Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (pic) deemed it a “failed mission” despite being allocated such a huge sum, as the agency only managed to lure back 2,500 against the one million Malaysian professionals reportedly working overseas.
TalentCorp chief executive officer Johan Mahmood Merican told The Malaysian Insider recently that higher salaries, better professional opportunities and a comfortable life were the main reasons local professionals living abroad were reluctant to return to Malaysia.
But Kok questioned if these were the only reasons for them not wanting to come home.
"I believe that there are two other key reasons, namely, the social justice and Malaysia’s international image," she said.
Kok, citing the 2011 World Bank report titled “Malaysia Economic Monitor: Brain Drain” which stated that career prospects, compensation and social justice were three drivers of the brain drain, said that Malaysia has been suffering from this problem for years.
She also cited World Bank senior economist Philip Schellekens, who said lack of meritocracy and unequal access to scholarships were significant push factors and a deterrent for Malaysians abroad to return.
Kok also said that since the May 5 2013 general election, there have been numerous occasions of racial extremism, adding that Malaysia was often displayed in the global media for “all the wrong reasons”.
"How much has the government done to address the issue of social injustice?
"The government has clearly no political will to deal with extremists," she added.
Kok said that Malaysia's international image as a moderate nation was shaken by recent incidents, such as the seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles from the Bibles Society of Malaysia, the ban on the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims and the oppression of opposition politicians.
"Can Johan deny that this is a factor that has affected Talent Corp’s efforts to lure Malaysians back?
"If it wants to succeed, it must be brave enough to tell the prime minister all the key factors which have hampered its efforts," she said in reference to the TalentCorp CEO.
Kok said that unless Putrajaya addressed key factors related to social injustices in the country, TalentCorp would continue to fail in its mission.
According to the a World Bank report in 2011, the migration in Malaysia is caused by the imbalances of the New Economic Policy (NEP), with Indians and Chinese making the highest numbers.
The World Bank warned that if the situation was not addressed as soon as possible, it would slow down the economy and halt the country's development.
Following the report, Putrajaya set up TalentCorp and introduced programmes to lure Malaysian talents from overseas. – April 9, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider