Malaysia has been facing a severe brain drain for decades, and studies found that around 2 million Malaysians are currently living abroad, with the amount doubled since 2010.
Recently, a post on the r/Malaysia subreddit titled “Is it true that Malaysia purposely drains the brain drain…? Or there’s a rationale behind it” sparked a huge debate online.
The post shared a TikTok video by user @jessica_sin as she shared her experience of applying for a scholarship from the Public Service Department (JPA) for overseas study.
According to Jessica, she scored 9A+ for all core subjects and was active in extracurricular activities during high school but did not manage to get the scholarship. The reason, you guessed it — racial discrimination.
“Like for my SPM in 2010, I got 9A+ for all core subjects. I was very active in extracurricular activities, having held leadership roles, and also represented my school in various English and Math competitions.”
“But when I went to apply JPA scholarship from the Ministry of Education, they rejected my overseas scholarship application and I found out that Bumiputeras get overseas scholarships in developed countries for 4-5 years even when they only scored a few As,” she said.
Special rights does not mean sidelining other races
Jessica said she does acknowledge that Bumiputeras have special rights, but this does not mean the Bumiputeras can choose not to recognise the effort of the other races.
She added that while Malaysia rejects her, she was offered full scholarships without bond from universities in Australia and the United States.
“And you wonder why so many talented Malaysians move abroad. Look at the state of the Malaysian economy, foreign investors pulling out, and RM is dropping to a low rate, especially against USD and SGD, talent is moving abroad and we are falling behind.”
“If we want our country to prosper and improve, we need to appreciate people that can contribute,” she said.
In the comment section, a huge debate on the reason behind Malaysia’s brain drain sparked, with some agreeing with Jessica that racial discrimination is the root cause of this issue, while others think it was something else.
Read the comments from Redditors here: