“Brain Drain” to “Brain Gain”

“Brain Drain” to “Brain Gain”

SHWE BA

Almost every country complains about “Brain drain” but most of them fail to tap it to get “Brain gain”. Nowadays, with the process of globalisation process, it is almost futile to complain about brain drain but governments should try to gain from this phenomenon.  Why not tap the other countries’ brains as your “Brain Gain”?  We all know that not only the poor countries but developing countries of ASEAN like Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, are losing their professionals, well-trained scientists, doctors, nurses, and other skilled workers to developed countries.  But even the USA, UK and EU countries are experiencing this dilemma nowadays.  Brain drain affects almost all countries.  The Europeans have had a brain d rain to North America for centuries and even today the best and brightest continue to migrate there. In addition, some of the brains from the West, including Australia, are now migrating to oil-rich Arab countries and also to the countries in the East again.There is a great demand for professionals and all types of skilled workers around the world.  Some countries recognised the demand and are accepting limited n umbers of skilled workers through proper channels and of course abiding with strict rules and regulations. However, a lot of countries around the world depend on illegal cheap labour, sometimes because governments could not control the practice but also sometimes because the authorities unofficially closed their eyes as long as the illegal posed no problems. All the countries around the world wish to participate in the WTO and some of the countries are negotiating individually or in groups to get Free Trade Agreements.  All the countries just want to get permission to export their products via GLOBLISATION.  Why should a country want to keep out the people, professionals, skilled and unskilled labourers from free mobilization by imposing barriers, strict rules and regulations?The United States of America was known to be one of the most generous, kind, tolerant and respective countries in the whole world before September 11, 2001.  Its arms were always open to accept freedom seekers and legitimate migrants.  No wonder the USA is known to be the melting pot of migrants.  The country was proud of this reputation and had also reciprocally gained a lot from that farsighted basic policy based on humanitarian grounds.  USA gains profits because it values the widening of an assortment of gene pools, which leads to increased talents.Migrants usually never enter with empty hands or brains.  They bring along their capital, talents, intelligence, knowledge, skills and contacts.  Trade networks widen and trade ties establish among various migrants and also with their old motherlands. For example, US had gained a lot from the migration of Jews.  The Nazi era Jews not only brought in the above-mentioned benefits but also included some rocket and nuclear technologies. Former Secretary of States Hennery Kissinger and Madeleine Albright are Jews. Albright is a first generation migrant who had arrived in USA during her teenage years.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is also a famous immigrant. Even all the previous and present Prime Ministers of Malaysia have immigrant blood.  They have done a lot for Malaysia’s present progress and prosperity.< /div>  Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra also has Yunan Chinese migrant blood.The first generation n of migrants knew and accepted what they were.  They knew that they were just foreigners and were grateful to the host country.  They were happy because they were accepted and allowed to settle in the new paradise.  The hardships and numerous problems in their old countries were still fresh in their memories and were sometimes refreshed by the nightmares which replayed their sufferings.  They were willing to accept all the preconditions, restrictions, rules and regulations even if these were unfair or unfavourable to them, just to be allowed to stay in the host country.  They were glad to struggle and overcome all the hardships they encountered, sometimes even with a spirit of ecstasy.  They had a fighting, never-say-die spirit and almost always worked hard for long hours.  They did not mind even if they had to work with lower wages and without much dignity.Migrant workers are well known to face ‘three D’ work, i.e. Dangerous, Dirty and Difficult jobs or demeaning jobs.Another testimony of benefit to host country I want here to quote an article from the 27.01.1999 issue of The Sydney Morning Herald entitled “A migrant nation still” to offer a rare view on the issue of migrants. “One of the recurring themes of Australia Day speeches has been recognition of the valuable contribution migrants have made to this country.  Anyone who has lived in Australia through 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s would appreciate this.  The waves of mainly British and Irish migrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries built this country’s economic infrastructure, wrote its fundamental laws, erected its political institutions and gave it its distinctive identity.  Post-war migrants, first from southern and eastern Europe, and then from the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, brought skills in short supply, enriched the culture and infused a certain vitality into Australia’s national character.  Australia, in short, is a migrant country and will remain a migrant country for the foreseeable future.  Its immigration policy should reflect this by remaining generous and non-discriminatory.Various arguments have been advanced against this proposition.  One of the intellectually more appealing is that this is a dry and largely barren continent that cannot support an ever-increasing population.  Proponents of zero population growth contend that Australia is already overpopulated – or close to it – in terms of available essential resources, including clean water and arable land.  But this is an argument that judges a country’s capacity to carry a population on the basis of existing technologies, patterns of land use and lifestyles.  It ignores the creative relationship between a people and their natural environment.  In fact the colony almost perished for lack of food in its first 10 years.  But Australia now supports almost 20 million inhabitants and while the possibilities aren’t limitless, they are nowhere near exhausted. Other arguments raised against continuing high immigration levels reflect unsubstantiated fears and unacceptable prejudices: It is often claimed, for example, that migrants compete for jobs with native-born Australians and that they often win the contest because they are prepared to work for less money or reduced working conditions.  That may be true in some cases, but it is not the rule.   Furthermore, migrants also generate jobs by enlarging the market for locally produced goods and by creating new markets for goods and services that were not produced before they arrived.  It is also said that the more migrants there are, the less likely they will be to assimilate to the host society’s laws, conventions and customs.  That may be so, but the result is not necessarily social division or cultural subversion.  Typically it is change for the better.  If migrants didn’t challenge the accepted ways of doing things or try to alter the social situations they encounter, Australia would have lost a vital part of the energy, which makes it what it is today. Australia would be a poorer place to live in, without any migrants..   There will always be problems of resettlement and adjustment – many of which ethnic communities at times foolishly choose to ignore or disown.  But these problems should not be exaggerated or allowed to detract from the overall good sense of the existing immigration program when the bunting has been swept up from Australia Day.” 

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  1. […] “Brain Drain” to “Brain Gain” […]

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