By Chua Sher Hann
Malaysia’s brain drain problem has been a sore subject over the recent years. With less than 1% of Malaysians working overseas having returned to the country in the past nine years, I fear the possibility that we Malaysians will soon constitute an invisible nation that resides outside Malaysia. Ask your friends and colleagues around you, and you will notice that it is almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t know of a Malaysian who is staying abroad. Our national disaster is the result of various pull and push factors. While many who leave are dismayed by our political climate and corrupt practices, most are lured by the attractive wages and job opportunities other economies offer. For instance, law firms in the UK typically pay £36,500 a year for entry graduates, while an average new lawyer in Malaysia earns around RM 21,600. While I am an enthusiastic mamak-goer who loves eating roti canai by the streets of Shah Alam, I am ready to settle for frozen naan breads in the UK if that means I will be earning eight times the amount I can earn back at home. After all, I would prefer the extra pounds to be in my wallet than on my weighing scale.