It is not Malaysians residing abroad who are unpatriotic but rather those who are corrupt and their defenders, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim said this in condemning Umno deputy minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman for his reported remarks that Malaysians living overseas are “unpatriotic” .
“If that is the case why not abolish Talent Corp, that was established to attract talented Malaysians home?
“It is corruption and those who defend corruption, not those living overseas, that is unpatriotic,” said the Penang chief minister in a statement.
Lim said this was because the various cases of alleged financial scandals and corruption have resulted in losses to the country.
He also pointed out that the Malaysian government signed the TPPA to gain better market access and exposure for Malaysians in global trade, a move which would include working and living overseas.
“If that is unpatriotic, then why should Malaysia sign the TPPA?,” he said.
'Apologise for remarks'
As such, Lim called on Tajuddin to withdraw his reported remarks made in the Dewan Rakyat last week on “unpatriotic” Malaysians residing abroad.
Lim added that Tajuddin must apologise for his “irresponsible and extremist remarks” if the BN government is serious about encouraging talented Malaysians to return home and contribute to the country’s development.
“The BN’s mindset of blaming those who left the country because of better employment and pay opportunities overseas will only encourage more talented Malaysians to leave.
“Economic hardship is not the only reason,” he said in urging the BN government to address other pressing issues such as decline in the rule of law and oppression of basic fundamental liberties.
Tajuddin, who denied concerns surrounding a brain drain, had urged those residing abroad to return when asked about various news reports which he claimed were aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the country.
Lim, however, cited a recent study by independent global property consultancy Knight Frank that 26 percent of Malaysia’s ultra-high-net-worth-individuals are considering migrating in the next decade, in comparison to the regional average of 16 percent.