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Launching of the Talent Corporation - Najib Razak
Speeches

Launching of the Talent Corporation

  1. Program Transformasi Ekonomi (ETP) yang telah dilancarkan pada 26 Oktober 2010 yang lalu dijangka akan menjana lebih daripada tiga juta peluang pekerjaan di dalam industri-industri bernilai tinggi di dalam negara. Untuk mencapai hasrat Malaysia menjadi ekonomi yang bertaraf antarabangsa, kita perlu melaksanakan inisiatif-inisiatif untuk menarik, membangun dan mengekalkan modal insan berkemahiran tinggi yang diperlukan untuk ekonomi berpendapatan tinggi.
  2. Untuk memahami dengan lebih mendalam keperluan pihak industri dan isu berhubung modal insan berkemahiran tinggi, satu “Talent Lab” telah dianjurkan pada bulan November 2010 yang disertai 20 peserta dari golongan profesional dalam sektor awam dan swasta. Peserta-peserta “Talent Lab” ini telah mengadakan sesi konsultasi dengan lebih daripada 200 ahli golongan profesional dari sektor awam dan swasta. Penemuan “Talent Lab” ini telah di bentang dan akan dipertimbangkan untuk pelaksanaan oleh pihak Talent Corporation pada tahun 2011.
  3. Ladies and gentlemen,

  4. There is broad agreement that Malaysia must look at all sources of talent, including Malaysians, our Malaysian Diaspora and foreigners both in Malaysia and abroad. We particularly want to nurture our youth who will be our future leaders and managers. One young person I have met recently is a good example of this. He is a Public Services Department scholar who graduated last year with a degree in economics from Harvard University. Given his interests, he had the opportunity to participate actively in discussions related to the Tenth Malaysia Plan and ETP. Despite being only 23 years old, he very effectively briefed myself and the Cabinet on the ETP economic model during the ETP labs.
  5. Clearly, we must ensure our youth are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, so they can contribute to the nation’s development. This requires taking a broad view on ways to optimise their involvement in the broader national interest, be it in the public or private sector.
  6. Ladies and gentlemen,

  7. Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Government will allow selected students in the Public Service Department’s scholarship programme to serve their bond outside the civil service. This will include Government-Linked Companies and private sector corporations, particularly those related to NKEA sectors – those that are important to the New Key Economic Activities. We recognise there are many ways to contribute, and we are creating opportunities for scholars to do so.
  8. Many Malaysians have achieved international success while working abroad. Datuk Jimmy Choo has become a fashion icon. He is working from his London base to establish a shoemaking institute in Malaysia. Another example is Professor Danny Quah, who is the department head and professor of economics at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science. He also serves as a member of Malaysia’s National Economic Advisory Council.
  9. These are examples of top Malaysian experts who are living abroad and contributing meaningfully to the nation. While we welcome the Malaysian Diaspora back, we will also continue to engage those living abroad and consider how best they can contribute to our country’s transformation.
  10. Ladies and gentlemen,

  11. I would also like to announce that the Government has approved a policy to introduce a resident pass, which accords the holder the long-term right to reside and work in Malaysia. The resident pass will be made available to highly skilled expatriates seeking to continue living and working in Malaysia. Unlike an employment pass, the resident pass has the advantage of not being tied to an employer and it can be issued for a longer period. The resident pass also covers the spouse and can work here.
  12. The resident pass will also be made available to our Diaspora – those originally from Malaysia as well as their offspring who no longer hold Malaysian citizenship. The resident pass is one way to offer them a linkage to Malaysia and give them the flexibility to return whether to work or to be with family members. The Immigration Department will be ready to receive applications for resident passes by the 1st of April next year if not earlier.
  13. Ladies and gentlemen,

  14. In undertaking an economic transformation, Malaysia must build both world-class companies and world-class talent. The transformation will require the effort of both Malaysians and foreigners. There are some who still view foreign skilled workers as substitutes for Malaysian skilled workers, and hence believe that foreign knowledge workers are taking jobs away from locals. On the contrary, foreign knowledge workers complement our Malaysian workforce and can interact with others in ways that increase the overall productivity of everyone involved. Furthermore, the presence of foreign knowledge workers can help create more job opportunities for Malaysian knowledge workers.
  15. For example, at Intel’s operations in Kulim, various research and development projects have been undertaken in Malaysia due to the presence of certain domain experts. They have created teams of Malaysians around them. If not for them, a number of high value-added Malaysian jobs would be lost. Creating a more open and flexible labour market in Malaysia may be seen as providing jobs for foreigners but, in fact, it is critical to create new business opportunities and new jobs in Malaysia for Malaysians. Some of the new positions could be in regional and global roles. This approach will help us retain top Malaysian talent. Ultimately, it is about building an effective partnership with foreign experts in order to nurture and retain world-class Malaysian talent.
  16. I had the opportunity to meet with a number of expatriate corporate leaders, many of whom have been in Malaysia for more than 10 years. They have demonstrably contributed to the nation. I took this opportunity to encourage them to regard Malaysia as their home. One whom I met is the CEO of a leading hospital in Malaysia. Over his many years here, he has had to advertise his job in the newspapers every year. This should not be the case.
  17. Ladies and gentlemen,

  18. I would like to reiterate the Government’s position that Malaysia is open for business. We welcome highly skilled foreign talent who are able to work with us to drive Malaysia’s economic transformation. For that reason, there will no longer be a requirement to advertise for key expatriate positions. In addition, the Cabinet has approved relaxation of employment pass conditions. Specifically, this involves lifting the 10-year limit and mandatory understudy requirement for executive positions.
  19. The new policies on immigration announced today are in addition to other improvements already implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs. For example, since July, a point system for Permanent Resident (PR) status has been fully implemented. The system is based on specific criteria, including academic qualifications and investment value to Malaysia. With such a point system, the issuance of Permanent Resident status for talent is expected to be more transparent and efficient.
  20. Ladies and gentlemen,

  21. As I mentioned at the beginning of my speech, Talent Corporation Malaysia is now established as a new government agency that will begin operations on 1 January 2011, under the direction of a Board of Trustees, which I will serve on as chairman. Additional board members will include:
    • YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department
    • YB Dato Sri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, and
    • YBhg. Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, Ketua Setiausaha Negara
  22. Johan Mahmood Merican will lead the organisation as its Chief Executive Officer. In addition to the Board, he and Talent Corp will also be supported by a consultative advisory panel, which will be set up to include a broad membership from the private sector, industry and civil society.
  23. This is just the beginning. With the establishment of Talent Corporation, we will be able to step up our efforts to strengthen Malaysia’s talent pool as required for our economic transformation. However, Talent Corporation cannot act alone. Talent issues are broad and complex, so these goals cannot be achieved by a single agency. Therefore, the Government will continue to engage both industry and talent to ensure our efforts are aligned, as we work to achieve our economic goals for 2020. Please join me in this important cause.

Thank you.

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