There is a brilliant doctor in NZ, a plastic surgeon to begin with, who is also a research scientist. Nothing too dramatic about that, except that in doing plastic surgery, he covered a lot of birthmarks on kids. He researched into it with hospital and research funding and when that ran out, he put his own money into it. He has managed to obliterate many birthmarks using novel and less invasive ways of treatment. What is remarkable is that his research is a big stepping stone to curing cancerous tumors.
Birthmarks will grow and multiply, they have stem cells and blood vessels (quite a major discovery by Prof Swee Tan), which means its close to tumors that grow. However, most birthmarks stopped growing after a while as if there is a stop switch. It is that stop switch that Prof Swee Tan is looking for which could very well be the key to curing or stopping cancerous growth.
So, why the headline? Well, he was born and raised in Malaysia. Did his university in Australia but OZ rules that all overseas students had to leave the country on completion. However, it was NZ which saw his potential contribution early and took him in.
Is it Malaysia's loss or Australia's loss??? .... Nah, top local political honchos will just shrug their shoulders saying "apa itu ..., di sini apa pun tarak... buat apa kita try to attract him to stay in Malaysia".
Side note, we have natural resources, we even have great tracts of land for development, Nusajaya is fine but we are at a loss to attract the right people and industry. Imagine over the years, we probably have let slipped at least 100 super achiever types like Prof Swee Tan. If we had nurtured them, provided the funding, resources and attention, we could have a viable plastic surgery sub industry, and we would have Koreans coming to our shores for surgery and not the other way around. And that is ONE TINY LITTLE EXAMPLE. Which is also why the Talent Corp won't be effective because its trying to bring down King Kong with shots of rubber bands from your fingers. It has to be a holistic top-down, from ground zero change of mindset, of education, of entitlement,of meritocracy, of citizenry ...
I believe the Australian medical community regard that as a very big loss - in terms of research leadership and flow on benefits.
But the one reading this feeling most angry , perplexed and disappointed should be the Singapore government "wtf... how can we let that slip through our talent netting, unforgivable, this is easy meat ... we must always take full advantage of 'meats' raised in Malaysia and then they simply allow us to take them in their productive years".