According to recent news reports, foreign students in Australia will soon be eligible for work visas lasting two to four years after graduation from an Australian university under immigration rules to be introduced next year.
Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was reported to have said that the expansion of the Skilled Graduate visa scheme would “help to enhance the competitiveness” of Australia’s A$18bil (RM57.5bil) inbound student industry. This would potentially allow all 220,000 foreign university students in Australia to work in any job once they graduate.
This new Australian work visa policy for graduates is almost set to be the final nail in the coffin for Malaysia’s 4Ds of Deficits, Debts, Deceits and brain Drain. There are an estimated 20,000 – 30,000 Malaysian students in Australia, and when this new policy is implemented next year, our country can almost be assured of an exodus of talent as they will definitely stay on to work in Australia where they can enjoy greater salaries, greater freedom and greater prospects in both life and career.
Why is it that the Australian government is able to be so proactive and quick to grab opportunities while our own government is so lackadaisical and merely standing by as droves and droves of Malaysian talent continue to leak out of the country?
Last month, Talent Corp Malaysia, the agency tasked with the role of reversing the brain drain in our country, announced that their returning expert programme has managed to entice 680 Malaysian professionals to return last year, and 400 in the first four months of this year. While the improvement is steady, the question arises whether a mere couple of hundred Malaysians returning can compare to the tens of thousands who will now inevitably make Australia their home after completing their studies there?
The fact is that until and unless we shatter the glass ceiling by addressing the fundamental flaws in our country with regards to its failed policies of rewarding mediocrity over meritocracy, we will never be able to attain the fabled high-income status that the Prime Minister is shouting about.
Coupled with the 3Ds of a spiralling national Deficit, which is set to reach RM59.7 billion after the supplementary budget tabled last week, a national Debt that is set to reach the RM500 billion mark by the end of this year excluding contingent liabilities, and the continuous Deceit by a government that is trying to pull a wool over our eyes, this latest policy announcement by the Australian government is almost certain to spark a massive brain Drain that will be the fourth and final D in Malaysia’s 4Ds dilemma.
Lim Guan Eng
澳洲新的毕业生工作准证政策，将决定马来西亚政府4D: 赤字(Deficits)、债务(Debts)、瞒骗民众（Deceits）和人才外流（Brain Drain）治国的成败关键因素。