With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, (Industry 4.0) bringing about technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, automation, Internet of Things (IOT), it is certain that the kinds of jobs needed across all market sectors will change, Malaysian Prime Minister, YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad noted.

"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 at a roundtable dialogue with international chambers of commerce organised by Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp).

He added that there is much to be done to ensure Malaysia's 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 insufficiently leveraged pool of latent talent," he said.

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.

Malaysia's Minister of Human Resources, YB M. Kula Segaran who hosted the dialogue said: "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."

YB M. Kula added that the Ministry of Human Resources will be presenting several proposed amendments towards reforming the labour market and improving labour efficiency and productivity. This is in support of the Government’s efforts to boost Malaysia’s image as a “preferred choice” for foreign investors, as well as 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.

YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia (center, front row), YB Tuan M Kula Segaran, Minister of Human Resources (fourth from the left), YB Datuk Mohd Azis bin Haji Jamman, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (fourth from the right), YBhg. Dato’ Dr Mohd Gazali bin Abas, Secretary General, Ministry of Education (third from the left), YBhg.Dato’ Amir bin Omar, Secretary General, Ministry of Human Resources (third from the right), YBhg. Dato’ Wan Ahmad Dahlan Bin Haji Ab. Aziz, Deputy Secretary-General (Policy & Control), Ministry of Home Affairs (second from the right), YBhg. Dato' Abdul Halim Bin Abdul Rahman, Deputy Director General (Control) Immigration Department of Malaysia (first from the left), YBrs. Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid, Economic Adviser to The Prime Minister (second from the left) Sivakumeren A Narayanan (first from the left), and Puan Hajah Mahuran Saro Dato’ Haji Sariki (first from the right second row), Deputy Chief Executive Officers, Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad with International Business Chambers representatives.

The closed-door dialogue was attended by over 30 representatives from 20 foreign chambers including the Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry Malaysia, the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It aims to be a dedicated platform for the Malaysian Government and the foreign business community parties to contribute feedback and ideas for strengthening Malaysia's standing as a preferred destination for foreign investment. The dialogue also reiterates the Government's commitment to building a balanced and dynamic talent ecosystem capable of attracting leading investors into the country for partnerships, financing and capacity building for the future of work.

During the dialogue, TalentCorp’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sivakumeren A Narayanan said: "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."

He added that TalentCorp works towards collaborates with the Government, industries and learning institutions to elevate the country’s talent base to strengthen Malaysia’s value proposition for prospective investors.

This is done in three key ways:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Photos/ Provided Lead image caption / YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister delivering his opening remarks before the closed-door Roundtable Discussion with the International Business Chambers.