I find the recent announcement by our PM of a new visa status for recruiting talented Malaysians back to Malaysia, rather worrying for it ends up creating a new class of elite with privileges that extend above other equally talented Malaysians, who may have chosen to stay instead of migration (not that they did not have opportunities to do so).
For one, foreign spouses of these talented Malaysians would be able to find jobs locally, while the problems of foreign spouses marrying our local talent still remains unresolved. The problem of foreign spouses in Malaysia is a long and complicated problem, with many of them giving birth to tax-paying working professional Malaysian talents, but still need to visit the Immigration department regularly with their husbands to extend their social visit pass.
This is a worrying sign. While I applaud the government’s efforts at attracting talent to Malaysia, the signal that it sends is that those who actually made the decision to stay and fight the good fight, are now relegated to second class talents. Instead, it rewards those who decided to turn tail and run away from all the problems that plague our nation with perks on top of perks.
Please be fair and allow all foreign spouses to get their PR in accordance to our laws instead of the whims and fancies of the local immigration departments. Also, make the country a suitable environment for nurturing and growing local talent instead of buying these same talents back after forcing them out of the country due to misguided policies on the ground.
There is obviously a brain drain problem in Malaysia, but it is more than just about those who have decided to pack up their bags and leave the country. There is also the problem of those within the country, who are relegated to the benches and not appreciated. I have more to share about this issue but that will the subject of another blog at the end of the month.
However, what I think would be useful to our government is this – make Malaysia more startup friendly. We could create a new class of founder visas – for people who are interested in starting up companies in Malaysia. That would really help increase the mass of small and medium enterprises in Malaysia, which are the backbone of any strong economy.
PS: If Malaysia gets more and more hostile towards me, I might need to move elsewhere. But for now, I will stay and fight the good fight. 🙂