YAB Prime Minister Calls for Foreign Businesses to Step Up Efforts to Help Strengthen Malaysia’s Future-ready Competitiveness

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PUTRAJAYA,  1 August  2019:  The Prime Minister, YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged  foreign businesses  in  Malaysia  to  scale  up  efforts  in  driving  innovation  across  industries  as  well  as  in partnering  with  Government  towards  making  Malaysia  an  attractive  investment  destination globally.

YAB Tun Dr Mahathir  said this  at  a  roundtable  dialogue  with international chambers of commerce which was organised by Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) today. “There have been a lot of narratives centering on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, automation, Internet of Things (IOT) and other technological advancements  and  how  all  these  are  expected  to  impact  all  industries.  We  may  also  say  with certainty that  Industry  4.0  will  change  the  kinds  of  jobs  needed  across  all  market  sectors.  It  is important to note, however, that while change and disruption are the new normal, talent and their developmental needs continue to be vital,” said  YAB Tun Dr Mahathir  in his opening speech,  before the commencement of the closed-door dialogue.

“There is much to be done to ensure our human capital possesses the right skills to value-add and  do the creative, empathetic and interactive in a technology-driven landscape. It  is also essential for the public and private sectors to work closer together to drive the development of an Industry 4.0 ecosystem in Malaysia, one which enables us to fully optimise all our sources of talent, be they local graduates, the Malaysian diaspora, skilled foreign talents, or our in sufficiently leveraged pool of latent talent,” he added.

Themed  “Empowering Malaysia’s Workforce, Nurturing Talent for the Future”,  the  dialogue is the  first  of  what  is  planned  to  be  a  series  of  engagements  between  the  Government  and  the foreign business community  and aims to be a dedicated platform for  both parties  to  contribute feedback and ideas for strengthening  Malaysia’s standing as  a  preferred  destination for foreign investment.

The dialogue  was attended by  over 30  representatives from  20  foreign chambers  including the Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry Malaysia (JACTIM),  the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUMCCI).  It  also reiterates  the Government’s commitment to  building a balanced  and dynamic  talent ecosystemcapable of attracting  leading investors into the country  for  partnerships,  financing  and  capacity building  for  the  future  of  work.  Towards  streamlining  the  facilitation  of  expatriate  talent,  a tripartite collaboration was formed among the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), the Immigration Department  of  Malaysia  (JIM)  and  TalentCorp  which  led  to  the  establishment  of  the  Malaysia Expatriate  Talent  Service Centre (MYXpats Centre).  Through the provision of  fast, efficient and customer-oriented expatriate immigration services, the  MYXpats Centre  helps enhance  the ease of doing business in Malaysia by enabling companies and investors to attract the employees they need to grow.

“As Malaysia moves towards globalisation, having a diverse  pool of  local and global  skilled talent will be crucial in addressing  the fast-evolving needs of the industry.  I believe it is important to remove restrictive  employment visa requirements for expatriates, which has long proven to be  a constraint preventing companies from accessing the skills they need to move up the value chain,” said Minister of Human Resources, YB M. Kula Segaran who hosted the dialogue.  In  support  of  the  Government’s  efforts  to  boost  Malaysia’s  image  as  a  “preferred  choice”  for foreign  investors,  YB  M.  Kula  added  that  the  Ministry  of  Human  Resources  (MOHR)  will  be presenting  several  proposed amendments  towards  reforming the labour market and improving labour efficiency and productivity, in line with the  priority areas highlighted during the Mid-Term

Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).  The proposed amendments include  enhancing overall protection  to  employees,  increasing  productivity,  reducing  working  hours,  and  complying  with international labour standards, among others.

“This roundtable discussion is the largest gathering of  business  chambers in a dialogue with the Prime Minister to date, with  20 chambers from around the world  sharing  the ambition of enriching their  investments  towards  this  nation  and  ensuring  that  Malaysia’s  human  capital  growth  and potential  will  benefit  all  parties,”  TalentCorp’s  Deputy  Chief  Executive  Officer,  Sivakumeren  A Narayanan said during the closed-door dialogue.

He  went  on  to  say  that  towards  strengthening  Malaysia’s  value  proposition  for  prospective investors,  TalentCorp  collaborates  with  the  Government,  industries  and  learning  institutions  to elevate the country’s talent base. This is done by  enhancing Malaysia’s talent pipeline to ensure graduates and emerging talent are equipped with the right skills required by industry; promoting talent diversity  by  optimising  Malaysia’s diverse talent sources towards the creation of a more inclusive and qualified workforce; and  facilitating  talent mobility  by leveraging the skill sets of

Malaysians who have studied or worked overseas, as well as highly-skilled expatriate talent in the country.As an agency under MOHR, TalentCorp works to attract, nurture and retain the best and the right talent to galvanise Malaysia’s journey towards developed nation status.