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Discussion thread during SEAL Youth Conference 2012

SESSION 1: GOVERNANCE BRAIN DRAIN: MALAYSIA Human capital is the bedrock of any country. Worrying trend in recent times: Talents are leaving, and this does not help us achieve Vision 2020 Reasons for brain drain:
1. 2.

Social injustice Chinese and Indians feel like they are not treated accurately. Compensation Lucrative salaries abroad (Gives them more career advancement)

3. Career prospect Overseas better job opportunities. 4. Malaysian education system is not recognized universally.

Solutions 1. Policies. Talent Corporation attract people back. Scholarship Talent and Retention Program Career incentive Companies and tax reduction (Proposed by the PM) 3.


Build up and enhance a pipeline to connect with people abroad Using the resources abroad but using it to help out locally Extract information and implement it here Upgrade education system

In Indonesia: proficient lecturers going out of country, better prospects and social welfare overseas Solution set a budget for increasing the lecturers salary Student leaders: Keep speaking up and writing articles to encourage government to increase the level of education in countries Solution Tax reduction for skilled talents who earn at least RM 100,000 abroad Two ways: Prevention and encouraging talents to return to home countries.

Thailand: Provide scholarship for high school students, government funded, all the way until PHD. Students under scholarships have contract with the government. Give high salary to doctors so they dont have a need to go out of the country. We have to recognize that it is a free world and that we cannot stop people from going abroad. Find a way for people overseas to be able to invest in their home country, pipeline We should inculcate a sense of genuine patriotism towards the home country so they will naturally want to serve and contribute to it, from early age. Look at part-time contribution to country Improve the standard of living of the home country Put aside prejudice, work on meritocracy Create more jobs for skilled labour Cause: Misconception that life overseas is always better, popular trend, these perceptions are created by media Make young people more aware of the whole picture, both sides of the story Private and government sector have to work together to encourage entrepreneurship


1. Inequality between quality of education in rural and urban -

Teachers in rural are not up to standard Competitive environment in urban areas Facilities- ICT MATH, English, Science (Discrepancy)

2. English -

Second language Not using it in real life, just another subject (2 hours per week). Parents dont speak the language (No one to practice with) English is a universal language but Thailand cant keep up

1. To increase the capacity of the teacher, scholarships and improve the

environment. English reading material

2. Train the teacher. Good teachers are needed to produce good students. 3. Give people opportunities through student exchange programs 4. Joint school program on an international scale 5. Solve other social problems- poverty etc that aggravate situation.


In SEA, English proficiency is pretty much a general problem Lack of necessity to general public How to create environments where there is a necessity to speak English: English classes from early age all the way to college. Maximum exposure. Myanmar: English proficiency is of secondary importance. In rural areas, English proficiency is not a necessity.

Malaysia: The problem is essentially due to the mentality that speaking English is something foreign that seeks to divide; it takes away from staying true to culture. This affects the education system for English-based subjects are instead taught in Malay. Organizations that help: Peace Corps, Teach for Malaysia. Problems: A language and its culture is never mutually exclusive. Less competence because they learn solely English for communication. Centralized education system, education used wrongly as a tool to promote nationalism; education stunted by nationalism. Laos: Government leadership important, should merge education policies with national development plans. Brunei: English taught from early age, even used in homes. English Reading Week. Downfall: Link between language and culture. Being able to speak the English language proficiently is incorrectly seen as the betrayal of ones own culture.

ENVIRONMENT (Indonesia) One of the mega bio diversities in the world Prone to climate change

Climate Change Root Causes 1. 2. 3. Deforestation, forest fires, degradation Good forestry policies bur weak implementation and enforcement Little planning in investment More intense rainfall and sea-level rise Warming ocean bleaching of corals

Regional Consequences 1. 2. SEA is heavily reliant on climate-sensitive sectors Affect regional security of ASEAN (Haze affects everyone)

Global warming threat to National Security Food (Affects crops climate change)

Solution 1. Regional collaboration and provide the necessary support system for better adaptation 2. Strong inter-governmental policy and planning coordination among various ministries and governmental departments. 3. Lack of adaptation strategy

Discussion Myanmar Same problem with Indonesia (Climate change, global warming) Similar policies, no implementation Lack of education and awareness among the public.

Eg: Building dams to generate electricity Mixed reactions from the people Mentality of the people Not caring until youre affected by it Focusing more to national security

Indonesia Climate change education forum and expo to create awareness Environmental issues are complementary in most countries Not important until a problem arises Central ministry to coordinate all issues with related groups Prioritizing environmental issues

Philippines Its not fair to choose between environment with development Experts to analyze and find solutions Using KL as an example- green development Sustainability Complement environment with development Encourage the youth to involve themselves with environmental problems

Vietnam Buddhism No conflict between providing basic needs and saving the environment Be moderate , balance our cravings and need for sustainability Life simple but more eco-friendly lifestyles.

Indonesia Energy and Efficiency Department Posters on saving energy (awareness)

Session 2: Economy INCOME DISPARITY (INDONESIA) Rich get richer, poor get poorer Why does it exist? Decreasing economic growth of the country Increasing Poverty rate Uneven tax rates

Triggers various social conflict, demonstrations affect environment for foreign investment Problems related with income disparity The growth in economy does not reach all layers of society

Solution Internal solution: convert labour intensive industries to capital intensive industries to absorb labour External solution: Work to make ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 a success Harmonize macroeconomic policies in Southeast Asia Be aware of government economic policies


How ASEAN cooperation can solve income disparity- multilateral trade incentives Help avoid economic crises deepening in ASEAN countries- learn from Euro Zone shortcomings Share expertise and knowledge Modernize and develop economic sectors that are already institutionalized but do not generate high income- develop it to become high income using technology, R&D e.g.: Agriculture, Manufacturing industries, Fisheries, Forestry

For commercial industries, have to take care of the welfare of the employees. Give authority to control resources to a democratic government Philippines: traditionally agriculture to economy based on manufacturing. Government should recognize what economic sector is specific to the country in the first place/the niche area. Re-analyze our economic niche areas using data and research. We have to recognize that we are developing countries traditional economies are still the strength of our economies . What we have to do, instead of trying to follow in the footsteps of advanced countries, we should protect and develop (same activity, different productivity) traditional economies. Reduce tax on traditional economic activities and develop them Thoughts on subsidies and other forms of handouts Governments giving money away: Determine the target group first and foremost. Strike a balance between tax paid by the rich and the subsidies that should be given them

Uneven Development (VIETNAM)


Geographical Growth Disparities and not by sector Poverty in rural is higher compared to the poverty rate in urban Under employment rate Rural 6.3%, Urban 3.2%

1. Improve Investment Policies -

Benefits local economies and people Govt gives money to the local people to build tourist sites For example: Hoi An Tourist Site Economic boom Bad policy affects the local people (they arent used to the technology and are not educated properly.)

2. Education Equality -

Current environment is not conducive Infrastructure and transportation insufficient for rural education Help rural people have better access to quality education Eg organization : Vietseed Foundation Works with donors and students Financial support for college/school, living expenses, tuition, fund-raising, mentoring and personal support These graduates give back to the community after graduation

3. Practical Initiatives -

Stimulate small-scale industry growth to support the local people. Short-term training programs and mentoring for SMEs (Networking and mentoring) Priority to rural areas

What is needed

Governmental support and commitment Engagement of multiple stakeholders Financial support from Organizations


Education, infrastructure, healthcare. Media awareness has helped raised money to help the students (via Internet) Vocational courses and English training sessions rural because there is no visible incentive or market.

1. Financial aid is needed to help support. However, banks dont like to invest in

2. Central bank & governments have to lay out framework for financing these

ventures via microfinance


1. Bruneians reliant on the oil & gas industry- no diversity in economy, not going

to last forever
2. Plans to diversify: agriculture- schools to train fishermen and farmers 3. Rice production co-operation with Philippines: start up export business 4. Halal food exporter 5. SME incentives & loans 6. Attract investment 7. Developing technology, knowledge transfer 8. Government give allowance

Discussions Thailand: ASEAN should work together to be independent as a region and not fully dependent on other countries so as not to be strongly affected by global economic crises.

Should develop our own industry and technology (Especially research on Science and Technology) Technology, knowledge, SEAMEO

Malaysia: Cyber hub for everyone to share. IT developments include:

- Social gaming, social networking - Experts to come to Malaysia to teach and guide the young entrepreneurs - ASEAN countries to collaborate with the the Silicon Valley - Interested countries : Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam - Other countries do not put that much emphasis on IT at this point in time.

ASEAN countries need to work on common fundamentals; finding common ground and developing it via partnerships to open up avenues for collaboration and development, create a framework for integration

Vietnam: ASEAN countries should develop tourism collaboration; e.g. Relaxed immigration between ASEAN countries and tax incentives Education: Twin-exchange study programs among one another



Problem: Emigration out of village to cities/overseas for better prospects. Low skilled labour often mistreated and exploited due to misinformation and illegal syndicates that traffic labor out of country Create awareness through education, encourage the learning of the English language. Work with the agencies that deal with sending labour out of the country International cooperation and regulation is needed.


All comes down to proper education Ban Ki Moon R2P, responsibility to protect our workers, regardless of whether they are immigrants or not Illegality: reduce exploitation of the immigrants that come to host countries using illegal channels With legality, you can support on both sides, the recipient countrys side and the country of origin Cause: Weak implementation of laws Philippines: The government glorifies those who work abroad because of the remittances they send back which in turn boosts the economy of the countrys origin. In delegates opinion, this is a bad mindset to encourage.

SOCIAL WELFARE (Philippines)


Huge disparity between social classes A large number of the population working abroad 4Ps program distributing 35 USD to hardcore poor families each month (living cost is roughly 150 USD a month for an average family) Criticism: why not use money for long-term development projects? It doesnt solve the problem of poverty; susceptible to corruption; very complicated application process, deterrent for people who actually need help Solution: Public forum proceed with current program or reduce the budget and channel it into long-term solution


Food vouchers eliminate room for abuse, does not eliminate poverty Training and education for the needy so they can be self-sufficient. Money given should serve as capital. Money would be better spent in vocational training so people who used to be on the receiving end will be able to be transferred into the job market. Research program, implement social mobilization plan Use microfinance

Health Care (Myanmar)


Establish and empower localized community health care, decentralize healthcare system to increase accessibility Encompasses reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health, combatting diseases Healthcare nonexistent in rural areas Too little government expenditure on health Problems: inefficient hospital management and administration; shortage of manpower, high price and low availability of drugs and equipment Solution: Decentralize(not privatization) and localize, empower community based organizations, enrich health care professionals, research, advocate state increasing public health budget


Drugs are highly taxed, pharmaceutical supplies monopolized Take away money from some sectors and channel it into healthcare

Health related to HIV/Aids (Laos)


Problems: Not enough access to sexual health education, rights to health treatment, lack of govt support/policy Solution: empower young people to take ownership of HIV response, support integrated funding of sexual and reproductive health and HIV interventions for youth, ensure that socioeconomic needs of young people living with HIV are addressed, address the legal policy and social barriers that young key affected populations face

CONCLUDING RESOLUTIONS Key themes resonating through all issues are: Education Corruption Governance with integrity Key players to address global issues: Government NGOs Educators Financial institutions Civil Society

Lessons to take away: Understanding different needs, stages and priorities of different countries and different sectors Having a mindset of co-operation and not of rivalry/enmity within ASEAN region The necessity for young leaders to read, research and learn about issues affecting their own countries and others as well