Sunday, July 20, 2014

Worsening Brain Drain in Malaysia – GEC Business Review

by Fred Victor

Would you be surprised that the number of skilled Malaysians living abroad has tripled in the last two decades? According to World Bank, one out of every ten Malaysians with tertiary education choose to leave, whether to neighbouring countries or other developed countries.

In between the year 2000 and 2010, Malaysia had about a million citizens migrated overseas, which represented a huge number indeed when the population was just about 28 million. What is more, about one-third of those migrants who left were either professionals or skilled ones.

After a rough dissection, Malaysia had each day about 278 people migrated, for ten years; more importantly, out of the 278 people flew daily, 84 of them were professionals. World Bank report figures also show that 54% of the Malaysian brain drain went to Singapore while 15% went to Australia, 10% to the US and 5% to the UK.

The National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) has recently unveiled another interesting figure earlier this month, accordingly to its latest ICT Job Market Outlook report that the issue of continuing brain drain of Malaysian ICT professionals further deepens. Interestingly, the report revealed that countries in East Asia such as Vietnam and Hong Kong paid 2.19 and 2.12 times respectively higher than in Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries that topped Malaysia included Singapore (1.73), Thailand (1.54), Australia (1.52), New Zealand (1.64), China (1.93), Canada (1.44), US (1.9) and UK (1.40).

Is the moon more round abroad? I believe a big “no”, but there appears to be enough to keep luring more talented Malaysians away even though those decided to leave have to face the same obstacles as any expat moving to a new place such as difference in terms of culture, local diet, social and many more.

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