Mention Malaysia, and one naturally thinks of the easy blend of cultures, the fascinating contrasts, and the dizzying array of wickedly good food. What many do not realise is that Malaysia is quietly shaping up to be a melting pot of global talents too.
Since its early days, Malaysia has played host to foreigners with a nose for investment opportunities, and while tin and rubber may no longer be the temptations, foreign talent continues to seek out Malaysia as a destination for opportunities in business. Today, Malaysia is home to an impressive 160 operational headquarters, 209 international procurement centres, and 19 regional distribution centres, and these numbers are set to grow as the economic power shifts to Asia in which Malaysia stands firmly, and proudly, in the centre.
Over the past 50 years, Malaysia has made great strides in transforming itself into an upper middle income nation. Through the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which focuses on the economic sectors where Malaysia is naturally competitive and growing strongly, the government seeks to create more professional opportunities and brighter prospects to drive the economy further still. This growth is further complemented by substantial investments in human capital development, as positioning Malaysia as a global talent destination is a vital part of achieving the goals in the ETP.
TALENT POWERING TRANSFORMATION
Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) was established in January 2011 and tasked with creating, attracting, and retaining a skilled workforce to drive priority sectors under the ETP and realise Malaysia’s vision of becoming a high-income, knowledge-based economy by the year 2020.
TalentCorp works in partnership with industry players and institutional stakeholders to address the availability of local talent, which is complemented by its work to attract the global talent pool of Malaysian diaspora and foreign talent. Among its initiatives targeting the latter group are the Returning Expert Programme (REP), which facilitates returning talent to contribute towards the nation’s development, and the Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T), an immigration instrument which attracts and retains top expatriates in the longer term.
A SPECIAL CONNECTION
While many foreign talents initially find their way to Malaysia purely for job opportunities, few fail to fall in love with the country. Molly Jagpal, Chief Executive for the British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (BMCC), has lived all over the world, and yet nothing prepared her for the wonderful life that awaited her in Malaysia.
“I am a big fan of Malaysia,” says Molly proudly. “It’s a country I find very easy to live in and it is so beautiful!” Beaches, music concerts, and world-class sport events delight Molly in her free time, but the attraction of Malaysia is deeper and more meaningful too. “It’s the kind of place in which I could think about having a future.”
Molly is able to think long-term about Malaysia now that she is the recipient of an RP-T. “It gives me flexibility,” she says, “I was so used to the expat life of moving on every three years, but this enables me to look at the wider benefits of being here.” Applying for the RP-T is a decision that Molly is quick to recommend to others in her position: “it’s easy, convenient, and it makes a great deal of sense!”
This is a view shared by a fellow RP-T holder, Jean Pascal Van Overbeke; “I can’t see the downside!” he says delightedly. Jean Pascal initially arrived in Malaysia as Chief Operating Officer for Maxis with the thought of staying just two years, but the country worked its magic. “This place is just a paradise,” he says. The natural beauty, the weather, and the diversity were all aspects that made the country so aesthetically appealing, while, as a business man, he was pleased to find “very big companies and very big career opportunities too.”
The RP-T gave Jean Pascal the chance to think more long-term about Malaysia in terms of his own career and investment opportunities, but it also offered him the chance to find some stability. “I feel part of the community,” he admits, “and that makes a big difference.”
Top foreign talents such as Molly and Jean Pascal are vital components of the country’s talent pool, and the RP-T has ensured that their skills are harnessed for the good of the country, while also offering two talented people the chance to enjoy Malaysia’s charms a little longer.
Level 6, Surian Tower,
1 Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03.7839 7000
Email: [email protected]
For info on RP-T contact:
Expats Service Centre
Tel: 03.8315 3195
Email: [email protected]
Source: The Expat November 2012
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