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Employers assets to be frozen for hiring illegals
14th September, 2016


KOTA KINABALU: Employers in Sabah may face having their assets frozen for hiring and sheltering illegal immigrants.

The Immigration Department will embark on an operation next month to check on these employers. Despite the numerous warnings and hauling these employers to court including getting convictions against them, many employers including restaurateurs and eatery operators are still hiring illegal immigrants.

Anyone found hiring illegal immigrants can be charged under Section 55B(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, which provides for a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or a jail term of up to a year or both upon conviction for each illegal immigrant.

And for those who allowed illegal immigrants to stay in their premises, they may be charged under Section 55E(1) of the Immigration Act, that carries a fine of between RM5,000 and RM30,000 or a jail term of up to a year, or both for each illegal immigrant.

Yesterday, Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali disclosed that the department would start freezing the assets of employers who hire and protect illegal foreign workers from next month.

He said that there is a provision under Section 56(1) of the Immigration Act to freeze assets and bank accounts of employers although it has not been fully enforced.

“We don’t want the public to get shocked when we finally take this measure come October this year. It’s not a new thing.

“We hope the media can relay the message to the public so that we can create awareness, as well as inform employers of the consequences they face when they protect their illegal foreign workers,” he said at a press conference in Sepang.

Mustafar said the department has also discussed the matter with legal advisers. “The department is giving employers until the end of this month to sort everything –their workers’ travel documents, visas and permits,” he said.

On a separate matter, Mustafar said the department would consult with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation, Inland Revenue Board and Malaysian Insolvency Department to help solve the issue of blacklisted Malaysian travellers.

“We would like to suggest to these agencies to come up with a 24-hour help desk at the airport so that they are accessible to the public at all times.

“Although the Immigration Department is reachable at all times, the department is only a gatekeeper and all orders must come from these agencies,” he said.

Mustafar also said that suppliers and vendors of the passport new chip had been instructed to place their officers at entry and exit counters at the airport to help overcome the problem of unreadable passport chips at the automatic gates.

He said such a help desk was necessary because, since the introduction of the new chip in May, chip or server problems had been the main reason for passengers having to endure long queues when entering or leaving the airport.

On the online passport renewal introduced earlier this month, Mustafar said 462 applications had been processed as of last Friday.
http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/9498
 

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Accounting profession to undergo changes to meet global standards
September 27, 2016, Tuesday


(From second left) Johari, Mohammad Faiz and MIA vice president Datuk Zaiton Mohd Hassan at the official launching ceremony of the MIA new corporate office in Bangsar South City.

KUCHING: The accounting profession in Malaysia will soon undergo changes that will see that chartered accountants to meet with global standards.

The changes will be brought about by the upcoming implementation of recommendations made by the Committee to Strengthen the Accountancy Profession (CSAP) set up by the Ministry of Finance.

“The main aim is to ensure that whoever called themselves a Chartered Accountant should have gone through a professional examination which meets global benchmark,” said YB Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, Minister of Finance II of the CSAP recommendation, which aims to enhance governance and quality of the accounting profession.

The remarks were made in his speech while launching the new office of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) in Bangsar South on September 24, 2016. Johari also emphasized the need to build a well-rounded talent for the profession.

Towards this end, he said the Government has established Malaysia Professional Accountancy Centre (MyPac) to strengthen the capacity building of the Bumiputera through academic and vocational education in line with Malaysia’s vision to achieve high income status by 2020.

“This process of continual development is our collective responsibility. We need to work closely with everyone, from multinationals to regulators to further develop the profession.

“With that in mind, I would like to express my appreciation to the MIA for its continued dedication to champion the accounting profession, maintain high standards among members and nurture the next generation of accountants, while navigating the future and focusing on continuous improvement for the betterment of the profession and the nation,” he added.

Meanwhile, MIA’s president Dato’ Mohammad Faiz Azmi said in his speech that the profession is moving forward with reforms and changes to ensure the accounting profession is still relevant in the future.

One example was the move from Brickfields, where MIA’ s office was located for the past 25 years, to Bangsar South, where the new area has a significant number of ICT related companies.

“The MIA has come a long way since its establishment in 1967 and our membership has increased exponentially over the years. Currently, there are more than 32,000 accountants registered with the MIA.

“As a result, the Institute has been expanding its use of technology to meet member needs. In addition, we continue to promote Malaysian Chartered Accountants by signing the Asean MRA on Accountancy Services.

“This will provide opportunities for our members as Asean countries have agreed to mutually recognise accountants with the right skills, experience and quality in each other jurisdictions,”
he said.

He added that the MIA continues to emphasise the need for members to improve themselves to ensure they are still relevant.

Over the last decade, the MIA has led the way by training and developing skill sets of accountants by offering hundreds of programmes with topics covering technical, cognitive and professional skills.

For instance, the MIA in partnership with Royal Malaysian Customs, has been offering a six-day assessed course for potential goods and services tax (GST) agents. The course, which was introduced in 2012, has drawn about 3,800 participants nationwide.

“Moving forward, the MIA is committed to nurturing future accountants who are competent and skilled, in both the public and private sector, that will support our nation’s aspiration of achieving a high income economy.

“We will do so by redefining what we expect of our future accountants by creating a MIA competency framework to define baseline skillsets for accountancy professionals,” he said.
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/09/27/accounting-profession-to-undergo-changes-to-meet-global-standards/
 

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Home / Sabah Local News
Special programme to bridge the socio-economic gap
Published on: Thursday, October 06, 2016


Kota Kinabalu: The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) has introduced the Special Programme Intended for Community Enrichment (Spice) to bridge the socio-economic gap between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

HRDF Chief Executive Datuk CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran said the pilot project is part of HRDF's corporate social responsibility (CSR) which was designed to help locals in the B40 category where the household income is less than RM3,000 per month in Sabah and Sarawak.

"The establishment of Spice is part of the initiatives to improve the income generation of B40 households in Sabah and Sarawak," he said during the graduation ceremony of the cellular phone repair training programme, here, Wednesday.

His speech was read by HRDF Special Project Division Senior Manager Azita Mamat.

Vignaesvaran said Spice aims to equip trainees with the skills and knowledge to enable them to engage in the business field.

Meanwhile, Cellular phone repair training provider, CAL Computer Learning Centre (CAL) General Manager Karen Wong said she is confident that the 25 graduates from Kota Belud will improve of their livelihood with their newly acquired skills.

"We are glad that all of our graduates have gained much exposure during the four-month programme in which we have blended some industrial exposure for them in several major mobile workshop companies.

"Apart from technical experience, they have also gained knowledge in administration, marketing, stock inventory and acquisition during on-site industrial training," she said.
She added that the graduates are ready to build their career in their respective skills and "we look forward to do a joint-venture with them should they intended to do so in any business start-up in their hometown, Kota Belud."

Wong said the mobile era is progressing and CAL capitalised this opportunity to equip local youths with necessary know-how in both hardware and software of mobile setting, troubleshooting, parts replacement and maintenance.

"A common study has proven that the knowledge will bring great impact to our youths who wish to venture into this platform as we see the ever growing needs of every household in the usage of mobile phones.

"This niche market paves way for our youths to deploy their technical skills to provide repair and maintenance services apart from selling the necessary mobile accessories."

Apart from certificates, trainees were also provided with starter kits worth about RM2,500 each, including a laptop, to help them start a business upon completion of the programme.
 

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Industri spa berpotensi jana pendapatan negara
6th October, 2016
OLEH MARRYAN RAZAN [email protected]


KOTA KINABALU: Industri spa dikenalkan sebagai industri yang berkembang maju dan berpotensi menjana pendapatan negara menerusi kerjasama industri pelancongan.

Ketua Eksekutif, Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera (YPPB), Raja Azura Raja Mahayuddin berkata, di bawah Bidang Ekonomi Utama Negara (NKEA) Pelancongan, industri spa negara dijangka menjana RM400 juta kepada Pendapatan Negara Kasar (GNI) sekaligus membuka peluang pekerjaan sebanyak 3,500 menjelang tahun 2020.

“Ini menunjukkan mereka yang mengikuti Program Terapi Spa mempunyai peluang cerah memperolehi pekerjaan selepas menamatkan latihan masing-masing,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang akhbar selepas majlis penempatan pekerjaan Juruterapi Spa dari Excellence Skill Academy (ESA), di Magellan Sutera Harbour, di sini, kelmarin.

Raja Azura berkata Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) akan menghentikan pengambilan pekerja asing atau dasar pengambilan dan penggajian juruterapi spa asing berkuatkuasa 1 Januari 2017.

“Oleh itu kita perlu melatih lebih ramai tenaga mahir di kalangan orang tempatan menggantikan juruterapi spa asing bagi memastikan industri spa terus berkembang,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, antara usaha YPPB di bawah Program Peneraju Skill ialah mengadakan kerjasama dengan ESA untuk melatih juruterapi spa.

“Sebelum ini kita berjaya melatih 50 orang yang kesemuanya berjaya mendapatkan pekerjaan. Sekarang ini seramai 61 orang dan pada Disember ini kita akan mengambil seramai 120 pelatih baru iaitu 30 lelaki dan 90 wanita untuk mengikuti program terapi spa di ESA,” katanya.

Beliau gembira kerana kesemua pelatih terapi spa di ESA berjaya mendapat pekerjaan selepas menamatkan kursus.

“Mungkin sebelum ini ada orang terlepas pandang dan beranggapan kemahiran dan kursus terapi spa tidak dapat menjana pendapatan tinggi, tetapi apa yang nyata, ada diantara mereka memperolehi gaji sehingga RM5,000 sebulan,” katanya.

Raja Azura berkata kejayaan pelatih terapi spa meningkatkan semangat YPPB dan ESA melahirkan lebih ramai juruterapi spa tempatan berkemahiran.

Terdahulu itu YPPB, Malaysian Association of Wellness & Spa (MAWSPA) dan Traditional & Complementary Medicine Association of Sabah (TCMAS) menandatangani perjanjian (MoU) bagi Penempatan Pekerjaan Program Peneraju Skill Iltizam Terapi ESA.

Raja Azura berharap melalui MoU itu, yayasan dapat bekerjasama dengan MAWSPA dan TCMAS untuk memastikan penempatan pekerjaan terbaik untuk pelatih terapi spa.

“Kita juga akan tetapkan gaji minimum antara RM1,500 hingga RM2,000 sebulan sebagai permulaan kepada terapi spa,” katanya.

Pada majlis itu seramai 13 majikan melaksanakan temuduga terbuka kepada 61 pelatih terapi SPA. Turut hadir Pengurus ESA Stella Matuya, Presiden MAWSPA Dr Baskaran Kosti, Presiden TCMAS Dr. Wong Wai Ming, Timbalan Pengarah Giatmara Negeri Sabah Mohd Noh Nawawi dan Timbalan Pengarah Pejabat Kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan Malaysia Negeri Sabah Evangeline Sinagoh.
http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/10016
 

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Riot: Dual training programmes to boost skilled workforce
October 12, 2016, Wednesday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/12/riot-dual-training-programmes-to-boost-skilled-workforce/

KUALA LUMPUR: More collaborations between multinational companies (MNCs) and private training providers are needed to produce at least 35 per cent skilled workforce by 2020, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.

He said the the dual training programmes conducted would be financed by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), a government agency under his ministry being entrusted to collect levy for human resource development, through the training provider.

Citing Germany as an example, Riot said such a system practised since the beginning of industrial era in Germany had been the country’s competitive advantage as well as pillar of strength in their workforce.

“They currently have more than 70 per cent skilled workforce with the highest number of skilled workers among developed countries.

“We are now emulating Germany through our National Dual Training System under the ministry’s Department of Skills Development,” he said at the Talent Development-Siemens graduation ceremony, here yesterday.

His text of speech was read by the ministry’s deputy secretary general Dr Mohd Gazali Abas.

The National Dual Training System is an industry oriented training programme that combines workplace and institutional training.

Talent Development (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer R A Thiagaraja, for his part, said the agency strived to help solve the lack of skilled workforce by providing globally and industry recognised technical certification and qualifications.

He said having a highly skilled workforce in technology driven industries was vital to become a high income nation by 2020 as well as to bridge the gap between fresh graduates and working adults.

Talent Development (M) Sdn Bhd is the first private education partner authorised officially by Siemens to deliver the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Programme (SMSCP) within the Southeast Asian region.

A total of 46 graduates were awarded with the SMSCP certification and 80 graduates were awarded with Siemens Industry Training (SITRAIN) programme certification.

Age between 25 to 40, the graduates were selected and sponsored by their employers to undergo training under the two programmes to enhance their skills. — Bernama
 

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126 Malaysians graduate from Siemens programmes
October 12, 2016, Wednesday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/12/126-malaysians-graduate-from-siemens-programmes/



(Front from seventh right) Vignaesvaran, Lee, Mohd Gazali, Brinckmann, and Thiagaraja are seen with the graduates.

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 126 Malaysians graduated from the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Programme (SMSCP) and Siemens Industrial Training Programme (SITRAIN) recently.

In a press statement yesterday, Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) CEO Datuk CM Vignaesvaran said one of the initiatives to build a strong vocational and apprenticeship culture based on the German model is through the National Dual Training System, which is an industry-oriented training programme that combines workplace and institutional training.

“School leavers or existing workers who meet the criteria can be offered as apprentices by a sponsoring company to undergo training,” he said.

Vignaesvaran said all the graduates are currently employed.

“I am very optimistic that with their professional qualifications, this batch of skilled workforce can always look forward to raising the productivity of the industry,” he said.

The graduation ceremony was held by Siemens authorised training provider and education partner Talent Development (M) Sdn Bhd.

Both SMSCP and SITRAIN are fully supported by HRDF, an agency under the Ministry of Human Resources.

The two industrial programmes, which have been developed from over 25 years of teaching and learning methods in Siemens technical schools in Germany, are recognised by industries worldwide.

Mechatronics systems are a combination of three engineering fields – electrical, mechanical and computer engineering –which play an ever-increasing role in technology and are present in almost every aspect daily life.

The highly-acclaimed SMSCP is awarded by Siemens’ renowned Akademie Technik in Berlin.

Delivered by Talent Development to upskill the industrial workforce, SMSCP is recognised by large and small companies, industrial organisations and associations, schools and government agencies.

SITRAIN, also available at Talent Development, offers a wide range of industrial automation courses to ensure its students graduate with the necessary know-how alongsideadequate knowledge of the industrial requirements.

The programme helps industries to maximise productivity, cost reduction and optimisation of processes.

Ministry of Human Resources deputy secretary-general Dr Mohd Gazali Abas officiated at the event.

Among those present were German Embassy in Malaysia Economic, Commercial and Environmental Affairs counsellor Jens Brinckmann; Siemens Malaysia senior vice-president and head of the Digital Factory and Processes Industries & Drives Division Adam Lee; and Talent Development (M) Sdn Bhd CEO RA Thiagaraja.
 

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ACCA redesigns qualification to groom strategic professional accountants
October 13, 2016, Thursday


KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) took a major step forward in shaping the future of accountancy by unveiling major innovations to its Master’s level qualification, tailored to meet the strategic challenges of the 21st century’s disruptive economy.

ACCA’s new design of its qualification draws on an extensive, two-year review and consultation with members, employers and learning providers.

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA, said, “Our ground-breaking redesign of the ACCA Qualification will give students the forward-thinking strategic abilities and advanced skill-set required of modern professional accountants who will shape the future of global business.

“We’re delivering a qualification that meets the demands of professional accountants in the 21st century, while maintaining the rigorous standards of technical, ethical and professional skills that has established ACCA as the international benchmark for accountancy qualifications.

“These measures are important as they will ensure the rigour and relevance of the qualification remains central to ACCA’s offering in emerging, as well as established, markets.”

ACCA’s latest innovations to the top level of its qualification are new Strategic Professional level exams, which will replace the existing Professional level exams effective September 2018.

There will also be a new Ethics and Professional Skills module, which will be introduced in October 2017. — Bernama
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/13/acca-redesigns-qualification-to-groom-strategic-professional-accountants/
 

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Tencent senior official calls on Malaysians to embrace globalisation
BY GANESHWARAN KANA Monday, 10 October 2016
http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/10/10/be-a-global-citizen/



Lau: ‘We need a moral compass to lead us and the compass is none other than great integrity.’

NILAI: Malaysians should take advantage of the robust pace of globalisation, but in order to accomplish that, one should become a global citizen.

Tencent Holdings Limited senior executive vice-president SY Lau has called upon all Malaysians to embrace technology and digitalisation to enjoy the benefits of globalisation. Speaking at a ceremony at INTI International University and Colleges, the Malaysian-born Lau, who received “INTI’s Alumnus of the Year” award, delivered a speech entitled “Opportunities of globalisation and digital connectivity”.

Elaborating on the concept of global citizens, Lau said that to become an individual who is capable of transcending boundaries, one needs to adopt five important values.

Rejecting extremism, becoming the master of technology, leading with integrity, collaborating rather than competing with others and embracing authenticity within one-self, according to Lau, are the vital ingredients to be a successful global citizen.

Lau, who has over 20 years of experience in the media and Internet industries, is also the president of Tencent Holdings Limited’s Online Media Group. Tencent, which is listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange, is only second to Alibaba Group Holding in terms of market capitalisation size in Asia.

The Internet and mobile value-added services provider owns instant messenger service QQ and the renowned social media app WeChat.

Lau urged Malaysians to pursue moderation and reject extremism outright. He also stressed the need for everyone, especially national leaders, to uphold integrity in governance.

“We need a moral compass to lead us and the compass is none other than great integrity,” he said.

The global entrepreneur cautioned against the increasing global tendency to adopt protectionist policies and self-isolation.

“Nations today can no longer make laws or treaties that rely on self-protectionism for self-preservation.

“The reason is simple, the world is getting more connected,” he said.

Lau highlighted that while the value of global flow of goods, services and finance in 1990 was worth only US$ 5 trillion or approximately 24% of global gross domestic product (GDP), the figure has jumped remarkably to USD30tril in 2014. This amounted to 39% of the world aggregate GDP.

“The value of global flow of goods, services and finance grew by six times.

“For your information, it was not the conventional trade and finance that contributed to such a remarkable growth. Instead, it was due to the fast-paced digital growth,” Lau stressed as he outlined why digital growth should not be underestimated.

Lau felt that the youth should seize available opportunities to realise their entrepreneurial aspirations while bearing in mind the urgency to propagate the positive influence that could potentially drive solutions for global issues.

“My real hope is not that you use it to exploit the opportunities offered by the new globalised world, rather, that you do what you can to make this world a better place,” he remarked. The Alumnus of the Year award is presented to successful alumni of INTI International University and Colleges. INTI, which has been in existence for 30 years, has produced over 55,000 graduates. INTI is also part of the Laureate International Universities network - the largest global network of higher education institutions.
 

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Utusan Online/Bisnes/Ekonomi/
CIDB komited bangun modal insan industri pembinaan
R. UMAVATHI | 19 Oktober 2016 12:13 AM


FADILLAH YUSOF (tiga dari kanan) menyarungkan jaket kepada wakil perantisan kemahiran CIDB, Mohd. Azri Ayub di Kuala Lumpur, semalam. UTUSAN/Farid Janudin

KUALA LUMPUR 18 Okt. - Selaras dengan Program Transformasi Industri Pembinaan yang meletakkan sasaran untuk menghasilkan 5,000 perantis dalam tempoh lima tahun akan datang, Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan (CIDB) telah mengenal pasti beberapa kategori industri pembinaan yang mempunyai potensi tinggi dalam membangunkan modal insan dalam industri itu.

Menteri Kerja Raya, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof berkata, antara kategori yang dikenal pasti itu termasuklah bidang penyeliaan, pengurusan, kemahiran dan keusa*hawanan pembinaan.

Sehubungan itu beliau berkata, CIDB bertindak efisien untuk mengadakan program kerjasama dengan syarikat-syarikat yang menjalankan program pembinaan berskala besar bagi membolehkan golongan perintis itu memperoleh pengalaman me*ningkatkan pengetahuan serta keyakinan diri.

“Program seumpama ini bukan sahaja membina kemahiran bekerja, malah akan memberi impak besar dalam perjalanan karier masing-masing.

“Saya berharap perintis program ini akan diberikan ke*utamaan untuk diambil bekerja dalam industri pembinaan, sete*rusnya menjadi pemangkin kepada produktiviti negara,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika berucap merasmikan Program MRT Young Entrepreneurs II (MYEP II), Safety Supervisor Apprenticeship Programme (SSAP) dan Perintis Kemahiran CIDB 2016 di sini hari ini.

Yang turut hadir, Ketua Eksekutif CIDB, Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid.

Fadillah memberitahu, program MYEP II antara lain adalah untuk melahirkan kontraktor bumiputera muda khususnya golo*ngan siswazah yang menamatkan pengajian bagi membantu menyokong pembinaan laluan-laluan Pembinaan Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) yang merupakan kesinambungan mereka pada 2013.

Beliau menambah, menerusi program yang menjadi medium pertukaran kaedah, teknologi, proses pembuatan dan perkhidmatan ini membolehkan negara melahirkan pekerja mahir yang berkualiti dalam industri ini.

Langkah ini katanya, secara tidak langsung akan mengurangkan kebergantungan negara terhadap pekerja asing dan pada masa yang sama meningkatkan penglibatan pekerja tempatan dalam industri pembinaan.

“Program perintis ini sebenarnya bukanlah sesuatu yang baharu. Program-program se*perti ini telah diperkenalkan di negara-negara luar seperti Jerman, United Kingdom, Korea dan Kanada serta terbukti keberkesanannya,” jelasnya.
http://www.utusan.com.my/bisnes/ekonomi/cidb-komited-bangun-modal-insan-industri-pembinaan-1.396668
 

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Digital literacy the most sought after competency by employers
October 21, 2016, Friday


KUCHING: At 3.5 percent in July, unemployment in Malaysia is at its highest since 2013 and continues to rise. This issue coupled with weak wages and job-growth has given cause for concern among Malaysians who placed the mounting cost of living as the No.1 priority for Budget 2017.

These rising concerns coupled with the fact that almost 200,000 fresh graduates are unemployed, INTI commissioned a landmark survey between 316 employers and new graduates in Malaysia to better understand the demands of the increasingly competitive job market.

Survey findings revealed several gaps in expectations between employers and new graduates in terms of the competency deemed essential to excel at a job. The most pressing dichotomy in expectation concerned digital literacy, where 30 per cent of employers regarded it as the most essential competency needed for job performance while most graduates rated it as the least important competency at only four per cent.

Speaking on the survey findings, Rohit Sharma, chief executive officer of INTI International Universities and Colleges said, “The nature of knowledge is changing and in this digital age, our definition of basic digital literacy needs expanding.

This stark mismatch is worrying because digital literacy, which allows you to live, learn and work in a digital society, is one that needs to be taken seriously.

If unaddressed, the consequent misguided belief that graduates have of themselves – that they are well prepared for employment despite not being sufficiently digitally literate – will only add onto the already dire unemployment issue in our nation.”

To further deliberate on the findings as well as discuss remedies that could improve the employment scene in Malaysia, a panel discussion was held alongside Sharma and industry partners including Gopi Ganesalingam, Vice President, Enterprise Development Consulting, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Simon Si, Head Regional Communications, SEEK Asia; and Jake Choy Yew Wing, an INTI alumnus who is currently a Business Development Consultant (ASEAN) in Oracle.

Another notable finding from the survey is that most graduates (29.5 per cent) regarded communication skills as the most important differentiator while only 6.3 per cent of employers saw it as a differentiating factor in evaluating an employee’s performance.

Employers are beginning to raise the benchmark with most seeing communication skills as a given attribute rather than a discerning trait.

However, Choy emphasised that many graduates regard communication skills as important because communicating with people is the basis of our daily work.

“Being good communicators also allows us to build and maintain relationships,” he said during the session. “That said, the need for good communication skills is contextual. For example, communication skills would play a huge role in first impressions during your 45-minutes interview.”

Sharma added, “The gap in expectations between employers and new graduates as revealed by the survey and verified through feedback from the employers has lent us insight into the current needs of the job market as well as a greater understanding of our students’ perspective on career building. As a higher learning institution, our duty is to bridge that gap by empowering our students to meet the demands of the labour market.”

In line with INTI’s unyielding focus in producing outstanding graduate outcomes, INTI and BDO Governance Advisory also launched INTI’s new 2015 employability figures. It is now validated by BDO that 98 per cent of INTI graduates were employed within 6 months upon their graduation while 82 per cent of INTI graduates are paid higher than market average. Additionally, 25 per cent of INTI graduates are offered jobs before they graduate.

Sharma concluded, “This move serves as a testament to how INTI is constantly raising the benchmark for graduate employability. We are also proud to be setting a new standard for transparency and accountability.”
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/21/digital-literacy-the-most-sought-after-competency-by-employers/
 

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Discussion Starter #191
Reprogramming SMEs to solve braindrain
October 23, 2016, Sunday Rachel Lau
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/23/reprogramming-smes-to-solve-braindrain/



KUCHING: Joyce is a young professional with a background in biomedical science and a Master’s in Business management.

She left Malaysia six years ago to pursue her tertiary education in Australia but chose to return to Malaysia to look for work opportunities rather than remain overseas.

Thanks to her high qualifications, she quickly obtained a job at a multi-national corporation (MNC) where she worked remotely from Penang but was required to report to its Singaporean headquarters.

Initially, Joyce expected her salary to commensurate with her qualifications via attractive career opportunities.

However, her expectations were quickly dashed as she compared her salary to neighbouring OCED countries, noting that the limited new international investors offered her little room for career development.

Despite this, her diligence in her work was quickly realised as she was presented with an opportunity to transfer to her company’s Singaporean headquarters.

This left her in a conundrum as she desperately wanted to remain in Penang but the opportunity was far too attractive to pass up.

“I do have intentions on returning as I love my hometown, and if I was offered a role back home with similar benefits, remuneration and career opportunities, I would accept it in a heartbeat,” she mused to BizHive Weekly.

“However, at this juncture, I feel that it would be the better choice to remain overseas to accumulate wealth and develop my career while I still have my youth and health.” Joyce is but one such example the brain drain issue plaguing Malaysia for years.

Her story is one of many who leave, not due to a lack of patritriotism, but a lack of attractive options.

The emigration of highly skilled labour continues to be an increasingly worrying and prevalent issue facing Malaysia as more and more highly skilled Malaysians are opting to leave Malaysia for greener pastures.



Breaking down the issue

According to a research report published by the Penang Institute entitled ‘The Economic Costs and Gains of Brain Drain: the case of Malaysia and its policy relevance’, it is estimated that the total diaspora in 2013 saw a significant increase to 843,591 individuals, a 35 per cent jump from 621,526 individuals in 2000.

Breaking down these statistics further, it was reported that 64 per cent of Malaysia’s diaspora is concentrated in the top three major occupation groups which require high skills and qualifications.

Majority of our high-skilled emigrants are professions such as lawyers, accountants, and pharmacists. This is followed by the second largest group consisting of technicians and associate professionals such as nurses, trade brokers and real estate agents.

One of the major reasons as to why we are losing our highly-skilled labour is a large difference in remuneration as compared to other countries.

The report also noted that the annual net wages in Malaysia from high to low skilled employment was consistently less than half of what countries such as Singapore, United Kingdom, and Australia would offer.

Taking into account the productivity effects at a macro level, it was noted that brain drain would directly cause the wage rate of skilled workers to rise in host countries (Singapore, UK, Australia) but fall in the source country (Malaysia).











 

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Discussion Starter #192
Medical, dental and pharmacy grads to serve under contract – Subramaniam
October 23, 2016, Sunday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/10/23/medical-dental-and-pharmacy-grads-to-serve-under-contract-subramaniam/

GEORGE TOWN: The Health Ministry will appoint 2,600 medical, dental and pharmacy graduates to serve in the government sector on contractual basis from December.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said in line with the 2017 Budget announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday, the government will introduce a contract system to them as well as to solve the problems of graduates who waited too long for placements.

“With the announcement yesterday, all the posts in this category (doctors, dentists and pharmacists) will be selected through contract system and we will suggest that doctors work for the government for at least four years while dentists and pharmacists can work up for three years under the contract,” he told a press conference at the Penang MIC office here yesterday.

Subramaniam said the move could provide flexibility in recruitment in the future due to the number of contracts can be increased based on the need.

“So with this move, waiting period for doctors to get the placements will also be reduced.

“All of them will be given training according to their respective fields and we will provide sufficient time so that graduates acquire adequate experience and knowledge to assist them when leaving to work for the private sector or setting up their own practices,” he said.

Subramaniam also said the government would increase the number of pre-schools in all Tamil national type schools (SJKT). – Bernama
 

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Business News
Home > Business > Business News
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 | MYT 11:15 PM
Malaysia’s economic resilience spurred by ETP, GTP - Mustapa



KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian economy has shown resilience amid global economic uncertainty, on the back of successful implementation of the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said both programmes had turned the country from an input-driven, low-wage and low-skill economy into that of innovation and technology-based and having value-added skills.

“Innovation and increased productivity would pave the way for Malaysia to achieve its goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020,” he said at the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) annual dinner in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday night.

Mustapa said Malaysia needed to adopt some very radical approaches to ramp up productivity growth to achieve the 3.7% annual growth as targeted under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP).

He said a number of strategic initiatives focusing on productivity and innovation at both national and state levels had been rolled out by the Government under the plan.

On the national human capital development agenda, he said the ministry and MEF would focus on the initiatives and partnership with relevant ministries, the industry and the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.

He said TVET capacity would be enhanced with an allocation of RM4.6bil under the 2017 Budget to upgrade facilities and educational equipment.

“The budget also provides RM360mil for school leavers and working adults to be trained under the Skills Development Fund Corp to enhance their employability,” he said.

Mustapa said the double tax deduction for private companies providing structured internship programmes to graduates or TVET trainees would help boost the participation from industries and increase number of skilled local talents. - Bernama
http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/10/26/malaysias-economic-resilience-spurred-by-etp-and-gtp---mustapa/
 

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Home / Sabah Local News
Only centre to train handphone repair experts in Sabah
Published on: Tuesday, November 01, 2016


Kota Kinabalu: Sabah has the only learning centre in East Malaysia to train handphone repair experts.

This was revealed by Human Resource Department Director Bill Yumbod who said the Malaysian Skill Certification (SKM) course was effective as it was based on the National Dual Training System (SLDN).

He said the 70 per cent practical training was why the department was keen on the course as opposed to the Certified Training Centres that emphasised more on theory training modules.

"Graduates are more employable and they can be hired anywhere nationwide.

"They can also find jobs with the paper as well as open up business, work part time or from home.

"If you compare both programmes, surely the SLDN module is more effective," he said.

Yumbod said this at the graduation of 20 trainees who completed their SKM Level II Handphone Repair Course with CAL Computer Learning Centre in Kota Kinabalu.

He said CAL Computer is the only learning centre in East Malaysia that is recognised by the Skills Development Department under the Human Resources Ministry for such certification to date.

This is in line with the government's vision to achieve 33 per cent skilled labour by 2020.

He said to be recognised, the centre had to complete a training module and was given a few years by the Skills Development Department to recruit trainees until their certification expires.

According to the centre General Manager, Karen Wong, all 20 graduates who sat for the SKM Level II examinations last Thursday had obtained "favourable results" and half of them have been hired by the repair centres where they had conducted their training.

Yumbod noted those who were not absorbed can start their venture on their own or open up businesses at their respective home towns.

Meanwhile, Yumbod also welcomed all former Human Resource trainee graduates to register with the newly-formed Human Resource Department Former Trainees Alumni Association.

He said the alumni is a good platform to see how they had progressed after completing their courses, and new graduates to learn from their successful seniors.

The association obtained approval from the Registrar of Societies and is the midst of recruiting members and organise its first Annual General Meeting to elect committee members, said Yumbod.
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=113776
 

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Malaysia faces serious undersupply of science students
November 5, 2016, Saturday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/11/05/malaysia-faces-serious-undersupply-of-science-students/



Dr Abu Bakar (right) and Nancy Sukri (second right) trying out a shipping simulator at the science fair. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is facing a serious undersupply of science stream students which may hamper efforts to propel the country into a developed nation.

Academy of Sciences Malaysia president Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali noted that presently there were only 90,000 science students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, much less than the 270,000 needed annually.

The concern is that this would translate into insuffient number of scientists in the country.

“To move our country forward, we need more scientists and engineers coming from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),” he told a press conference after the opening of the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair(KLESF) here yesterday.

It was opened by Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah who represented minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau.

Also in attendance were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang and its general manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh.

Ahmad Tajuddin, who is also Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) chairman, said the decline in number of students taking STEM subjects was not only happening in Malaysia.

Commenting on the same issue, Dr Abu Bakar said the reason for the low figures was due to students lacking interest in taking up STEM subjects, particularly in rural areas. He said that relevant ministries were working hand in hand to come out with various measures to overcome the problem.

Among them were his ministry’s ‘Kimia to Desa’ programme in 2013, tailored to enhance awareness and the ‘fun’ of STEM subjects among students in rural areas. — Bernama
 

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Home / National News
Salary guidebook for 160 jobs
Published on: Sunday, November 06, 2016


KUANTAN: The Human Resources Ministry has published a guidebook entitled 'Salary Guide, Starting Salaries for 160 Selected Skill-Based Jobs' as a reference for employers and job seekers on the implementation of basic starting salary in the country.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said the 160 jobs which were mostly in the technical and vocational education field would become the main platform to increase skilled workers in the country as stipulated under the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020).

"The 160 jobs are popular careers which have been the interest of Malaysians. For a start, we have distributed 10,000 copies and after this, we will put this book at all UTC (Urban Transformation Centre) branches as a reference for job seekers," he said.

He said this to reporters after officiating the national-level Job [email protected] 2016 programme at the Kuantan UTC here Saturday which was also attended by Pahang State Health, Human Resources and Special Tasks Committee Chairman Datuk Norol Azali Sulaiman.

Ismail said the guidebook would be updated every two years in line with the review of the Minimum Wages Order and the updated version of it would include more jobs available in the labour market.

As such, he hoped that all employers could welcome the publication of the guide book by implementing the recommended starting salaries for skill certificate and diploma graduates.

"A high starting salary is expected to increase the motivation and productivity of employees," he said.
On the job fair, he said it was held simultaneously at nine UTCs nationwide and involved the participation of 280 employers offering 15,000 job opportunities in various sectors.

Meanwhile, Ismail said in an effort to empower UTC as an Employment Service Hub that would offer various jobs opportunities to all segments of society, a Job Centre would be opened at all its branches nationwide next year.
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=113893
 

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Home / Sabah Local News
Free courses now available
Published on: Tuesday, November 08, 2016


Kota Kinabalu: Members of the public who are interested to learn new skills under government sponsored programmes can register now for various courses.

According to a statement, these courses are free and will include training materials, refreshment and certificate of attendance.

The Resource Development and information Technology Ministry has been offering free ICT courses in Sabah since 2005.

Besides ICT programmes, language classes like Conversational English, Korean, Japanese and Mandarin are offered too.

More than 80 ICT courses are provided ranging from basic computer usage to sophisticated software applications, focusing on graphic design, blog and web development, webpage designing, computerised accounting, inventory, payroll, animation, networking, operating system, PC maintenance, photo editing, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, programming skill, statistical analysing, project management and mobile applications.

The statement stated that unemployed trainees are also taught how to search for employment opportunities online and that organisations may now take the opportunity to upgrade their staff productivity through these training.

Earlier this year, more than 40,000 students around the State were trained in ICT and language courses in Beaufort, Keningau, Kinabatangan, Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Kudat, Lahad Datu, Matunggong, Papar, Pitas, Ranau, Tamparuli, Tandek, Sipitang, Sandakan, Tawau, Tambunan and Kota Kinabalu.

Those interested are welcomed to sign up for these free courses by calling/Whatsapp at 016-8120980, 014-2830154, 014-2830155 or visit AMC College at www.amc.edu.my.
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=113923
 

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‘Digital hub is up and running’
Friday, 25 November 2016
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/25/digital-hub-is-up-and-running-igp-centre-to-combat-terrorism-is-operational/



KUALA LUMPUR: The centre to combat extremist and terrorism-related messages, especially from the Islamic State (IS), is operational, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

The Inspector-General of Police said the Regional Digital Counter Messaging Centre, based at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol), is a multi-agency initiative led by the police.

“It is up and running but still in the preliminary stages as a system is still being installed.

“However, even in the initial stages, we are countering terrorism-related messages in three languages – Malay, English and Arabic,” he told a press conference after giving a talk on national security at the International Islamic University Malaysia yesterday.

The centre enables experts from police and other agencies to receive messages and prepare a counter narrative, added Khalid.

“We will use religious and IT experts to engage people on social media to counter the radicalisation agenda by IS and other terror groups,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced the setting up of the centre in October last year as a point of reference and to synchronise efforts in countering terrorism.

He said the United States was keen to see the centre established as soon as possible to counter the spread of IS propaganda among Muslims.

Khalid said 60 Malaysian IS militants were known to be fighting in Iraq and Syria.

“We have received intelligence of some of the fighters throwing away and burning their Malaysian passports. We also know that 50 of them want to return home.

“They have to come back by their own means but once they return, they will have to face the full brunt of the law,” he said.

Earlier during a question and answer session with the university’s students and faculty, Khalid said most IS militants were recruited through social media.

“IS recruiters fooled their prospective targets by peddling their false jihad.

“We will remain vigilant. So far, we have detained 260 militants (since February 2013),” he said.
 

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Zahid: Use mosques to promote tolerance and unity
BY GERYL OGILVY Thursday, 24 November 2016 | MYT 6:01 PM
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/24/ahmad-zahid-use-mosques-to-promote-unity-tolerance/



Ahmad Zahid signing a plaque when officiating at Darul Husni Warrahmah Mosque in Kuching

KUCHING: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called on Muslims to use mosques to promote religious tolerance and unity as means to combat Islamophobia in the country.

The Deputy Prime Minister said mosques, being a powerful institution that binds the Islamic community together, should be utilised to advocate peace in Malaysia's multiracial society to stamp out religious and racial bigotry.

“Mosques and surau should be used not only as places for prayer but to promote unity and advocating knowledge.

“Islam is about peace, working together with other communities and respecting other religions. It is our responsible to change the image of Islam,” he said in his speech when visiting Masjid Darul Husni Warrahmah at Petra Jaya here Thursday.

He was accompanied by Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said there are 6,391 mosques and 17,707 surau registered with the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) to meet the needs of 19 million Muslims throughout the country.

The Islamic community makes up 61.3% of the nation’s 31 million population.

“The number of mosques and surau throughout the country is a good manifestation of Islam being the official religion of the federation.

“As a religion that is protected under the Constitution, we must protect the good name of Islam by ensuring that Muslims are always in the forefront of progress and achievements in various fields, fighting poverty and upholding peace in the nation.

“Only then can we change the image of Islam from being seen as uneducated, poor, carrying out criminal activities and promoting violence,” he said, referring to those in the Western world who do not want to see progress of the Islamic community and often connect Muslims with extremist acts such as those carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Dr Ahmad Zahid urged Muslims to reject these groups, who make up a small fraction of the 1.8 billion Muslim population worldwide and attempt to smear the image of the peace-loving religion.

Dr Ahmad Zahid’s visit to Darul Husni Warrahmah Mosque coincided with its recently completed renovation at a cost of RM4.3mil.

Often dubbed “the gateway to Petra Jaya”, it was originally a surau when built in 1988. It was upgraded to a mosque in 2009 and now can accommodate 1,200 people.

He complimented the efforts of the local community to raise RM2.3mil for the upgrade work, with the rest of the funds coming from the state and federal governments.

At the event, he announced an allocation of RM500,000 from his Yayasan Al-Falah for further extension work and construction of other facilities at the mosque.
 

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Business
INTI, IBM partner to develop highly employable students
December 5, 2016, Monday


SUBANG: INTI International University & Colleges (INTI) is partnering with IBM Malaysia to introduce the IBM Innovation Centre for Education (ICE) programme – the first ever programme of its kind to be integrated into curriculum.

Taught by IBM certified experts, IBM ICE is a series of Undergraduate Programmes and Academic courses for the Computing & IT and Business verticals.

The Undergraduate Programmes include the Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) – Specialising in Business Analytics, the Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) – Specialising in Cloud Computing, the Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) – Specialising in Business Analytics, the Diploma in Information & Communication Technology, Diploma in Business, Diploma in Accounting and the INTI Bachelor of Business Programme (Hons) (BBUS).

Malaysia’s rapid expansion of regional IT hubs in recent years has engendered an acute demand for talent in key positions, particularly in the field of big data, cloud services, and social computing.

A study commissioned by Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC) echoes the gap, noting that Malaysia needs more Big Data and Analytics (BDA) professionals to maintain a global competitive edge1.

The severity of the situation is made clearer when we factor in Malaysia’s goal to raise 2,000 data scientists and 16,000 data professionals by 2020. Currently, there are only 300 data scientists in Malaysia – both local and foreign.

Recognising the urgency to fill the IT profession gap in Malaysia as well as the potential of the Malaysian younger generation to helm the field, the IBM ICE programme also offers a series of Undergraduate Programmes and Academic courses in IT which are aligned with the industry’s needs as well as IBM’s vision for the future of the IT field.

The core focus of the programme includes cloud computing as well as big data and analytics. It also addresses the rising centrality of mobile computing, security, and social computing.

Tim Bulow, CEO of INTI International University & Colleges said, “As a progressive mover in higher education, INTI is taking the initiative to address the IT talent void that is confronting Malaysia.

“Given the dire situation, we have activated a solution we think most effective, which is to collaborate with an industry leader like IBM in delivering the most updated and industry-relevant education to our students – equipping them with cutting-edge skills that will prepare them to not only bridge the gap in IT expertise but to be a leader in the field.”

“IBM has also been actively involved as a member of INTI’s Industry Advisory Board, lending their professional expertise to ensure our curriculum continues to meet market expectations. With their support and that of over 400 industry partners, we have recorded incredible graduate employability outcomes which has been validated by BDO Governance Advisory.

“This includes the fact that 98 per cent of INTI graduates securing jobs within six months of graduation, 82 per cent receiving higher salaries than the market average and 25 per cent receiving job offers even before they graduate.”

Also speaking at the launch, Chong Chye Neo, managing director of IBM Malaysia said, “In a practice as dynamic as IT, it is imperative that students are updated with the latest knowledge and direction of the industry in order to continue in their abilities to be active contributors in the cognitive era.

“The ICE programme is underscored with elements like the Subject Matter Experts sessions and the Teach the Teacher workshops to keep everyone industry-relevant.”

“But more than producing industry-relevant graduates, the mission of IBM ICE is to equip the next generation of IT professionals to drive the future of the field by arming them with an education which is aligned with IBM’s vision of the IT industry.

Through our partnership with higher education institutions like INTI, we hope to generate graduates who are ready to hit the ground running be it at IBM, our clients or the industry,” says Chong.

Earlier in October, INTI announced the findings of its landmark survey called the “Dichotomy of expectations among employers and new graduates” which revealed several gaps in expectations between employers and new graduates in terms of competency deemed essential to excel at a job.

The most pressing dichotomy in expectations concerned digital literacy, where 30 per cent of employers regarded it as the most essential competency needed for job performance. Meanwhile, most graduates rated it as the least important competency at only four per cent.

To further complement the newly launched Bachelor of Business (Hons) (BBUS) and INTI’s existing Diploma in Business and Diploma in Accounting, a selection of the IBM ICE programme courses will replace current subjects to help students meet the current and future needs of an increasingly digitised business field.

In the Diploma in Business and Diploma in Accounting, IBM courses such as Introduction to Business Analytics and Statistics for Management will replace the Principle of IT and Quantitative Methods for Business subjects respectively
http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/12/05/inti-ibm-partner-to-develop-highly-employable-students/
 
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