It’s no wonder that Najib Razak has pumped hundreds of million ringgit into the TalentCorp Returning Expert Programme (REP). The efforts required to satisfy the demands of these talented experts is apparently “an enormous feat”.
TalentCorp is part of the prime minister’s Transformasi initiative. Najib and Pemandu CEO Idris Jala sit on the TalentCorp board of trustees.
TalentCorp CEO Johan Mahmood Merican told Astro Awani in an exclusive interview yesterday that it is “an enormous feat” to satisfy the demands of the invaluable “assets” which his outfit – Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad parked in the Prime Minister’s Department – has attempted to lure back to Malaysia.
BELOW: TalentCorp advertisement for REP to bring professionals like these back
These “assets” – like the couple pictured above – are viewed by TalentCorp as “experts” but they are Malaysians living abroad in places such as Singapore, China, United Kingdom, Australia, United States and Qatar.
So TalentCorp is spending a whole lot of money trying to persuade these Malaysian experts to leave Singapore, China, UK, Australia, US and Qatar where they are now and to return “to give back to our nation” through contributing their special skills.
The expertise so desperately sought by TalentCorp are in the fields of Energy, Oil & Gas, Business Sectors, Financial Services, and Communication, Content & Infrastructure sectors, according to the Astro Awani story.
In the last four years, TalentCorp has brought home some 3,600 Malaysians via the REP. That averages 900 experts a year.
Last year (2014), the PM’s Dept allocated TalentCorp a Special Projects budget of RM58,450,000 (RM58.5 million) – see table above, as well as an operating budget of RM20,000,000 (RM20 million).
That works out to a cost of close to RM87,000 – or more – per pax to headhunt these so-called expert talents who have agreed to come back to work in Malaysia.
This year, TalentCorp was given RM30 million for just its ‘Industry Academia Collaboration’ programme alone.
TalentCorp is an enormous black hole endlessly swallowing money and the public is not told how much exactly.
The three examples cited of the TalentCorp budget are just the tip of the iceberg between 2014 and 2015. How much are they getting for next year? How much had been given to TalentCorp in the previous years? We’d really like to know.
Malaysia suffering from ‘brain-drain intensity’
Johan said the current economic and political climate in our country is making it difficult for TalentCorp to attract or persuade Malaysians residing overseas to return.
“We know that the [job] offer must be attractive enough for them to once again join Malaysia’s workforce,” he told Astro Awani.
TalentCorp officers have been travelling to cities like Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Wellington and Auckland to hold their programmes in hotels like The Marriott, Hilton, Novotel, Sofitel, Stamford Plaza etc to entice the precious but reluctant human capital purportedly brain drained away.
Aside from Australia and New Zealand, TalentCorp has also held programmes in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan as well as in the Middle East – Doha, Manama, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, etc, etc.
Hotels in the Middle East are real nice – pictures below, where TalentCorp held their events.
TalentCorp has also held its programmes in London at the Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites, Lancaster Hotel, Cumberland Hotel and in Birmingham at Crowne Plaza Hotel, and other cities in the UK such as Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin.
Not only targetting professionals with working experience, TalentCorp held Career Fairs even for students too in Europe. TalentCorp took their “Outreach” events to Paris and other French cities – Nice, Lille and Aix-de-Provence.
Aside from France, TalentCorp has gone to Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf) as well as Belgium (Brussels).
It’s obvious that TalentCorp works very hard trotting the globe in order to try and bring the demanding experts home. It is indeed an “enormous feat” considering how dissatisfied the Malaysians abroad are with the economic and political climate here and now.