One way to attract young foreign professionals.

My letter to The Star’s editor has been published today. While I’m grateful that I got heard, the published version had been through the mincer, over, under and upside down.

Here, I’m reproducing the original letter I sent:

Dear Editor,

With reference to the article “Flexible Permits for Foreign Specialists” (, I would like to applaud the Human Resources Ministry for discarding the present system of which foreign skilled knowledge professionals are unable to switch to companies of their choice unless they return to their home countries and reapply with the new company.

While the Malaysia My 2nd Home is a successful programme in attracting foreign retirees to our country, the new ruling by HRM will be able to attract young foreign skilled professionals intending to live permanently here as law-abiding, tax paying residents.

However, due to the present system, many of them face difficulties when the companies that they are interested in working for are hesitant in hiring them due to the arduous and complicated process of applying for new working permits. Ultimately, the difficulty in securing a job in spite of their professional skill and knowledge would leave them no choice but to leave our country. To add salt to injury, their Malaysian partners who are likely to be skilled professionals too would have to leave their country of birth in order to be with their loved ones. As such, the implementation of the new ruling is certainly a step into the right direction in preventing the phenomenon of “brain drain” currently faced by our country.

With skilled foreign professionals soon having the choice of working for companies that are best suited to their skill sets and vice versa, they will be able to stimulate our economy and employment market with local spending and most of all, valuable professional knowledge.

Yours sincerely,
Kimberly Low

4 thoughts on “One way to attract young foreign professionals.”

  1. Hi Kimberly,
    Fully agree with your post. As a comparison, the UK has I think 3 main categories of permits (maybe more but these are the more important ones). One is the outright work permit that a company has to get for a potential hire- which is the pain in the arse one. The other ones are called Tier1 and Tier2 visas. Essentially the former is targetted at white collar workers and the latter, at the boys in blue. It works on a points system where a person qualifies based on previous earnings, university degrees and all that jazz. This generally works in a country that depends on foreign migrant workers e.g. the UK, especially within the banking sector. The only problem with this is a country is always exposed to a sudden shock which may tip the balance e.g the mass return of the Polish builders when the economy back home was good or more recently the current turmoil and the thousands of ppl laid off in the city.

    To cut a long story short, i am still in agreement with anything that can bring some form of competition into the country so that ppl start to wake up to the world that we are in. Compensation will improve as well with moves such as this and more importantly, and this may draw some flak, we should stop thinking that Malaysia is always the number one destination for everyone (tourists, investors etc) because we are not.

    We just happen to be along the way to somewhere else.


  2. andycjw: why so preoccupied with pulling back those who have left when there’s a huge untapped resource waiting to be retained and nurtured? after things here are fixed, they will automatically come back la

    spike: thanks man. exactly, malaysia has to wake up and smell the coffee basically and i’m glad something is finally happening.

    friedbeef: true that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *