Reversing The Brain Drain Requires A Paradigm Shift

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The brain drain is not a simple issue of migration. The competition for the highly skilled, given globalisation and urbanisation, occurs between cities more than between countries. Good working conditions are paramount, and are detrimentally affected by principles of political inequality.

WHEN THE WORLD BANK LAUNCHED its Malaysian Economic Monitor’s “Brain Drain” issue, I received a hurried call from a friend. His contact, the chief author of the report, was concerned that the matter would be kept under wraps by the Malaysian government, and hoped that it could be disseminated far and wide and discussed openly. The concern was that it painted Malaysia in a bad light, and this indictment on the country would be a slap in the government’s face, perhaps. The report made no apologies for the situation at hand: that Malaysia has suffered significantly over the last decade, having lost its best talents to other more developed nations.


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