Returning Home

Apr 14, 2014 1 Min Read


Hi, I write this in response to Poonam Balan’s article on March 22 about Malaysians returning home and how TalentCorp plays a part.

I, for one, do believe in TalentCorp’s initiative and vision to get Malaysians abroad back home. I attended its seminar in Doha. It gave me a lot of insight and made me want to pack my bags and head home.

But their focus, and I know why this is so, is mainly on individuals in the extremely, highly paid oil and gas segment that are based in Doha. The remuneration earned by these professionals is quite blinding. You are looking at millionaires in a few years. This is also the segment that is hardest to attract to return home.

What I wish for is that there is something for people like me to move back to: people who are in the marketing and commercial field. I have been actively sending applications to potential employers. Most do not reply – that is the norm, I believe. The ones who do reply tell me I am an expensive asset.

I know the move back to Malaysia involves making a lot of changes. My move to Doha was not meant to be for 10 years but it has been that long and for the past year or so, I have been applying with no positive feedback.

The only positive feedback I received was from TalentCorp who did my paperwork, processed and approved my application.

In terms of job hunting, it has been a frustrating hunt and still is. I love my country, I love my city, I love being a Malaysian and everything about home. My home, family and friends are in Kuala Lumpur. Due to the nature of my industry, I am able to return to KL frequently so there is no detachment from home.

I have thought through the financial impact, life adjustments and so forth, and I have made the conscious decision to return after weighing in all the factors. The extremely frustrating part is not being able to score a job.

My experience in the industry I am in and the type of work I do seems to have no bearing on the Malaysian economy. What is sad is that I was attached with one of the biggest entities in Malaysia which has a policy of not recruiting ex-staff. I left the organisation on good terms. But unfortunately this policy has not been helpful.

So, to read how wonderful it is to be home, how we love our nasi lemak and how unique Malaysians are as an export- I relate to it all. I just cannot seem to score that all elusive offer that would enable me to make that move.

I write this because it was wonderful to read about returnees and how they have immersed back to our wonderful unique culture. Really and honestly in all of my work, living abroad and travels, I have not come across anything that resembles our melting pot, our tolerance and acceptance of different races, religions, food and just how we immerse in each other’s culture and come under that umbrella of 1Malaysia.

But at the same time it is frustrating because I cannot seem to be in that league of “Malaysian returnees”. This is the story of the other side of the same coin – the ones who are still struggling to get an offer back home.

Thank you and much regards,

MA – the one that is STILL based in Doha


Dear MA,

Thank you for your kind comments and candid insight. Stories like yours is one of the motivations that drives TalentCorp’s work and the very reason why I joined the effort.

It took me a year of being back in KL before I secured opportunities to my liking. Your desire to return home should remind us all of how fortunate we are to be Malaysians. I think all Malaysians living overseas understand what you’re going through, a feeling of being neither here nor there. I cannot thank you enough for writing in to us and I hope this feature of your career search gains attraction with potential employers. TalentCorp will of course continue to facilitate your return home.

Please continue to stay in touch.

Warmest wishes,

Poonam Balan

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