Nurture, keep and attract experts during the Ninth Malaysia Plan
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to improve the methods and the atmosphere for nurturing, attracting and keeping talents in Malaysia. We desperately require this social and cultural milieu.
We need good people in all sectors. If we succeed in getting these talents, Malaysia will definitely become a developed nation. In fact, whatever weaknesses in the United States of America (USA), her strength is in attracting and retaining clever people from all over the world. As the most powerful and the richest nation on earth, she will never change this policy or social and cultural milieu.
Of the Five Thrusts in the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9 MP), Thrust Two is 'enhancing the National Capacity for Knowledge and Innovation and Nurturing Citizens with " First Class Mentality".'
I agree with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that this is one of the biggest challenges under the 9MP.
I shall keep reminding the Government of the three strategies, namely, the mastery of knowledge; capabilities in science, research and development (R & D) as well as innovation; and a cultured society with strong moral values.
For education and training, 9MP allocates RM50.6 billion (23%). This huge sum is a step in the right direction. We hope that it will be used effectively.
Malaysia scarcely has the scoial and cultural milieu for knowledge, R&D and innovation. For many years, there have been talks on these including tax incentives to attract professionals to return from overseas. There have not been many takers. We see this lip service on meritocracy and talents in government departments, non-government organizations (NGOs) and political parties. Those who prattle on meritocracy may be the very persons who discourage talents. A person in a high position or aspiring to go up may feel threatened if there are talented people around. Mouthing meritocracy, he or she may ward off these people directly or indirectly. How do we get rid of this feudal mentality in government departments, NGOs, guides and associations?
In the midst of incentives, can the Government make sure that experts who return from overseas get equivalent positions to those they have achieved overseas such as the United Kingdom (UK) or USA? If a scientist in UK is in a position to become a professor in a renown university in UK, can he or she be offered an equivalent post in a leading university in this country? Similarly, if a specialist is good enough to be a consultant in a famous hospital in UK, can he or she assume a consultant post here? Returning to this country means they have a much lower income. The least we can do is to give them recognition. The Government should examine this and other aspects in implementing Thrust Two.