Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 15th January 2010:
Why Muhyiddin go to UK to urge the return of the “best brains” while completely blind, unconcerned and insensitive to the loss of “best brains” to neighbouring Singapore or the 300,000 Malaysians who emigrated since last general election?
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin went to London to urge the “best brains” working abroad to return home and drive the country’s new economic model, but he had been thunderously silent in the past five days at the news from across the causeway that two Malaysians topped the 2009 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination.
The question Muhyiddin must answer is why go all the way to the United Kingdom to urge the return of the “best brains” while he is completely blind, unconcerned and insensitive to the loss of the “best brains” to neighbouring Singapore or the 300,000 Malaysians who emigrated since last general election?
On Monday, it was reported in Singapore that Lai Kai Rou, 16, from Selangor, emerged tops in the island republic, scoring 10A1s. She studied at CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School (SNGS) which also topped Singapore schools with 14 of the 42 island-republic’s best scorers being its students, scoring 9 A1s.Lai’s success is all the more remarkable given that she was struggling with her studies just four years ago, when she first arrived in Singapore.
Her primary school was a Chinese school so she used to do maths and science in Chinese when she first arrived in Singapore. She admitted having a hard time adapting to the English standard.
Last year’s top 0-level student in Singapore, Haw Sue Hern, who scored 10 A1s, is also from Selangor.
Lai is a Singapore Education Ministry scholar. The question Muhyiddin, who is also Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Human Resources, should address is why Malaysia continues to be helpless, unconcerned and even insensitive to the brain drain of the best and most talented young Malaysians to Singapore, right from the start of secondary education.
Is he aware that increasing incidents like the “Allah” controversy will only drive more Malaysian talents to other shores instead of returning or remaining home to drive the new economic model?
Can the Cabinet Committee on Human Resources headed by Muhyiddin come out with a masterplan to stop such a brain drain by not only ensuring that there is a quality education system in the country but that all talented Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, would be assured of equal opportunities both in education and employment as well as full respect of the constitutional right of all Malaysians?
Otherwise, the KPI and NKRA for education can only be one of failure.
Dare the KPI Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon fail the Deputy Education Minister-cum-Education Minister in his first KPI/NKRA for education? This will be Tsu Koon’s own KPI and NKRA.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor