The migration of professionals to foreign countries, known as brain drain, is a prevalent problem in Malaysia, and according to the HR ministry, Malaysia’s brain drain rate of 5.5% is much higher than the global average of 3.3%.
As a possible solution to the matter, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently shared that the government is looking at various ways to address the issue including the matter of dual citizenship.
“I am sure this can be done. It is ongoing… and as you know we are encountering the problem of brain drain in the past years. Top scholars, economists, and accountants are leaving (the country) or have left.”
“So, now we have to make sure that we have a system that can encourage them to come back,” he said.
When asked if there was a possibility for the government to allow dual citizenship to encourage Malaysian professionals living abroad to contribute to the country’s development, without having to choose between their homeland and adopted countries, he stated that the matter would be discussed by assessing the implications of the implementation, as it would involve a major policy decision.
“The foreign minister and home minister will put up a paper and discuss its implications. For now, we are not in favour of it, but since there were requests, we’ll look at it and see whether we need to adjust (the policy) or not.”
He said the relevant ministries, including the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry, Economy Ministry and Higher Education Ministry, were engaging with those who could return and be placed in specific areas of competence to help Malaysia.
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