PARLIAMENT Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (Talent Corp) spent an average of RM30,000 for each expert it has courted to return to serve in Malaysia.

NONEIn his reply to Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Kluang, left), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid Omar said that Talent Corp received a grant of RM30 million in 2011, RM20 million in 2012 and RM15 million in 2013.

Between 2011 to June 2013, a total of  2,105 experts have returned due to incentives and programmes introduced by Talent Corp.

“This works out to RM30,000 per expert, but the situation in our country is that instead of experts jostling to work in Malaysia we have low-skilled migrant workers.

“It is time to review this approach, and to consider if Talent Corp is the right approach,” Liew said when commenting on the matter at the Parliament lobby.

He added that with more talent leaving the country than coming home, this approach may well be unsustainable.

"Instead of attracting industries which require low-skilled workers, we should support our small medium enterprises so they can move up the (value) ladder," he said, calling for an economic overhaul.

NONEIn his reply, Abdul Wahid  (left) said that the grant provided to Talent Corp include "emolument, start-up costs and office costs".

He added that three-quarters of the applicants are male but all are aged above 30.

About 60 percent of those participating in the programme are Chinese, 30 percent bumiputera while the rest are Indian.

"Professionals approved for the incentives mostly returned from Singapore, United Kingdom, China, Australia, the United States and Qatar," he said.

Attract and nurture talents

Meanwhile, Bernama reports that the RM65 million allocated to Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd is not just for the Returning Expert Programme (REP) but also to attract and nurture talents, Talent Corp said today.

In respect to the response made by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid, Talent Corp said the RM65 million operating cost allocated to Talent Corp was used to develop programmes to attract and nurture talents, whether they be Malaysians in Malaysia, Malaysians abroad or foreign talents, and not just for the REP as reported.

“Talent Corp implements up-skilling programmes for local undergraduates, supports career fairs for Malaysian students abroad and facilitates top foreign talent through its Residence Pass-Talent initiative.

“Therefore, it was misleading to divide Talent Corp’s total operating cost with only the number of Malaysians approved under the REP to derive a cost per person,” it explained in a statement.