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New Aussie work visa to trigger brain drain

 | June 20, 2012

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng says the new policy will be the final nail in Malaysia's coffin of 4Ds. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng says the new policy will be the final nail in Malaysia's coffin of 4Ds.

GEORGE TOWN: The new Australian work visa policy for foreign graduates will be the final nail in Malaysia’s coffin of 4Ds or four dilemmas – deficits, debts, deceits and brain drain, cautioned DAP secretary- general Lim Guan Eng.

Under the new immigration rule to be introduced by Canberra next year, foreign students in Australia will soon be eligible for work visas lasting two to four years after graduation from an Australian university.

Lim said the new rule potentially will allow all 220,000 foreign university students, including some 20,000 to 30,000 Malaysians, in Australia to work in any job once they graduate.

He predicted that the new Aussie policy will trigger an exodus of Malaysian talents as they will want to stay on to work in Australia to enjoy bigger salaries, greater freedom and brighter prospects.

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen reportedly said that the expansion of the skilled graduate visa scheme will help enhance the competitiveness of Australia’s A$18bil (RM57.5 billion) inbound student industry.

“Why is it that the Australian government is able to be so proactive and quick to grab opportunities while our government remains lackadaisical and merely stands by as droves of Malaysian talents continue to leak out of the country?” asked Lim, the Penang Chief Minister, in a blog posting.

Last month, Talent Corp Malaysia, the agency tasked with the role of reversing Malaysia’s brain drain, announced that its returning expert programme managed to entice 680 Malaysian professionals to return last year and 400 in the first four months of this year.

Lim remained unconvinced whether a mere couple of hundred Malaysians returning can be compared to the tens of thousands, who will now inevitably make Australia their home after completing their studies.

He said until and unless the government addresses fundamental flaws in its failed policies to reward mediocrity over meritocracy, the country will never attain the fabled high-income status that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had has been crowing about.

Lim said the country’s spiralling national deficit will reach RM59.7 billion after the supplementary budget tabled last week while national debt will reach RM500 billion by year end, excluding contingent liabilities.

He also accused the government of continuous deceit in trying to pull wool over Malaysians’ eyes.

He said coupled with the 3Ds, the latest Australian policy is certain to spark off a massive brain drain from the country.

“It will be the fourth and final D in Malaysia’s 4Ds,” he added.


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