The Tempinis diaries

July 13, 2008

Brain Gain Malaysia: Be Specific on Details, Noraini

Filed under: education, malaysia, singapore — toru @ 1:15 pm

To be fair to the Malaysian government, they have launched a programme called Brain Gain Malaysia. See story below. But as the Deputy Minister, Noraini Ahmad, recently noted the response so far has been tepid. In a typical Malaysian style, the Deputy Minister said in a vague manner that the incentives will be improved. Now the devil is in the details. How will it be improved? The website is equally vague – I can’t seem to find an application form anywhere. It would be helpful if the Deputy Minister could provide more details. Perhaps, the good Minister should read Zweig and Chung’s paper (pages 13 – 15) on the steps China has taken on using its ‘diaspora option’. These steps include setting up joint research centres, bringing back talented diaspora to teach at local universities and conferring joint professorial appointments. All these are sensible moves which Malaysia should seriously consider.

The other interesting thing about the Bernama story below is that it estimates that there are 40,000 – 50,000 Malaysians working in Singapore alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the figure is actually higher. Imagine that! This is the human costs of the NEP. As usual, Malaysia’s loss is Singapore’s gain.

In order not to end this blog post in a totally negative manner, I am pleased to see a blurb on the website reporting that the first recipient of the Brain Gain Malaysia is Dr. Tan Man Wah of Stanford collaborating with the Malaysian Genome Institute. That is very good news, indeed.

Brain Gain Programme Incentives Will Be Improved

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Bernama) — The incentives in the government’s Brain Gain Malaysia (BGM) programme will be improved to attract more Malaysian professionals employed overseas to return and work here.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad said although the programe was on-going not many had responded.

The programme’s main mission is to fast-track Malaysia’s transition to an innovation-based economy, by leveraging the talent pool of Malaysian diaspora and/or foreign researchers, scientists, engineers and technopreneurs (RSETs) residing abroad through incentive offerings for mutual benefit.

“One reason may be the incentives and as such the ministry is looking into the matter,” Noraini told reporters after opening “The 2008 Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) National Human Resources Summit” here today.

Noriani said that in attracting local professionals abroad to return and work here the private sector must play a role.

“These are all skilled people. If they were to return, they have to find jobs locally. If there is no participation from the private sector to find jobs, they would not want to come back. So, participation by the private sector to encourage them is also needed,” she said.

Malaysian professionals now working in Singapore number between 40,000 and 50,000 whereas in 2007 there were 350,000 Malaysians working abroad.

“One factor in the incentive question is that they earn high salaries abroad. However, it is just not a matter of money as we want them to help us by contributing to the country,” Noraini said.

The two-day summit, among others, is to discuss capacities to raise the quality of the local workforce.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: