Brain Drain seems to be a hot topic in Malaysia. I'm not going into politics or some racial matters but facts and figures.
The Economic Transformation Programme came into the picture with Talent Corp formation to focus on facilitating initiatives to attract, nurture, engage and retain talent to support the human capital.
Disclaimer : I have no qualms against whatever is right for Malaysia to move towards 2020 and I write this article with FULL understanding of Talent Corp. and the need to call for Malaysian talents from outside to return.
However, the questions lingering in my mind have never been properly answered by anyone in charge but whenever I ask the "silent majority"* which being "sampled" from the group of 40 years old and above, ranging from local young CEOs, MDs, Directors to scholars, freelance professionals etc.
*Surprisingly, some are working together in this program and have received 'instructions from above' to participate.
Here are their questions :
a) What about local talents that have nostalgically returned to this country a long time ago? What will happen to them? Are they not good enough to compete with the newbies? (this is not MY question, this is THEIR question)
b) Will there be salary scale difference for the local talents (also with accredited foreign qualifications) who have been working so hard developing the country in their very own way IF the "Malaysian talents outside" are to return to the country to respond to this call?
c) Does this mean that the local talents with local accredited (MQA) universities/institution of higher learning qualifications including local competency training institution (MLVK) and workshops/trainings that have been accredited outside Malaysia are more inferior? That we have to get Malaysians from outside that have "better" qualifications, skills and knowledge?
I sometimes wonder the need for "ranking the local universities to others" (except for acquiring grants for R & D that I do not know about*) when MQA's assessment is more than enough and equivalent to British Accreditation Council.
* Universities set 'mechanisms' via these R & D Grants and NOT 'innovations' according to one dean of a faculty.
d) Has anyone been asking some of the so-called talents outside that the countries that they are so proud residing are also having major problems to even maintain their very own economy?* Do a poll and find out! No names and personal details should be given. Otherwise they won't be telling the truth!
*Quoting General (Retired) Bill Creech in his book "The Five Pillars of Total Quality Management" which goes something like this :
"If the US universities are so good, why is the US economy doing so bad?"
e) Has anyone been asking some of the so-called talents outside what do they REALLY feel about returning to Malaysia - now that they have a GOOD remuneration and unmatchable to what the Government is offering? Do a poll and find out! No names and personal details should be given. Otherwise, they won't be telling the truth!
f) Has anyone been asking some of the so-called talents outside what do they REALLY say about Malaysia to foreigners, how they talk proudly about other nation and not being ungrateful or not even "recalling" where they come from?
Some are even "having amnesia" pathetically attempting their level best NOT to tell where they come from - even using foreign slangs to avoid detection. What a joke! Even worse, some of them are requesting to become foreign citizen.
Then another question should be posed...What about EX-MALAYSIANS who are now official foreign citizens?
These are only some of the questions go unanswered till now.
Before you start to say anything, please be reminded that I am NOT against everyone outside as many of us here now are foreign graduates as well.
And I did saw MANY GOOD Malaysians outside saying this to me :
"Give the local talents another chance, we are fine over here and we will come back eventually"
I've noticed over the years the growing trend of staff especially from the civil service chasing for better qualifications by studying up to MBA and PhD. But again, do qualifications really help nowadays when there is no control imposed over it?
(so many private and government institutions of higher learning are being established with so many academic programmes being offered and with so many people are now madly chasing for higher qualifications thinking of future promotion? Some even dare to "bypass" JPA and using their own expenses to gain a higher qualification. I once asked them (when I was lecturing for a UK-Based program in 1997) :
Q : "Why do you come here?"
A : "This program is accredited by JPA"
Q : "Yes I know, that's the reason why I am standing in front of you now, this program is also accredited by LAN (now MQA)" Forgive me for asking - I like to know if you have been permitted by JPA or your superiors to participate in this course?"
A : "No, but I will give them a copy of the qualification and hope to be promoted - either salary wise or designation wise"
Q : "I'm curious...what if they say this to you "I didn't ask you to do this?"
A : (pause for a while...) "What should I do?"
Q : "Either you ask for their permission now, or your answer should be "I'm looking for another job". And most importantly, I don't want you to start blaming me or this company or this course for not getting you a promotion!
(followed by laughter and the guy nodded his head in agreement...anyway, I followed up with him after he graduated with Honours, he told me that whatever I've predicted DID happened and he's now working as a General Manager for a private company (retired early)
1) When people come and tell me that we are lacking of English Language Teachers, I noticed that it is the 'senior generation of the English Medium or of Foreign Educated' stood up to answer the call but nobody seems to bother.
2) When people come and tell me "What kind of right approach to teach English for working people" I answered : "Teach them according to their expertise, so you need people from the field itself coupled with adequate fluency in English to teach working people...
for example, Civil Engineers, what do they need really? Take checklist or report writing for example, you need to teach them to understand how to describe words like "workmanship", "supervision" etc. Or you need to ask them question of what do they need from this course and you should be answering "in their lingo" by giving them samples of report which they can immediately use after taking the course. So, killing two birds with one stone - you teach them English and you teach them civil engineering "Report Writing"
3) When people come to me and start underestimating "SKM Level 3 to 5 (MLVK)" (thinking that it is only a 'cert') and started comparing with their Degree.
I told them this :
"Did you know that the "SKM Level 5" is a lot better than your Engineering Degree?
Quoting OSH regulations - phrase "a competent person" let's say "Welding and Fitting" - you should counter refer to any "Welding Codes of Practice" and you will find that he is much more AUTHORIZED to attend to "Welding and Fitting" rather than you M & E Degree.
The M & E graduate got more interested and finally I told him this :
"Bitter it may sound but we have different too many ministries to handle different trades. Academic is MOE's and MHL's turfs but SKILL and COMPETENCY are MHR's "babies"!
Learning to pass exam is DIFFERENT than learning how to work! But passing exam is the foundation and learning how to work is the next level which have not been properly introduced in our country. That's why employers keep giving you excuses "You don't have working experience - so you don't get the job"
I'm telling the universities or any other institution of higher learning be it private or government "Don't give guarantee to students or parents that they will get a good job once they have graduated"
There are few universities been integrating both academic and skills/competencies, take for example Defence University of Malaysia, I've visited them, talked to the ex-deputy vice chancellor and very impressed with the results!"
I'm also really shocked to learn ISO 9000 has been "legalized" (or rather "politicized") when it is only an international standard (a guide NOT gospel) And every other party started to emerge in the "power play"...I can name few "training authorities" that have proudly instructing me that "you consultants must be registered"
They said to me : "You don't register with us, you will not be recognized"
I asked them back : "Can you give me a project if I am to be registered with you?"
They replied : "No, No, No, we cannot give you warranty that we will award you with any project"
I replied : "So you want my money but you don't want to give yours"
They vetoed : "This is regulations"
I said in my heart : "yeah..you're HIDING behind regulations" and you're telling me that my "foreign chartered membership" is now invalid?
So I took a peek into "their system" that was displayed by a dismayed client and I quickly asked the client :
"Where's the method statement (according to the trades)...say "earthworks, or "piling" etc" These are SOPs and WIs, these are meant for factories and manufacturing, boss - NOT CONSTRUCTION"
"Where's the inspection and test plan, how do customize the manual for construction industry according to the contract mode - "Design & Build, Turnkey etc."? (Permissible Exclusion on Design & Development responsibilities)
"Where's your PQP?" and showed them clauses from the Main Contract (also CLIENT's requirements) requiring sample submission as well.
Where's your sample schedule (they did show but I told them "This is MSP not Primavera..have you been meeting the "construction PMC" lately? or just simply 'copy and paste?'
OHSAS 18000 (Standard for Occupational Safety and Health) has a disclaimer : "Compliance to this standard shall not provide immunity to the law"
Hahaha - and there is not even the word "ISO" in front OHSAS 18000 unlike EMS ISO 14000 and ISO 9000. (Bureaucracy is in progress)
I also noticed ICT companies with "M*C status" are "closing shop" one after another. Many of them told me that the grant is too low, we have no capital and GOD - we have to through so much levels in order to get "more money".
But ironically, those without the "status" are really "prosperous" (We don't need any status or certifications to be rich)
What's the point of having "pre-seed grants" or "level by level grants" or asking ex-participants to participate in any of related programs or having "incubation" courses in hotels with so many batches around and so-called "consultants" and only 1 - 2 will successfully get the "grant" after going into a 'reality show' kind of "pitching contest"?
I recalled seeing one of the participants who talks SO PROUDLY as if he is "Mr. Know Everything" but his business is doing SO BADLY...hmmm "typical"
I like to close this article by quoting a Chinese CEO of a 'very large company' saying this to me:
"How many people with "good qualifications" are known being involved in white or blue collar crimes? I think Nik, it's not so much about qualifications...it's the attitude, experience, competency and most important HONESTY"
I would rather look for honest people (I know when I see one) to take care of my money and organization and I'm willing to train such people to understand what I need, I don't like people who are too "smart" as they are the ones who tend to play tricks with figures. Don't quote me for that"
:-) Nik Zafri: Sorry, I have to quote your very good statement but I won't mention your name
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BIODATA - NIK ZAFRI
NIK ZAFRI BIN ABDUL MAJID, CONSULTANT/TRAINER
Kelantanese, Alumni of Sultan Ismail College Kelantan (SICA), Diploma (Management), IT Competency Cert, Certified Written English Professional US. Has participated in many seminars/conferences (local/ international) in the capacity of trainer/lecturer and participant.
Affiliations :- Council Member of Gerson Lehrman Group NY, Institute of Quality Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Management, Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Association, Auditor ISO 9000 IRCAUK, Auditor OHSAS 18000 (SIRIM and STS) /EMS ISO 14000:2004 and Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS, CIDB (Now BCA) Singapore),
* Possesses 26 years of experience/hands-on in the multi-modern management & technical disciplines (systems & methodologies) such as Knowledge Management (Hi-Impact Management/ICT Solutions), Quality (TQM/ISO), Safety Health Environment, Civil & Building (Construction), Manufacturing, Motivation & Team Building, HR, Marketing/Branding, Business Process Reengineering, Economy/Stock Market, Contracts/Project Management, Finance & Banking, etc. He was employed to international bluechips involving in national/international megaprojects such as Balfour Beatty Construction/Knight Piesold & Partners UK, MMI Insurance Group Australia, Hazama Corporation (Hazamagumi) Japan (with Mitsubishi Corporation, JA Jones US, MMCE and Ho-Hup) and Sunway Construction Berhad (The Sunway Group of Companies). Among major projects undertaken : Pergau Hydro Electric Project, KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, LRT Tunnelling, KLIA, Petronas Refineries Melaka, Putrajaya Government Complex, Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang (SILK), Mex Highway, KLIA1, KLIA2 etc. Once serviced SMPD Management Consultants as Associate Consultant cum Lecturer for Diploma in Management, Institute of Supervisory Management UK/SMPD JV. Currently – Associate/Visiting Consultants/Facilitators, Advisors for leading consulting firms (local and international) including project management. To name a few – Noma SWO Consult, Amiosh Resources, Timur West Consultant Sdn. Bhd., TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore) and many others.
* Ex-Resident Weekly Columnist of Utusan Malaysia (1995-1998) and have produced more than 100 articles related to ISO-9000– Management System and Documentation Models, TQM Strategic Management, Occupational Safety and Health (now OHSAS 18000) and Environmental Management Systems ISO 14000. His write-ups/experience has assisted many students/researchers alike in module developments based on competency or academics and completion of many theses. Once commended by the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia for his diligence in promoting and training the civil services (government sector) based on “Total Quality Management and Quality Management System ISO-9000 in Malaysian Civil Service – Paradigm Shift Scalar for Assessment System”
Among Nik Zafri’s clients : Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn. Bhd, (MRP II, Accounts/Credit Control) The HQ of Royal Customs and Excise Malaysia (ISO 9000), Veterinary Services Dept. Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (Aspects of Project Management – KLCC construction), Corporate HQ of RHB (Peter Drucker's MBO/KRA), NEC Semiconductor - Klang Selangor (Productivity Management), Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia (ISO 9000), State Secretarial Office Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), Hidrological Department KL (ISO 9000), Asahi Kluang Johor(System Audit, Management/Supervisory Development), Tunku Mahmood (2) Primary School Kluang Johor (ISO 9000), Consortium PANZANA (HSSE 3rd Party Audit), Lecturer for Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC) – Authorised Training Center (ATC) – University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) Kluang Branch Johor, Kluang General Hospital Johor (Management/Supervision Development, Office Technology/Administration, ISO 9000 & Construction Management), Kahang Timur Secondary School Johor (ISO 9000), Sultan Abdul Jalil Secondary School Kluang Johor (Islamic Motivation and Team Building), Guocera Tiles Industries Kluang Johor (EMS ISO 14000), MNE Construction (M) Sdn. Bhd. Kota Tinggi Johor (ISO 9000 – Construction), UITM Shah Alam Selangor (Knowledge Management/Knowledge Based Economy /TQM), Telesystem Electronics/Digico Cable(ODM/OEM for Astro – ISO 9000), Sungai Long Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Bina Puri Group) - ISO 9000 Construction), Secura Security Printing Sdn. Bhd,(ISO 9000 – Security Printing) ROTOL AMS Bumi Sdn. Bhd & ROTOL Architectural Services Sdn. Bhd. (ROTOL Group) – ISO 9000 –Architecture, Bond M & E (KL) Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9000 – Construction/M & E), Skyline Telco (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Knowledge Management),Technochase Sdn. Bhd JB (ISO 9000 – Construction), Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM – ISO 9000 & Internal Audit Refresher), Shinryo/Steamline Consortium (Petronas/OGP Power Co-Generation Plant Melaka – Construction Management and Safety, Health, Environment), Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Negotiation Skills), Association for Retired Intelligence Operatives of Malaysia (Cyber Security – Arpa/NSFUsenet, Cobit, Till, ISO/IEC ISMS 27000 for Law/Enforcement/Military), T.Yamaichi Corp. (M) Sdn. Bhd. (EMS ISO 14000) LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd., (Lean Scoreboard (including a full development of System-Software-Application - MSC Malaysia & Six Sigma) PJZ Marine Services Sdn. Bhd., (Safety Management Systems and Internal Audit based on International Marine Organization Standards) UNITAR/UNTEC (Degree in Accountacy – Career Path/Roadmap) Cobrain Holdings Sdn. Bhd.(Managing Construction Safety & Health), Speaker for International Finance & Management Strategy (Closed Conference), Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9001:2008-Internal Audit for Construction Industry & Overview of version 2015), Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn. Bhd. (Full Integrated Management System – ISO 9000, OHSAS 1800 and EMS ISO 14000 for Civl/Structural/Geotechnical Consulting), Malaysia Management & Science University (MSU – (Managing Business in an Organization), Innoseven Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 MSPR8 – Awareness and Internal Audit (Construction), ISO 9001:2008 and 2015 overview for the Construction Industry), Kemakmuran Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 - Signages/Wayfinding - Project Quality Plan and Construction Method Statement ), Amiosh Resources - (1) Lembaga Tabung Haji - Flood ERP (2) WNA Consultants - DID/JPS -Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plan - Prelim, Conceptual Design, Interim and Final Report etc. (3) Tunnel Fire Safety - Fire Risk Assessment Report - Design Fire Scenario), Safety, Health and Environmental Management Plans leading construction/property companies/corporations in Malaysia. Timur West Consulting (1) Business Methodology and System (2) Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya ISMS/Audit/Risk/ITP Technical Team
* Has appeared for 10 consecutive series in “Good Morning Malaysia RTM TV1’ Corporate Talk Segment discussing on ISO 9000/14000 in various industries. For ICT, his inputs garnered from his expertise have successfully led to development of work-process e-enabling systems in the environments of intranet, portal and interactive web design especially for the construction and manufacturing. Some of the end products have won various competitions of innovativeness, quality, continual-improvements and construction industry award at national level. He has also in advisory capacity – involved in development and moderation of websites, portals and e-profiles for mainly corporate and private sectors, public figures etc. He is also one of the recipients for MOSTE Innovation for RFID use in Electronic Toll Collection in Malaysia.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Brain Drain seems to be a hot topic in Malaysia. I'm not going into politics or some racial matters but facts and figures.