC, MISC and Southern Bank – all previously owned by Chinese.
We were in control of bus companies. Throughout Malaysia MARA buses could be seen plying all the routes. Non-Malays were simply displaced by having their application for bus routes and for new buses rejected.
Every new housing estate being built had a mosque or a surau. None, I repeat “no” temples or churches were built for any housing estate!
So why with control over all these highly visible entities and business opportunities are the Malays still unable to stand tall and with pride over and above the non-Malays? We are unable to so do because it was not the Malays that benefited from these opportunities – UMNO did.
Why must UMNO constantly harped about the need to spoon feed the Malays – about ketuanan Melayu when it is already in place and about Bumiputra status and all the privileges and rights that goes with that status?
And as a Malay I want to ask the non-Malays why you still chose to live in a country whose government has by its actions and deeds done whatever it could to make you not feel welcomed? The non-Malay I know have all told me the same thing – Malaysia is their country – they know of no other country they can call their own. And so they stay and put up with the abuses.
The difference now is that there are enough Malays who are shamed by the antics of this Malay political organization call UMNO. There are enough Malays to tell the non-Malays that we feel your pain. We understand your frustrations and despair at not being treated as equals in a country you call your own. And enough non-Malay has migrated abroad to cause our country to understand that their loss is another’s country gain. A loss, which our country can ill afford to sustain.
And more important all these ground swell of disgust and contempt at UMNO has manifested itself in a way these political idiots understand – losing our votes in the 12th General Elections. Amen for that.
And so we wait for the 13th General Election which we hope will dish out the relevant karma for UMNO and its Barisan Nasional partners. Meantime understand what they have done to us all – not only the non-Malays but also to the Malays and do not allow Barisan Nasional to play the race card and start their divide and rule antics on us anymore. You are one with me we are two.

Anonymous said…
” 3 million Indonesians migrated to Malaysia to become Malaysian citizens with Bumiputra status.”

In the not too distant future, I guess Malaysian bumiputras may have to worry about 2nd or 3rd generation Indonesian bumiputras, who I guess would have been taught the virtues of hardwork and thrift by their parents, or grand parents.

Anonymous said…
I think the Malay Politicians should teach their people the virtue of hard work. Work, work and try again if you fail.

The Chinese isn’t a threat – they are just workaholics – they want wealth so much that no failures of any kind is going to stop them.

The newcomers Indonesians, neighbours of mine, went out to work before I awake and they are not home yet when I go to sleep. Will we consider them a threat when they find deservely new
wealth ?

komando has left a new comment on your post “UMNO and Population Engineering“:

Travel around this country and check on the stats – pasar malam, who runs the stalls and business, go and check out our beloved “chow kit” road, who owns the thriving business?

Go to the PUDU wet market and see who is shouting for customers at 4 am!

Half the business now is with the foreigners, another half with other races, the Malays only have lands titles left (bumi status) that also can be converted and sold to a Chinaman!

All the GLC’s are still in Malay hands, otherwise all will be sold off in due time also!

More than half the work force are pendatangs!

This country is not only bankrupt as said by IDRIS JALA, but also telah “de’lelong” !

The Malays left behind will become beggars and mat rempit, mat gian, mat ragut & mat dadah ( they are all subsidized by gormen funding to buy drugs – METAHDON )

Who culled their own RACE ?