Misunderstanding Brain Drain

Our government does not understand brain drain in Malaysia. This is evidenced by our dearest PM’s latest remarks during the launching of Perdana University – Perdana University is a joint effort with the Johns Hopkins University and the Royal College of Surgeons – a graduate school of medicine.

He is quoted as saying that, “I hope the chance to study the best medical curriculum in the world will encourage more of our country’s top graduates to stay at home.”


While I do agree that the chance of studying with top medical expertise from Johns Hopkins might encourage more people to sign up for Perdana University, it has nothing to do with them choosing to leave the country after graduation.

If anything, this might actually precipitate a larger out-flow of brains as once these people are Johns Hopkins trained, they could feasibly move onto greener pastures abroad. The reason for this is simple.

Malaysians are leaving the country by the droves, not because of a lack of educational opportunities, but by the institutionalised problems in the country that stifle the best and brightest while rewarding mediocrity. We can see this all the time in the country.

And it makes perfect sense, in Malaysia.

So, while I congratulate our country for doing a ‘joint effort’ (whatever that means) with one of the best medical schools in the world, I pray that it won’t end up like MUST, which had something going with MIT (remember them?).

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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