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Talent Corp evasive over brain drain report

 | March 12, 2012

It acknowledges criticisms by Wake Up Call Malaysia, but does not say whether it agrees with it.

PETALING JAYA: Talent Corp has acknowledged a report on the Malaysian brain drain that is critical of its efforts to reverse the trend.

However, it did not say whether it agreed with the findings of the social group that calls itself Wake Up Call Malaysia (WUC-M).

“We welcome the report done by Wake Up Call Malaysia, which was presented to us on Feb 21 and canvassed the views of more than 518 Malaysian youth in and outside the country on the global issue of brain drain and its impact on Malaysia,” a Talent Corp spokesperson said in a media statement.

According to WUC-M, many of the respondents in its survey listed social injustice in Malaysia and better career prospects and benefits overseas as the reasons why they preferred to remain as expatriates. It said 81% of the respondents were Chinese.

It said some of the programmes introduced by the government, including Talent Corp’s Retain Expert Programme (REP), lacked promotion and publicity.

The Talent Corp statement defended its programmes, saying REP was more successful in 2011 than it was in 2010.

“For the whole of 2011, the number of approvals for Malaysian professionals returning home under the REP has more than doubled from 313 in 2010 to 680,” it said.

“They fill up c-suite positions in various critical economic sectors including oil, gas and energy, financial services, information and communication, healthcare and business services.”

Critics are likely to dismiss the figures as insignificant, given the large number of skilled and talented Malaysians remaining abroad. It has been reported that more than one million people have left the country for greener shores.

Even so, Talent Corp appears to be confident that its programmes would yield meaningful results. These programmes include Scholarship Talent and Retention (STAR) and Talent Acceleration in Public Service (TAPS).

The spokesperson said STAR and TAPS would enable top Public Service Department scholars to serve out their bonds in leading organisations within the private sector.

“These measures are in addition to the initiatives that we have developed to increase the employability of local graduates,” the statement said.

The statement also announced that Talent Corp had a started a pilot programme in which Malaysian “technopreneurs” based in Silicon Valley would conduct workshops with counterparts based in Malaysia.

“We hope to build a network of such collaborations in the future,” it said.
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