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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 11th January 2011: 

Malaysian as top Singaporean student for third consecutive year should be important agenda of Cabinet meeting tomorrow

A Malaysian as top Singapore student for the third consecutive year should be important agenda of the Cabinet meeting tomorrow if the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is serious about the New Economic Model and the Economic Transformation Programme to give top priority to retain and attract talents to catalyse Malaysia’s economic transformation.

In Singapore’s GCE ‘O’ Level examinations results yesterday, a Malaysian, 16-year-old Chia Pei Yun, was the topscorer with 10A1s from the school-leaving examination.

Chia, from Kuala Lumpur, completed a hattrick for Malaysians and also her school, Convent CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School after following the footsteps of Selangor girls Lai Kai Rou and Haw Sue Sern.

Chia is a former student of Kuen Cheng Girls’ School in Kuala Lumpur.

The Cabinet tomorrow should be reminded of the dire warnings of the New Economic Model last March, which said:

“We are not developing talent and what we have is leaving. The human capital situation in Malaysia is reaching a critical stage. The rate of outward migration of skilled Malaysians is rising rapidly.”

“Globalisation has created a fierce competition for talent, forcing companies and government to recognize that people are the most valuable assets. To compete on a regional and global scale, Malaysia must retain and attract talent. Malaysia must be seen by its people and others as a land of equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and family.”

The case of Malaysian students topping the Singapore schools for the third consecutive year is a sombre warning that despite all the glib talk and sloganeering about 1Malaysia, GTP and ETP, brain-drain of the best and brightest Malaysians have proceeded at a even faster pace than the past.

Unless the Cabinet is prepared to come out with a commensurate response, even the formation of a Talent Corporation will not be meaningful in checking brain drain to retain and attract the best human capital in the country, the most important pre-condition to save Malaysia from bankruptcy in 2019.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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