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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Overcome the hindrances faced by talents returning to Malaysia

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that in his efforts to publicize the Talent Roadmap 2020, the Prime Minister should pay special attention to hindrances such as promotion system, bureaucracy and drastic reduction of pay for those specialists who return to serve this country.

On 25.4.2012, Dr Tan comments on Datuk Seri Najib's extravaganza on Talent Roadmap 2020 to attract many peofessionals to work in Malaysia. There are three thrusts: Optimise Malaysian Talent, Attract and Facilitate Global Talent and Build Networks of Top Talents.

In the last 54 years, every time there is a new Prime Minister, he shows his interest in talents. Datuk Seri Najib is no exception. He sets up Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad with full publicity to attract and retain talents. He promotes, among other things, cooperation of public and private sectors and enhancing the management of scholarships. We hope he succeeds in getting truly able people.

Talent is a gift of nature. It gives the person greater freedom to move. Some countries like USA and Singapore offer attractive conditions for such people. Are those from the Prime Minister more enticing?

In the midst of the publicity, Najib has not explained how he would overccome obstacles faced by professionals who return to this country such as steep reduction in salary, lack of transparency in employment, inability to make use of  the skills of returnees, purchase of equipment only through Bumiputera companies, outdated institutions and racial factor affecting promotion.

In many institutions like a public university, racial factor, the difference between home grown personnel and returnee affect promotions. Faced with this dilemma, some keep mum, but others simply leave the country.

For example, a specialist returns to serve in a university hospital suffers a pay reduction of over 50%. But  there is a ruling that all home grown doctors who have had 8 years of service are promoted directly to the payscale of DU54. Returnees are offered DU53, which is one rung below, and under the instituion's regulations, this is the highest scale it offers a new employee. Even if a returnee qualifies and works  overseas for over ten years, that service is not counted. Further, he or she enters on a temporary contract. It takes six months to obtain a permanent contract and that pushes the starting date back by six months. Actually, the person would have to wait 18 months before the next pay increment.
In the private sector, a returning professional may not be restricted by instituional regulations as found in the public sector. In public institutions, hindrances such as promotion aand remuneeration regulations exist.
Superficially, Najib's extravaganza on talents is one thing, getting into the roots of things in the public institutions is another. Is the Prime Minister serious about Talent Roadmap?

Tan Seng Giaw


At 7:32 PM, Blogger KoSong Cafe said...

I believe some are attracted by the immediate benefits like the opportunity to bring in two luxury cars without import duties, and the lower income tax rate fixed at 15%. Some are actually forced to leave countries like UK and other European countries facing bad times, and such offers are grabbed as opportunities for the short term.

I always believe our present system and people in charge in various departments are wary of people from overseas who seem to be treated better than them under the scheme. Other than the disadvantages mentioned at the point of recruitment, the locals are likely to resent new recruits despite their years of experience and higher posts held overseas.

Overseas experience in many fields can only be gained while overseas. There are international organizations like UN, World Bank and so on, which would only recruit people with overseas experience or require them to be based overseas.

I have a friend who graduated in International Relations from UM in the 70s, with a wish to join the diplomatic service. Until his retirement a few years ago, he had never been given a chance to do so!

There are many Malaysians with much exposure in other countries and vast network of foreign friends and associates who are in top positions in various international organizations. These should be recruited instead of sending people who need to start from scratch, the networking part. Or at least send people like my friend who had the relevant degree instead of those without.


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