Lim Kit Siang calls on Australia Government to expand education opportunities for young Malaysian to make up the brain-drain of Qualified manpower from Malaysia to Australia
Parliamentary Opposition Leaders, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, has suggested that Australia greatly expand educational opportunity for young Malaysian in all field of professional, scientific and technological expertise, to make up for the brain-drain of qualified manpower from Malaysia to Australia.
There are at present 25,000 Malaysian who have migrated to Australia, mostly in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Most of them are doctors, engineers, dentists, accountants, computerists and teachers, and as such constitute a serious brain-drain for Malaysia.
Mr. Lim made this point at separate meeting with Immigration, Education and Foreign office officials during his visit to Canberra.
Mr. Lim meeting was with the new Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affair, Mr. John Menadue. Mr. Menadue, 45, was Ambassador to Japan until his new Immigration appointment a week ago, and had previously served as head of the Prime Minister’s Department.
Mr. Lim raised some of the problem faced by Malaysian in their application for visas, which Mr. Menadue promised to take note and look into.
Mr. Lim also met Mr. F.R. Smith, assistant Secretary of the International Education Branch, Department of Education, and Mr. M.E. Lyon, First Assistant Secretary, South East Asia and South Pacific Division, Department of Foreign Affairs.
At all the three meeting, Mr. Lim stressed the importance of continued provision of higher education opportunity for Malaysians in Australia.
Mr. Lim urged that the Australian authorities should sympathetically permit Malaysian students who wish to go over to complete matriculation in Australia, as he expected a very large increase of applicants from next year onward, especially because of the total switch to Bahasa Malaysia medium in the education system.
Mr. Lim also suggested that the Australian authorities should also permit Malaysian students to go to Australia to do senior secondary education for those who wish to continue to do tertiary studies in Australia.
At the meeting with the Immigration, Education and Foreign Office Official, Mr. Lim said that although Australia must finally decide on educational places, it would be to the mutual interests of Australia and Malaysia that the most liberal policies are applied to enable an increasing number of Malaysian students to pursue higher studies in Malaysia.
Mr. Lim said that this would also give concrete meaning to Australia’s profession of North-South Dialogue – where the under-development countries help the lesser developed countries.
Mr. Lim explained to the Australian officials that it was a mistake for anyone to think that those who come to Australia come from wealthy families. In fact, the majority of the children come from families whose parents are suffering great hardships to support their children overseas to get university education. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that many Malaysia families are literally ‘slaving’ to support their children abroad.
As such, the Australian government should not d anything which could only aggravate their hardships.
At Canberra, Mr. Lim was given lunch by Senator Peter Sim, Chairman of Australian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mr. Lim also called on the Malaysian High Commissioner, Dr. Awang bin Hassan.