Saturday, July 2, 2011

Do we have a brain drain problem?

Yes we do.

Many of our people have got their brains in the drain.

We have failed to define reality. We fail to see right as right and wrong as wrong. And because of that, we’ve become myopic. We become unable to see things in a balance.

Yes, we definitely have a brain drain problem. Many of our people, even some within the intelligentsia, have got their brains in the drain.

Correctly defining reality is the first step in dealing with any issue. If we define it right, then based on that definition we can envision what we need to do. We can then come up with a plan to act on it. If a problem needs a solution, we have to define the problem correctly to arrive at a correct solution. If our definition of reality is wrong, our actions will be wrong, and our solutions will create even more problems.

Allow me to give you a few examples. Let’s talk about the NEP.

One side can see nothing right with it; the other side can see nothing wrong in it. One side is unable to see that NEP funds have been wrongly used for undeserving people who drive expensive sports cars and live in mansions. The other side can’t see that the NEP has significantly helped millions of poor Malaysians out of poverty. Even if there are numbers to show it and there is proof for both sides, they will be adamant in denying the fact. This, folks, is how it looks like to have our brains in drains.

Let me give you a second example.

We have some people with elitist attitudes. They complain about the ‘brain drain’ problem. Our smart people are being lost to other nations, while we are attracting ‘lowly’ foreigners like the Bangladeshis or Nepalese. As an automatic response, they define racial policies as the thing to blame for the brain drain.

This is a classic example of wrongly defining reality. We make opinions without thinking about it first.

The reality is many of our forefathers too emigrated from somewhere else. Just google ‘brain drain’, and you’ll find that emigration happens all around the world, race-based policies or not. It’s a natural tendency. If not, we would all still be in Africa. The elitist forget that our forefathers came here the same way. Our forefathers arrived as immigrants too, many as lowly manual workers; worked hard and made a difference. If the natives at that time were not as gracious to welcome us as they were, many of us would not be here today.

If we fail to define reality correctly, we fail to see things in a balance, and we’ve got a serious brain drain problem indeed. Too many of our brains are stuck in the drain.

Can you identify the brain drain problem in relations with the BERSIH experience we are going through today?

Anas Zubedy

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