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VOL1 NO. 2 / 2015 / RM10

“SMEs are the backbone of the ASEAN Economy” DATO’ HAFSAH HASHIM CEO SME CORP. MALAYSIA






KDN NO: PP18646/10/2014 (034058)

ISSN 2289-8832



GLOBAL STRATEGIC PARTNERS SDN BHD (829281-H) Block C, Dataran 3 Two Square, C-15-3A, Jalan 19/1, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 603-7931 7716 E-mail: Website:



fter the successful launch of the inaugural issue of UP Magazine, the publication has received positive feedback from various sectors in the country evidently achieving what it had set out to do – aiming to be the ultimate platform to encourage and update the skills and talent of the Malaysian human resource. I am a firm believer in continuous learning in the quest for self-improvement. One can do this through various means but the most traditional and effective means is through reading. Thus, the magazine serves as an ideal form of literature to discuss and educate and for this I am pleased at the progress it is making going into this second issue. We would like to thank everyone involved for their continuous support and encouragement especially to the team at Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB). We are confident that with their ongoing support we can work together to boost the potential of the industry effectively. In this issue, we are featuring Dato’ Hafsah Hashim CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia, who has strived to elevate the capacity and potential of Malaysian SME’s through various means including effective skills development training programmes for SMEs which are implemented in a structured and organised manner. Also, Chief Executive of HRDF, Mr Vignaesvaran outlines how the agency is moving forward full-throttle to achieve the government’s vision of a high-income nation by 2020. As you go through this issue, you will also find other relevant and useful articles that will make for a comprehensive read. However, in a bid to further improve ourselves, we are keen to hear from you, our readers. You can send your letters to our Editor at We welcome suggestions on what you would like to see in the upcoming issue. Happy Reading and here’s to the onward upgrading of the Malaysian Human Resource Management!

ST Rubaneswaran


Let us know what you think! Send your letters to

CORRECTION We would like to correct information that was published on page 55

of our last issue on Maxis Berhad. This billion dollar company currently serves 13 million customers in Malaysia through a variety of communication products, applications and valued added services. The 2901 employees of the company are given opportunities to reach their career heights with a common goal of becoming the preferred communications solutions provider in Malaysia.

PUBLISHER S.T. Rubaneswaran SENIOR MANAGER Cheong Hom Tai DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Thyalan Gurunathan ASST. DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Syarifah Syaidatul Izzati PROJECT MANAGER Desmond Jude Kavita N. Subramaniam MARKETING MANAGER Karmini Eswaran ASST. MARKETING MANAGER Jesu Arockia Xavier

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All rights reserved @2015 by Global Strategic Partners Sdn Bhd. and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in the article are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Global Strategic Partners Sdn Bhd. and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd. All writers automatically agree to indemnify Global Strategic Partners Sdn Bhd. and Harini Management Sdn Bhd. Services against any loss, costs, expenses (including legal fees) damages and liabilities that may arise from their own incapacity, negligence, breach of contract or other civil deeds. All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names and logos appearing in the magazine are the property of their respective owners.


CONTENTS FEATURE The new CE of HRDF brings about a progressive change

04 Greater tangible value for HRDF contributors 08 Be a part of IFTDO 2015 22 Dato’ Hafsah, SME Corp. Malaysia is a leader with a positive song in her heart

Bermaz Motor upskills its workforce

24 34 40

What is the latest perception of work experience


After the GST

Developing skill mastery through project management training Enterprise security Reversing brain drain in Malaysia

46 48 64


Find out who’s taking over the reins at MIM 36 Train your employees at no cost!



Right culture Vs wrong culture


Innovating and scaling talent capabilities to drive business growth



Party the right way at MURFEST A getaway beyond the city


Genashtim, making dreams a reality


62 66 68

12 UP Magazine Launch 26 HRDF Contributor – Siemens 30 HRDF Contributor – Jaring Metal Industries 32 Gadget Guide 56 Training Venues 58 HRDF News


04 COVER STORY SME Corp. Malaysia – Malaysian SME’s are On The Right Track CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia, Dato’ Hafsah Hashim takes it in her stride to head Malaysian SMEs to be more competitive, innovative and resilient.



08 56

48 36 UP MAGAZINE | 03





CHANGE The new Chief Executive of HRDF, CM Vignaesvaran is leading the agency full- throttle towards achieving the national agenda of 35 per cent skilled talent in line with Malaysia’s Vision 2020.


hange is inevitable; change is constant,” Vicks started off the inter view quoting a well-known British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli. “Change reminds me that anything is possible. I try hard, personally and 04 | UP MAGAZINE

professionally, not to think that anything that’s stuck will always be that way (i.e. career or even a personal endeavour that’s cruising on neutral) because whenever I see things change, in my life or someone else’s, it almost always is for the better. That alone is encouragement for me to embrace and

effect change where it’s necessary,” he said at length. Speaking of change, the Malaysian government’s mission to reach a highincome nation status by 2020 through an aspired skilled workforce of 35 per cent will soon come to fruition. This change, one that has long been in the pipeline,

is also one of much significance since Malaysia’s independence in 1957; from which the nation has gone from strength to strength from an economy driven by tin and rubber to being exceptionally broad based and diversified today. This revolution, however, is far from over and Malaysia is working hard to tap its full human capital potential by 2020. A significant driver in this quest is the Human Resources Development Fund or more popularly known as HRDF. Of late, the agency has seen a lot of positive and dynamic changes under their newly appointed Chief Executive, CM Vignaesvaran. “There was a lot of soul searching involved when we sat down with our Board of Directors to comprehend how we can go from good to great; especially where it concerns current gaps within the organisation; the reasons for these gaps; and how we can successfully overcome these challenges and be a stronger driving force that empowers the Malaysian workforce,” says Vicks, as he is fondly known within the industry.

WHAT IS HRDF? HRDF is administered by Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB), an Agency under the Ministry of Human Resources, via the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act, 2001. The agency was established in 1993 with the aim of developing quality human capital and world-class workforce in order to achieve the Government’s aspiration to attain the status of a developed country by the year 2020. The objective of the HRDF is to encourage employers covered under the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act, 2001 to retrain and upgrade the skills of their employees, apprentices and trainees in line with their business needs and the development strategy of the country. Accordingly, HRDF spearheads the up-skilling of Malaysian workforce by allowing employers to receive financial assistance up to 100 per cent to cover relevant costs of training which they

Chief Executive of HRDF, CM Vignaesvaran.

“The dearth of skilled local talent is causing the production gap to widen and I’m afraid that soon there won’t be the right talent to fit in the right job.”

(the employers) incur for this purpose. And HRDF leaves no one behind – employees with no formal education but have obtained the relevant knowledge, experience and expertise in the workplace will also stand to gain through HRDF’s Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme (RPL Scheme by being certified based on their competency levels with either with the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia – SKM; Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia – DKM; or Diploma Lanjutan Kemahiran Malaysia – DLKM.

THE NEW VISION AND MISSION “The first thing we did was come up with a clear and precise Vision and

Mission for HRDF,” Vicks shares with UP Magazine. The HRDF Board of Directors and Executive Team pondered on two pertinent questions during the outlining session of the new Vision and Mission which were: 1) What else and what more that is within our field of influence which will allow us to positively contribute to the nation? 2) What are the effective ways we can use to implement Government policies in tandem to what’s actually happening on the ground? In the recent Eleventh Malaysia Plan (PMKE-11), the Prime Minister’s Department has ascertained that by 2020, there should be 35 per cent UP MAGAZINE | 05


skilled Malaysian workers in the labour force. When asked how HRDF can play a vital role towards achieving this, Vicks explains HRDF’s new vision, “we recognise that we are more than just a body that regulates funds; we are, in actual fact, the authority that ensures the creation and growth of good human capital in Malaysia are ready to meet the demands of the market while simultaneously strengthening the economic development of the country.” He also explains that the next national commodity will be skills and there is a dire need to fulfil the growing demand of skilled talent. “The dearth of skilled local talent is causing the

production gap to widen and I’m afraid that soon there won’t be the right talent to fit in the right job.” He explains that this is where the new mission comes into play with the end goal in mind. “Previously, there wasn’t a predictive element to our mission; we were scrambling to train the workforce when new technology arrived at our shores. “Solar panelling is a good example of this. There weren’t properly skilled workers to fulfil the needs of the market.” HRDF now has a keen focus not only on current training requirements of the relevant industries within its authority but for future industries as well.

“Our percentage of focus is 70 per cent on the current needs of the nation with the remaining 30 per cent on its future needs,” he says. He adds, “It is so important to set up the right kind of training necessary for the workforce to move forward more productively. We need to change and it is this change that will bear fruitful results.”

THE SME FOCUS SMEs are a major contributor to the country’s GDP therefore the development of the industry’s human capital is a major focus for HRDF. “I consider SMEs a superpower to be reckoned with. It wouldn’t be far farfetched to say that when the economy is down, SMEs will keep us afloat.” “Most SMEs will not be able to afford training and development on their own and this will hinder their progress and in turn jeopardise their business success. We have been entrusted to carry out trainings for SMEs so that they are given the boost that they need to effectively continue to build the economy,” Vicks passionately says.


“It is important to me that my employees are happy working at HRDF hence I have mobilized some changes in the way we work at HRDF.” 06 | UP MAGAZINE

“I believe that there are no wrong ideas, no matter how silly they may seem,“says Vicks. “Imagine how many people doubted John F Kennedy when he said he would send a man to the moon. Bold moves, however, will face a lot of resistance as people generally dislike change.” An ardent fan of challenging even his own ideas, he encourages his team to challenge and question theories and ideas. To help this process along and to ensure a more linear management team, Vicks has delegated roles in his management team to include a Chief Operating Officer and other managerial roles. He feels that this eliminates the negativity of absolute power and there will be a diversity of ideas across the board for the overall increase of productivity of the agency. “We are not only determined to upgrade the skills of the nation but of

our own people so we can achieve our goals more effectively. We are sending our employees to be trained while our clerks are also given a chance to upgrade their skills and competencies through diploma courses. These incentives are fully sponsored by HRDF,” Vicks states.

A CHANGE IN WORKING CULTURE Vicks knew that to make successful outward changes there needed to be specific internal changes. “It is important to me that my employees are happy working at HRDF hence I mobilized some changes in the way we work at HRDF.” Some of the changes include ‘Healthy Mondays’; a RM100 monthly allowance for fitness club fees; elimination of chair ranking; and the set-up of a recreational room. “Everyone needs a good chair to sit on regardless of rank so “bad chairs” were one of the first things to go.” Vicks is determined to ensure the healthy mind set and lifestyle of his employees that will in turn help the organisation work well and be more productive in achieving its mission and vision. While being very much a forward thinking leader, Vicks keeps history close to his heart as he believes that a “lesson well learnt can avoid mistakes, no matter how minuscule, from being repeated”. “The course of Malaysia’s development was shaped by the vision, thinking and efforts of many of the country’s great leaders and thinkers. In this instance, HRDF is very clear about the crucial role we play in bringing to life the dreams of our country’s forefathers.” HRDF is confident that their efforts will further strengthen human capital development to produce a workforce that is knowledgeable, skilful, innovative and able to successfully compete in a globalised environment. “We are confident of positive outcomes from positive change,” concludes the dynamic new leader of HRDF.


Governed by Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act (PSMB), 2001, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) is a dynamic organisation, catalyzing development of a competent workforce, to support the vision of a high-income economy. HRDF remains committed to identify high-potential resources of the country, and recognise their skills, introduces reskilling and upskilling programmes for better career and growth opportunities. HRDF also encourages employers covered under the PSMB Act to retrain and upgrade the skills of their employees, apprentices and trainees in keeping with fast evolving business landscape and their individual company aspirations. Since its inception, HRDF has evolved in its role from managing a sizeable fund to becoming a one-stop-centre for HRD solutions to the critical mass of Malaysian SMEs. As a custodian and authoritative institution well positioned to offer robust and prudent solutions, HRDF continues to engage with multiple stakeholders of the industry to continuously re-discover its role as well as opportunities to build the nation’s human capital resources. Most recently, with 19 new sub-sectors that have been added to the PSMB Act (in addition to the 44 sub-sectors), HRDF has assumed a greater responsibility to reach out to the corporates, educating and motivating them to seek the benefits and value of HRDF programmes and initiatives. For more information, kindly visit HRDF’s website – www.hrdf.


To be the human capital development authority in strengthening the economic development of Malaysia.


Spearheading the human capital learning and development through strategic interventions that fulfil the current and future needs of the industry.


PEOPLE: Everything that we do is to support the people of the organisation and the country, in terms of identifying, nurturing and growing their skills and capabilities, empowering and enriching their lives. PROWESS: Our efforts are focused on tapping the potential and increasing the prowess of our human capital, in every way possible. PROGRESS: We endeavour to play our role as a responsible and visionary organisation, making progress inclusive and meaningful, especially for the people – who are both the means and beneficiaries of any development.



HRDF Takes On A New Avatar Which Promises To Add Greater Tangible Value To Employers Muhammad Ghazali Abdul Aziz, Chief Special Purpose Vehicle (CSPV) at the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) speaks of HRDF assuming a new avatar by offering programmes of greater value and relevancy to Malaysian employers.



RDF contributors have always been partial towards asking two non-negotiable questions: what do we get in return for our contributions and how will our employees benefit from it? Muhammad Ghazali Abdul Aziz, Chief Special Purpose Vehicle (CSPV) at HRDF provides an insight into the relevance and reliability of HRDF to assist businesses in meeting the critical demand of skilled talent with the potential benefits of retaining good talent and subsequently strengthening their brand proposition in the market place. The primary premise of HRDF which was established under the Human Resources Development Act 1992 (now known as the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) Act 2001) has remained steadfast over the years. This is to increase the supply of a highly skilled Malaysian workforce; enabling the country to remain relevantly competitive to achieve the national agenda of a highincome nation status by 2020. Most recently, HRDF revisited its value proposition to become more significant in the market place. It has also evolved in its role from managing a sizeable fund to becoming a one-stop center for providing HR developments and solutions to all its contributors. Ghazali says, “We have now assumed greater responsibility by institutionalising the competency needs analysis across the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) which will drive Malaysia towards global competitiveness. In other words, we are putting into place concerted efforts to

shift from being supply-based to demand based by feeling the market pulse and listening to what our contributors have to say with regards to HR development and solutions best suited for them.” “As we are the critical conduit between the nation’s human capital development and the Government, we are determined to be the main catalyst to meet the nation’s target of a 35 per cent skilled workforce by 2020 from the current 28 per cent.” “If we are to remain competitive in the market place, we are left with no choice but to meet the current trained competencies of our neighbors – Japan, Korea and Singapore –all of whom have a skilled workforce of approximately 60 per cent!” In line with this, Ghazali elaborates that the Malaysian Government has invested a significant amount of money towards the development and upgrading of the nation’s employees through HRDF. “For example, the Government contributed a substantial amount of RM150 million for the 1Malaysia Globally Recognised Industry and Professional (1Malaysia GRIP) programme which was launched on March 1 2015. An estimated 30,000 Malaysian employees are expected to benefit from this upskilling program.” The unique selling proposition of 1Malaysia GRIP is that it is also open to non HRDF registered members especially those in high priority sectors who can utilize a specific amount of the RM150 million for their training needs. Ghazali also highlighted yet another significant HRDF initiative lined up for

THE NATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE CENTRE (NHRC) National Human Resource Centre (NHRC) was established on 1 August 2011 to enhance the quality and productivity of SMEs to increase global competitiveness.

NHRC’s Services are: 1. HR Solutions – Advisory and consultancy services on HR matters 2. HR Capability Building Programmes – Develop a skilled and talented workforce in HR Management 3. Business Owners Peer Sharing of HR Practices – Discovering the insights of HR experiences from industry practitioners

Muhammad Ghazali Ab Aziz, Chief Special Purpose Vehicle (CSPV).

Get in touch with NHRC: Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Level 6 Wisma PSMB Jalan Beringin Damansara Heights 50490 Kuala Lumpur. Hot Line: 1800-88-4800 Tel: (603) 2096 4800 Fax: (603) 2096 4907 / 4946 Email:

“If we are to remain competitive in the market place, we have are left with no choice but to meet the current trained competencies of our neighbors….” 2015 which is the HRDF Conference and Exhibition. Themed “People, Prowess, Progress” the conference is organised with the support of the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia. “The ma in p u rp o s e o f th e Conference is to deliberate on the power and potential of the people, and the mechanics of how the competencies or prowess of the people, when harnessed

with intent, can have a positive impact to the Malaysian economy as the country progresses towards the aspirations of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC),” Ghazali explains. In addition to these, Ghazali also spoke of the “Apprenticeship Scheme” which is tailored to tap into the potential of the less academically inclined workforce. “This programme presents an

opportunity for those who are not academically skewed to choose a field of study which will eventually allow them to be active contributors to the nation’s progress. HRDF is proud to announce that we organized our 1st Apprenticeship Convocation on 23 July 2015 at Setia City Convention Centre. The first batch of 113 apprentices received their certification from the Minister of Human Resources Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Richard Riot Anak Jaem and have been hired by their respective employers!” HRDF, according to Ghazali, will NOT rest on its laurels and will continue to roll out concerted and strategic efforts to tailor trainings, schemes and other initiatives which will greatly benefit their existing 16,000 members from across various key sectors in Malaysia. UP MAGAZINE | 09


HRDF PROGRAMMES & INITIATIVES HRDF CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 2015 8-9 December 2015 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Objective: The HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015 is a strategic platform, conceptualised to shape the debate on Malaysia’s human capital potential – from recognising the advantage of multi-generational talent to leveraging on synergies and nurturing new skills; from managing diverse workforce from various ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds to enabling industrial and sectorial movements for optimising human capital resources.

HEARTS Training Programmes • Simplified Internet Marketing • Translation & Editing • Website Development & Maintenance • Social Media Management • Consultancy / Train-the-Trainer • Graphic Design • HALAL (Green Islamic Cleaning) • Certified Halal Audit TRAINERS’ CONFERENCE 18 & 19 August 2015 Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Petaling Jaya

Contact Number: (03) 2096 4800 / 4961 / 4604 / 4958

Trainer Conference Fee: RM583 per pax (Incl. GST)

APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME The purpose of this scheme is to increase the supply of skilled workers to relevant industries; jointly determined by PSMB and the industry concerned. The scheme also enables employers registered with PSMB to be actively involved. The apprentices are selected from PMR or SPM school leavers and dropout students.

Objectives: • Educate trainers with industry knowledge towards improving training effectiveness. • Share tools, techniques and methodologies to establish the value of training for organisational growth and / or business results. • Provide a perspective on various trends and opportunities (as well as best practices) in the training industry. • Develop and sharpen skills through specialty training workshops. • Provide platform for trainers to listen to Government policies and discuss future directions on training. • Identify trends in the industry that affect the training market. • Create network of training experts and industry captains. • Develop new intellectual training contents based on the needs of the industry.

Contact Number: (03) 2096 4800/4854/4725 HOUSEWIVES ENHANCEMENT AND REACTIVATE TALENT SCHEME (HEARTS) HEARTS is established to increase the percentage of employable women in Malaysia’s labour market from 47.8% to 55% by 2020. Objectives: • To train educated housewives in the latent workforce in specialised fields that would enable them to actively participate in the economic growth of the country while maintaining their status quo as housewives. • To provide a platform for housewives to acquire new skills that would enable them to work from home and contribute to the increase of their household’s income.

Contact Number: (03) 2096 4800 / 4733 / 4626 / 4604

Contact Number: (03) 2096 4800/4692/4981

To find out more about HRDF programmes and initiatives please contact HRDF at PSMB Call Center: 1800-88-4800 | Fax: 03-2096 4999


Boost yourself this November

and get your team on the go with





Staying Fit for ‘Hari Sihat’ Physical and mental Health creates a thriving work environment.

Zumba class in progress during ‘Hari Sihat’


Part of PSMB new work environment has employees living and breathing a healthier more holistic lifestyle. Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) Chief Executive, CM Vignaesvaran said that health of employees was an aspect that has been neglected for a long time now. “Most employers often feel that they are already paying you and therefore it is your job to take care of yourself.“ This however should not be the case and employers should prioritise the health of their employees as this eventually leads to higher productivity,” Vicks says. “For example, at PSMB itself, we organise Hari Sihat PSMB which include Zumba classes and body combat, provide allocations for gym memberships and also supply free fruits to all staff every Monday,” he said adding that providing healthy food options and holding awareness talks are also other initiatives that can be done.



PSMB Applauds The Hard Work Of Their Employees

The 1MalaysiaGRIP

Empowering Human Capital and Entrepreneurship WHAT IS IT? During the announcement of the 2015 Budget on 10 October 2014, the implementation of 1Malaysia Globally Recognised Industry and Professional (1MalaysiaGRIP) Programme to up-skill and re-skill 30,000 employees in the year 2015. The provision stated falls under the Third Strategy: Empowering Human Capital and Entrepreneurship of the 2015 Budget document.

HOW CAN IT HELP EMPLOYEES? The 1MalaysiaGRIP will focus on up-skilling and re-skilling courses that will maximise the value of employees and lead to higher wages. The objectives of the 1MalaysiaGRIP are: •To provide opportunity for employees to increase their skills in specific fields and become experts. This would enhance their career development opportunity and the possibility to earn higher income; • To provide employers with skilled workforce that will enable them to explore new business opportunities in becoming more competitive in the global market; and • To increase labour supply in the strategic and high impact areas that have been identified to reduce the country’s dependency on external expertise and support the Government’s aspiration to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020. • In implementing the 1MalaysiaGRIP programme, starting from March 2015, 30% of the employers’ monthly levy payments will be separated from their individual levy accounts and consolidated with the matching grant received from the Government as the 1MalaysiaGRIP fund. 1MalaysiaGRIP fund will be used to cover course fees for employees who undergo training under this programme. • The remaining 70% of levy payment will be utilised by the registered employers to determine the type of training for their employee Kindly contact our Customer Service Officer at 1-800-88-4800 should you require further clarification or assistance. 14 | UP MAGAZINE

The theme for Labour Day this year, Healthy Workers, Higher Productivity (Pekerja Sihat, Produktiviti Meningkat) was drawn up following a briefing that CE of PSMB, Mr Vignaeswaran attended with the Ministry of Human Resources. He said, that other than health, Malaysians employers also need to look at ways to keep their employees happy. “Unhappiness with the workplace is one of the factors which often push employees to switch jobs frequently and it is also linked to productivity levels,“ says Vicks. He added that prioritising the welfare of staff and creating a positive working environment was one of the main reasons why people actively apply to companies such as Google. “This is another factor that we need to inculcate among Malaysian employees,” he said adding that having a recreation room was one small way to start. “These are some of the initiatives we started to set a good example to the rest,” he said emphasising that employers who do not change their working environment will not be able to attract high-skilled employees from the younger generation. Of course above and beyond changing the existing culture, training and equipping employees with new skills was also a priority. Vignaesvaran representing the management and staff of PSMB thanks employees nationwide for their contribution to the country in assuring the success of Vision 2020!




xuding passion for Malaysian SMEs, Dato’ Hafsah Hashim sits down with UP Magazine to tell us exactly how and what SME Corp. Malaysia does to enhance the competitiveness of Malaysian SMEs. The vision of SME Corp. Malaysia is to be the premier organisation for the development of progressive SMEs to enhance wealth creation and social wellbeing of the nation.

Malaysian SMEs:

On The Right Track CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia, Dato’ Hafsah Hashim takes it in her stride to head Malaysian SMEs to be more competitive, innovative and resilient. 16 | UP MAGAZINE

Could you share the ways in which SME Corp. Malaysia has motivated, inspired and guided Malaysian SMEs toward greater local and international success? Amidst the challenges that SMEs may face in the ever volatile global economic environment, they are agile, so they are able to adopt and adapt in any environment. With the uncertain economic outlook, the SMEs have been challenged with rising commodity prices, exchange rates, slow global trades and the increase of business cost. The SMEs in Malaysia must be prepared for any plausible risks and the SMEs that are exporting should consider taking risk mitigation measures where possible. The imbalances in the current global recovery with shifting of the economic power to emerging economies particular in Asia may appear on the surface to be advantageous to countries like Malaysia, the potential weakness in global growth may also imply less trade and investment opportunities available for emerging countries. At the same time, Malaysian SMEs would also face competitive pressures from larger regional economies such as China, India and Indonesia that have the advantage of scale, in terms of market size and cover cost. In spite of all the challenges, there are various initiatives that have been put in place to support the development of SMEs and with the budget 2015 allocation lined up, we will see the strengthening of a stronger ecosystem for SMEs to further develop their capacity and potential. The 2015 Budget will continue

to support the long-term agenda on SME development through the implementation of the SME Masterplan and other supporting initiatives. The focus is not only on existing SME businesses but also to encourage business formation through acculturation of entrepreneurship especially among the youth and women. The measures are also intended to raise the productivity of SMEs by encouraging the shift towards automation and mechanisation. Development of start-ups and emphasis on bringing innovation to market as well as enhancing access to early stage financing for SMEs should help towards building an ecosystem to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. These measures should achieve the goals of the SME Masterplan of raising productivity, increasing number of high growth and innovative firms as well as enhancing business formation. You have been quoted as saying “SMEs contribute the most to the GDP of Malaysia.” Could you tell us more? Latest statistics indicate that the longterm growth trend of SMEs in Malaysia since 2004 has remained, with SME GDP growth continuously outpacing that of the overall economic growth of the country. In the period 2005 – 2013, based on constant 2005 prices, the average compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of SMEs was 6.3%, which is higher than the CAGR of the overall economy of 4.7%. As a result, SME contribution to GDP increased from 29.4% in 2005 to 33.1% in 2013. For the Malaysian economy, latest economic indicators point to continued strength in exports and private sector activity, including SMEs. Moving forward, the overall economic growth momentum is expected to be sustained. Domestic demand is expected to continue to be the key driver of growth, albeit at a moderate pace. Private investment activity is projected to continue to remain robust, led by both SMEs and large private firms.

This year, we are jolted by 2 important economic developments which are the reduction in global oil price and the depreciating of Ringgit. Local SMEs with high exposure to foreign materials or loans in major currencies will feel the pinch from the weakening Ringgit. Therefore, SMEs in Malaysia must be prepared for any plausible risks and the SMEs that are importing should consider taking risk mitigation measures where possible. On a positive note, export driven businesses such as glove makers, oil and gas players and technology companies stood to gain from the depreciating ringgit. With the value of our ringgit depreciating, there could be a shift in the demand from imported goods to more affordable local products, which is an opportunity in itself. SMEs are agile, so they are expected to adopt and adapt in any environment. In 2013, SME GDP continued to record a higher growth of 6.3% compared with the previous year (2012) with SME GDP growth of 6%, and superseded the overall GDP growth of 4.7%. The SME GDP growth was supported by strong domestic demand, led by both consumption and investment activities. The higher growth of SME GDP was driven by all economic sectors. The SME GDP growth is higher than GDP growth of the overall economy. During the year, SME employment and labour productivity growth rates recorded a better performance than the overall total employment and labour productivity growth. SME employment grew by 6.3% (total employment growth: 5.9%), while SME labour productivity declined by 0.1% as against a decline of 1.1% for the overall labour productivity. Looking at the performance by economic sectors, the increase in share of SMEs to the GDP in the period 20052013 was largely contributed by the services sector and further supported by the construction and mining sectors. SME GDP in the construction sector expanded at a CAGR of 9%, followed by SME GDP in services, and mining & quarying sectors (each by CAGR of 7.3% respectively). The three sectors’ CAGR

(Construction, services and mining) were higher than the overall SME GDP CAGR of 6.3%. What are some of the programmes you have to promote and give SMEs the support and help they need to succeed? Realising the potential of SMEs in the nation, Government assistance is also crucial and SME Corp. Malaysia has designed as well as commenced several development programmes to boost the growth of SMEs and help them to stay competitive. To start, the Green SSL (Solid State Lighting) / LED (Light Emitting Diode) Programme organised by SME Corp. Malaysia since 2012 is part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) program conducted under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) in the field of Electrical and Electronics. The program aims to create at least 5 world class Malaysian home grown SSL / LED companies which can generate the economy. The Entry Point Project (EPP) 10 programme is focusing on the development of SSL Cluster in Malaysia, with the goal of driving local companies to compete globally. It aims to be a catalyst for the ind ustry, accelerate higher yields and to prepare the industry to meet the global demand associated with this technology. The Green SSL / LED Programme also directly contributes to the socio-economic development of the country, with the creation of 78 jobs for skilled workers and 36 jobs for workers with average salaries of graduates RM5,200 and RM3,200. Since 2012, domestic investment for these companies has also reached a total of RM24.4 million which can be enjoyed by other local SMEs. On the other hand, SME Corp. Malaysia is also working closey with other Ministries and agencies to implement the Entry Point Project 8 (EPP 8), which is part and parcel of the Malaysia Aerospace Industry Blueprint with the aim to enhance the development of SMEs in the global aerospace manufacturing industry. UP MAGAZINE | 17


SMEs are indeed the backbone of the ASEAN economy, constituting between 95 and 99 percent of business establishments, and contributing 23 to 58 percent to the GDP, 10 to 30 percent of exports, and 43 to 97 percent of employment across the ASEAN Member States. A star rating programme or popularly known as SCORE (SME Competitiveness Rating for Enhancement) was introduced in 2007. It is a diagnostic tool that rates SME performance at firm level. The programme, initiated by our own officers, has caught the attention of international organisations as a useful diagnostic tool to measure SME competitiveness. Utilising this tool, we are able to identify areas of improvement to ensure better efficiency and productivity of the SMEs. We have also initiated the SME Expert Advisory Panel (SEAP) which provides SMEs with expert advisory services in the areas of technology, productivity and process improvement, as well as conformance with international standards 18 | UP MAGAZINE

and ICT providing value-added services to the SMEs. We have a total of 11 State Offices which facilitate matters pertaining to SMEs. Through these initiatives, SMEs are provided with the latest information on policies, incentives, programmes and financial assistance provided by the Government. We have also introduced the SME@ University Programme which provides a structured learning opportunity to the CEO’s of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Programme is designed to help develop capable human capital that will drive diverse management innovation and creativity in developing business acumen among new and existing entrepreneurs. The Programme is based on a hands-on approach model of SME University of Japan. The “SME-University Internship Programme” initiated in 2008 as an initiative to link SMEs to the universities as part of Government efforts to enhance the synergy between the industry and university to upgrade SMEs’. An MoU was signed between SME Corp Malaysia and Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to roll out this Programme to all public universities throughout Malaysia. In reaching out to potential partners and link Malaysian SMEs across borders, SME Corp. Malaysia embarked on a strategic approach by formalising bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with international counterpart agencies, namely from Iran, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Syria, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Brunei and Egypt. Areas of cooperation under the MoUs include exchange of information on policy measures adopted for the promotion of SMEs, establishment of business contacts, linkages and networking, as well as co-organising trade promotion activities in the respective countries. In the effort to encourage SMEs to go global we have introduced the National Mark of Malaysian Brand which is a certification process, audited and monitored by SIRIM. Through this initiative, it is hoped that Malaysian brands are developed not

just for the local market, but that it is able to penetrate international markets as well. To complement the needs and requirements of MNCs and large companies in terms of capacity and capability building, SME Corp. Malaysia has appointed 40 Skills Development Centres and Professional Training Providers to ensure skills development training programmes for SMEs are implemented in a structured and organised manner. As a central coordinating agency for all SME development, we continue to assume greater responsibility of not only raising awareness on such initiatives, programmes and provisions, but to also make them accessible to the SMEs. Technology has played a significant part in creating a seamless market for SMEs. In your opinion is there a need for Malaysian SMEs to upgrade their technological skills further? The Government is aiming to move Malaysia towards developed nation status through emphasising science, technology and innovation development. Malaysia encourages the wide diffusion and use of science and technology to optimise the quality of life and to ensure higher standards of living for the nation including wide usage in manufacturing companies. It is one of the Government’s policy thrusts to develop innovationdriven manufacturing SMEs to compete in global markets. Even though it is mentioned that the overall performance of SMEs in manufacturing sectors improved, there are still concerns of inadequate technological capability and low adoption of enabling technologies as well as skills training. In summary, the Government efforts to accelerate technology diffusion and development in Malaysian manufacturing SMEs are not only limited to policy making but also include various incentives including financial assistance and technological infrastructure. This indicates that the

close to RM293 Million in carrying out 25 programmes which are targeted to benefit more than 7,300 SMEs in 2014. The Government is committed in ensuring the right incentives and initiatives are taken to assist the SMEs and SMEs should take this opportunity not only to accept but also to excel on their own turf.




4 1. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim with YB Datuk Ir. Hamim Samuri, Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry and Tan Sri Ir. (Dr.) Mohamed Al Amin Hj Abdul Majid, Chairman of SME Corp. Malaysia at the Official Launch of SME Week 2013. 2. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim has been the CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia for more than 10 years. 3. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim together with SME Corp. Malaysia’s Management Team and media partners at the Flag Off Ceremony for the Media Exploration 2014 in conjunction with the SME Week 2014. 4. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim in action at the LED Pavilion during the SME Annual Showcase 2014, KLCC.

Malaysian manufacturing SMEs are very important as contributors in generating economic growth. The adoption of innovation and technology in any business can go a long way towards increasing its efficiency and productivity, thus leading to growth and profitability. As Malaysia sets its sights on becoming a high income nation, efforts have been focused on stimulating innovation and technology adoption by Malaysian SMEs to achieve a quantum leap in growth and income. For this purpose, the Government has channelled

What are some of the incentives offered by SME Corp. Malaysia? Any in particular you would like to highlight? Business Accelerator Programme (BAP) and Enhancement and Enrichment Programme (E2) are special programmes that enable SMEs to be assisted through an integrated approach with guidance, including strengthening their core business, building capacity and capability, and facilitating access to financing. Applicants will receive business and technical advisory services, aimed at enhancing their business potential. These programmes are vigorously being promoted through print and media, exhibitions, roadshows, seminars and workshops around the country. 1-InnoCERT (Innovation Certification for Enterprise Rating and Transformation) is a certification programme used to recognise and certify innovative enterprises & SMEs and to encourage entrepreneurs to venture into high technology and innovation-driven industries. Through 1-InnoCERT, companies will be guided through coaching and business advisory to implement innovation systems, processes and business models in order to comply with the innovation standard. Certified companies will be given fast track access to incentives, including funding for their project. Financial assistance such as the Syariah Compliant SME Financing Scheme, Soft Loan Scheme for SMEs and SME Emergency Fund are among the financial assistance introduced by SME Corp. Malaysia in collaboration with several commercial banks and MIDF. These financial assistance were UP MAGAZINE | 19


introduced to suit current needs of the SMEs as access to financing has been one of the issues that was brought forward by the SMEs from time to time. How will the Asean Economic Community (AEC) benefit Malaysian SMEs? What is the role they can play? SMEs are indeed the backbone of the ASEAN economy, constituting between 95 and 99 percent of business establishments, and contributing 23 to 58 percent to the GDP, 10 to 30 percent of exports, and 43 to 97 percent of employment across the ASEAN Member States. This undeniable fact states that SMEs establishments contribute the most to the country’s GDP in Malaysia, ASEAN countries and other developed countries. SME Masterplan to achieve 41% GDP is on track and with the implementation of RMK 11; we will see stronger and double digit economy growth for the SMEs to achieve vision 2020. This will help to boost the country’s economy through numerous entrepreneur development programmes especially in high growth sectors like Aerospace, Oil & Gas, and Biotechnology etc. Apart from SME Corp. Malaysia, agencies like MATRADE is also looking into helping SMEs from starting a business until they are able to penetrate the export market. ASEAN is currently one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing regions in the world. The strong participation from SMEs throughout the 10 ASEAN Member States, namely Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, offers huge business opportunities that have vast economic potential for the region. With a sizeable population of 625 million people, ASEAN offers a significant consumer market base with distinct needs and increasing purchasing power. With the aim of driving deeper ASEAN integration, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has been established aimed at increasing the 20 | UP MAGAZINE




5. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim is passionate in developing and taking the SME industry to the whole new level. 6. Chairman of SME Corp. Malaysia, Tan Sri Ir. (Dr.) Mohamed Al Amin Hj Abdul Majid and Dato’ Hafsah Hashim at the Closing Ceremony of the prestigious ASEAN SME Showcase and Conference 2015. 7. YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry with Dato’ Hafsah Hashim and the Business Matching Secretariat at the ASEAN SME Showcase & Conference 2015.

international competitiveness of ASEAN and to make the ASEAN region as an attractive trade and investment location. It is a big, bold move to integrate the social, economic and political forces in ASEAN seamlessly, as to enhance trade and investment in the region. AEC will transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable and sustainable economic growth and fully integrated into the global economy.The AEC will narrow the development gap between members and reduce barriers to trade and investment, investors can move more freely in the region, have greater access to capital and benefit from moving goods easily across borders. Consequently, the AEC will connect ASEAN to trading partners comprising Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, through Preferential

Trading Agreements. This will create a market size of 3.5 billion or 48% of world population of 7.3 billion people. Undoubtedly, ASEAN countries will benefit greatly from the AEC. The market size of ASEAN is more than 20 times the market size of Malaysia, and ASEAN accounts for 27% of Malaysia’s Global Trade, or US$115.9 billion of US$423.8 billion, as recorded in 2013. ASEAN is also an attractive investment location for Malaysian companies which have invested a total of US$5.8 billion across the region in 2013. Consumers will have access to cheaper and wider range of products and services, as the AEC will enable free flow of goods when member states eliminate import duties and remove all forms of non-tariff barriers. It will also create job opportunities for professionals and skilled workers due to the free movement of skilled labour within the member states.

What was the feedback from the ASEAN SME Showcase and Conference 2015? Did it achieve what it was set out to do? The ASEAN SME Showcase & Conference 2015 has proven to be a world-class intelligent and interactive platform for ASEAN SMEs to showcase their capabilities and capacities in offering products, services and technologies for the global market. It has also proven to be an excellent avenue for the regional SMEs to network and forge strategic business linkages with renowned anchor companies - namely large regional and international companies, multinational corporations (MNCs) and Governmentlinked companies (GLCs), to become part of the global value and supply chain.The unofficial number of trade visitors that have attended this Event is more than 10,000. The ASEAN SME Showcase has successfully featured 607 booths involving a total of 486 participating local and international companies and government ministries and agencies, of which 324 entities were local and 62 were international entities. One of the predominant highlights of the ASSC 2015 is the ASEAN Business XchanGe Platform. A total of 276 business matching sessions or linkages had been organised between SMEs and their potential business partners whereby RM418.54 million (approximately USD114.67 million) worth of potential sales had been successfully negotiated. A total of 122 SMEs and 32 anchor companies and MNCs had taken part in the business linkages throughout the 3-days event. Where do you see SME Corp. Malaysia taking Malaysian SMEs in the future? SME Corp. Malaysia continously nurtures SMEs as the engine of growth and innovation as well as promotes the development of competitive and resilient SMEs in all sectors with aim of increasing SME contribution to

Malaysia’s economy. As of this year, SME Corp. Malaysia has designed and commenced several new development programmes to reduce the dependency of SMEs on Government grants. As such the SME Masterplan marked a new beginning in SME development, focusing on a fresh approach to bring SMEs to the next level by accelerating growth through productivity gains and innovation. The Plan targets to raise the contribution of SMEs to be on par with those in other developed countries by 2020, with the share to GDP increasing to 41% exports to 25%, and employment to 62%. The SME Masterplan will cater to the business needs of SMEs and will be implemented in collaboration with the private sector through publicprivate partnerships. The role of industry associations, chambers and non-governmental organisations will be further enhanced to assist in reaching out the programmes to more SMEs in the country and in capacity building at the district, state and national levels. Based on the study for the Masterplan, SMEs in Malaysia demonstrated four key characteristics as follows: • Low productivity compared to large firms in Malaysia and SMEs in developed countries. SME productivity per worker averaged RM47, 000, which is about one-third the productivity of large domestic enterprises. • Relatively low business formation compared to high income countries. Formation of limited liability companies is a yardstick to reflect private sector dynamism and level of entrepreneurship in an economy. In Malaysia, while business formation has been relatively robust, they comprised mainly sole proprietorships and partnerships. • Small number of high growth firms contributes the most to the economy. Findings showed that the fastest growing firms accounted for 70% of the additional GDP and 46% of the additional employment created during the period 2000 - 2005;

• Material share of informal sector in the economy. It is estimated that the informal sector accounts for 31% of Gross National Income (developed countries: 14%; US: 9%; Singapore: 13%). The Masterplan proposed six High Impact Programmes (HIPs) and further reinforced by other complementary measures to bring the total to 32 initiatives. The HIPs are: 1) HIP 1: Integration of registration and licensing of business establishments 2) HIP 2: Technology Commercialisation Platform (TCP) 3) HIP 3: SME Investment Programme (SIP) 4) HIP 4: Going Export (GoEx) Programme 5) HIP 5: Catalyst Programme 6) HIP 6: Inclusive Innovation All 6 HIPs have all been rolled out and are at various stages of implementation with the 6th HIP (Inclusive Innovation) was recently endorsed at the recent National SME Development Council (NSDC) Meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Technology Commercialisation Platform (HIP 2) and the Going Export programme (HIP 4) are progressing well and have started benefiting SMEs. In the last 7 months, a total of 245 innovators have been screened under HIP 2, of which 17 SMEs have been approved for integrated assistance including prototype development, licensing, regulatory certification, testing & validation and technical assistance. A total of 25 IPs are being licensed to SMEs for commercialisation. For Going Export Programme under MATRADE, currently 45 SMEs from among others oil & gas, ICT, lifestyle, healthcare, electrical & electronics and automotive sub-sectors have been approved to participate in the programme. Through the six High Impact Programmes (HIPs), SMEs will be encouraged to adopt technology and be involved in innovation activities including commercialisation of new products and services. UP MAGAZINE | 21


44th IFTDO in Dubai.

The 44th IFTDO World Conference and Exhibition 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The International Federation of Training and Development Organizations (IFTDO), was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1972 to develop and maintain a worldwide network committed to the identification, development and transfer of knowledge, skills and technology that enhances personal growth, human performance, productivity and sustainable development. IFTDO is the most multinational and multicultural training and development organisation in the world. Their members form a diverse global network of HR management and development organisations, linking over 500,000 HR professionals at corporations, universities, government organisations and associations in more than 30 countries. IFTDO represents the HR profession through its affiliation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO). Their mission is to promote HR development as an effective tool to increase personal and organisational effectiveness.

The International Federation of Training and Development Organizations (IFTDO) is committed to promoting worldwide Human Resource Development.

Malaysia through MyLeaD ( has earned the privilege to host IFTDO again after two successful IFTDO Conferences held in 1997 and 2006. The conference will be held in Malaysia from 24-27 August 2015 at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre. For more information about Conference Support / Exhibition / Sponsorship, you can find out more with IFTDO2015 Secretariat: Email: secretariat@ or for more information visit





A Leader With A Positive Song In Her Heart It is said that a true leader seeks to motivate by inspiring and the CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia, Dato’ Hafsah does precisely that.


ith God in the driver seat on the journey of life, Dato’ Hafsah is a calm and contended passenger. ‘Allhamdulliah’ is a constant when in conversation with Dato’ Hafsah and it is no surprise seeing that she is grateful to her maker for the blessings in her life. In the office, she shares with her employees the importance of humility and submission to God, no matter what religious background they come from. “At work and in our daily life, we need to put God first. I believe the daily work we do should be an ibadat in obedience and devotion to the Almighty so we receive pahala – a reward for our sincere efforts.” Apart from being the ‘big boss’ around the office, Dato’ Hafsah takes on a motherly role, nurturing and caring for her employees while grooming them in their careers to be the best that they can be.

Life’s Blessings While, heading SME Corp for over a decade now, Dato’ Hafsah is a mother of three grown children. She beams with pride when she speaks of them, “They


have all done well for themselves and have made me very proud.” However, when she speaks of her children, she doesn’t forget Nazura, her daughter that had been taken away too soon and is now safe in the embrace of her maker. “I remember the day like it was yesterday, it was 1.20pm on March 6, 1998. The grief was and still is unbearable, but I didn’t blame God for it and instead strengthened my faith in him as it was his will.” “Not a day goes by when I don’t remember her beautiful face, my best friend.”

Poetry And Dance When she’s not busy being CEO, a mother and a wife, Dato’ Hafsah loses herself in the arts. Poetry writing is her passion and she admits that while she grieved for Nazura, she put all her sadness into poetry writing. “I used to write poems to her and for her, and it helped me deal with my emotions better. ”It was another outlet for her to express her thoughts and emotions. In fact, one of her staff members stumbled upon one of the poems she wrote for her late daughter and entered it in a

competition and it won the Grand Prize. “Even as a child, when it was a sad or even a joyous moment I would pen my thoughts into poetry,” she explains. Apart from poetry and writing, Dato’ Hafsah had a few moves up her sleeves as well! “Some may be surprised to know that I used to be a choreographer in my college days and I love to dance.” Dato’ Hafsah was fortunate enough to begin her dancing basics with ballet when she was a child. “Ballet thought me how to carry myself better by having better posture,” she says while admitting that her daughters were enrolled in ballet classes while growing up as well.

Attitude is Everything “To me, example defines leadership. If my team is unable to learn from my examples then I haven’t done a very good job as leader,” says Dato’ Hafsah. However, the sentiment from her team proves that, she has in fact been a good leader, teacher, advisor and motivator. “I encourage my staff to be innovative, to better themselves and to always have a positive attitude.”

She also explains that knowledge is power and she reiterates this with her staff constantly. “You have to keep yourself current, if you do not have the knowledge on the issues or on your general surroundings what will you speak about? You won’t be able to carry out a decent conversation.” She advises her staff members to be two or three steps ahead of her, in that way, she know that they are in control of their position and are passionate about their jobs and their personal achievements. However, she believes these personal achievements mustn’t be self-serving. “I’ve encouraged my staff to try and change their niat (intention) from one that is self-serving to one that is carried out with love and fear of God.” Dato’ Hafsah’s moral compass although dictated by her spiritual journey, doesn’t set aside her intellectual being . Her life beautifully encompasses personal success in the various facets of her life. But it is in the positive song of her spirit, a song that will long be heard in the hearts of those she has touched, that she will forever live on.

“I encourage my staff to be innovative, to better themselves and to always have a positive attitude” UP MAGAZINE | 25


Moving On UP

UP Magazine, a platform to enhance talent and skills was introduced for the first time on 2 April 2015 to the Malaysian human resource management industry.


subsidiar y of Censof Holdings Berhad, KnowledgeCom Corporation Sdn Bhd via its subsidiary, Global Strategic Partners, launched ‘Up Magazine – Enhancing Talent & Skills’ at the PJ Hilton on 2 April 2015. The Guest of Honour, Mr. CM Vignaesvaran, Chief Executive of Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) was present to officially launch the magazine. Also present was Mr. Ameer Shaik Mydin, Group Managing Director of Censof Holdings Berhad and Mr. S.T Rubaneswaran, CEO of KnowledgeCom and GSP. UP Magazine is the first of its 26 | UP MAGAZINE

kind to incorporate human resource management with development and training. There is a greater emphasis on efficiency and creation that will provide value for your organisation. The magazine also features valuable information for any organisation or individual who want to advance their career or for overall betterment. It was conceptualised to provide an ideal platform for various human resource topics. This will include, government and corporate initiatives to ‘UP’ skill Malaysians and address the talent gap, articles on various training providers and their programs, profile on international and local speakers, information on demand and supply of

various industries and solutions on how to meet expectations on both sides as well as a focus on recruitment of people. “UP Magazine aims to inform, update, educate and introduce the latest in human capital development and management through in-depth analysis of industry news and events, exclusive insights and interviews with emerging key players and meaningful insights and awareness of relevant practices,” Mr. CM Vignaesvaran, Chief Executive of HRDF said in his speech during the launch.

Mr. Rubaneswaran, CEO of GSP in his speech said, “We are hoping that this initiative will contribute positively to the National interest of reducing the talent gap and the brain drain, and we believe that the information published in UP Magazine will be valuable to readers nationwide.” The event was attended by those from the training and education industry as from the media. The magazine is now available on a quarterly basis at all major bookstores nationwide. UP MAGAZINE | 27


VIPs catching up before the launch.

KnowledgeCom and GSP teams with Ruban and Vicks.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Professor Dr. Selvaraj Oyyan Pillay, Vice Pre Centre for Continuing sident Taylor’s Professional Education University Putra Ma , Zulkiflee Othman, Bu laysia, Dato Dr. Mohd rsar of Fauzi b Hj Ramlan Vic University Putra Ma e Chancellor of laysia, Nik Ahmad Fik ri Nik Ismail, CEO UTe Bhd CM Vignaesvaran M Holdings Sdn , CE HRDF, Ameer Sh aik Mydin, Group Ma Censof Holdings Ber naging Director had, Tamil Selvan Du rairaj, Group Deputy Censof Holdings Ber Managing Director had, S. T. Rubaneswara n, CEO KnowledgeC Hsien, Executive Direct om, Ang Hsin or Censof Holdings Ber had and Sivaganam, CEO MIM.

PSMB Team with Vicks.




iemens, the leading global engineering and technology services company, has been active in Malaysia for over 40 years, working with both public and private organizations in order to drive economic, social and sustainable growth; advancing the development of infrastructure and enhancing the lives of communities in Malaysian and around the world.

As a contributor to HRDF, share with us how this has benefitted your company in terms of training and upskilling the employees. Our Company’s greatest economic asset is the hard work, motivation and resilience of employees. When all employees have the opportunity to master new skills, contribute their full talents to our company and be rewarded for it; our businesses and Company thrives. As a significant contributor to the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), we are able to tap into the many benefits provided by HRDF. The resources have not only helped with the upskilling and training development of employees, but it has also helped contribute to the growth of the Company as a whole. The assistance provided by HRDF has given Siemens the opportunity to initiate and implement a year-long structured training and development program for our employees; resulting in many employees progressing to more senior roles, learn new skills and earn higher-paying jobs. Siemens upskill programs provide employees the 30 | UP MAGAZINE

opportunity to realize their full potential, by empowering them with the education and training that they need.

What are some of the challenges the organisation faces in attracting, growing and retaining talent which are key factors necessary for the growth of the organisation? Siemens unites employees from over 169 countries – of different ages, genders and ethnicities. As a global player, the vast and diverse range of our employees’ capabilities, experience and qualifications form a substantial competitive advantage and supports our value proposition as an employer. This diversity represents a clear competitive advantage, which we can utilize on behalf of our customers. There is a strong desire for prospective employees to work for a company that promotes diversity and understands how to handle it and as an employer of choice; we stand behind the concept of diversity.

What are the measures taken to address these problems? Siemens value diversity as the inclusion and collaboration of different thinking, backgrounds and experience, expertise and individual qualities across all organisational levels and dimensions.

All our activities, measures and programs fostering Diversity follow these principles: • We want to have the best person for every position, • We want to provide opportunities for diversity of experience and interaction, and • We want to achieve diversity of thinking across our Company. In addition, we have made significant progress in reconciling family life and career over the last few years, for example, the setup of childcare and day care centers in some countries; the introduction of a flexi-hours policy as well as the introduction of a work-from-home program. Gender diversity is an integral part of the Siemens diversity global agenda and one indicator of diversity is the proportion of management positions held by women. In fiscal 2011, this figure climbed to 14.6% and this number rose to 19.1% at the end of 2012. Women now hold a 10 percent share of all senior management positions, representing a 43 percent gain over the same period (as of end of fiscal year 2013). We also promote cross-generational knowledge transfer, thus safeguarding existing knowhow for the Company. Siemens launched the GENe Network globally, focusing on promoting the exchange of perspectives between experienced specialists and younger employees through cross-generational and cross-cultural dialogues.

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aring Metal Industries Sdn Bhd is wholly-owned subsidiary of JAG Berhad specialising in scrap removal and recycling. The company purchases all types of e-waste such as ferrous, non-ferrous and also precious metal scrap from public or private manufacturing companies. All the materials are sorted out in accordance to international specifications, and is supplied to local foundries and overseas consumers worldwide.

As a contributor to HRDF, how has it benefitted your company in terms of training and upskilling your employees. With the levy that we have put aside monthly, we are able to have our employees from various departments like Administration, HR, Business Development, Finance and Production team to be trained and upskilled based on their required skill set in their daily role. With the training and upskilling training provided, they are able to perform better on the job, and are more adaptable in this globalised and technological advanced era. We are a leader in waste reduction and recovery strategies, specialising in scrap removal and recycling for local industrial institutions, thus, we have to make sure that we ourselves are compliance mandate in order to remain competitive. With the upskilling offered to the employees, we are able to ensure that we understand and follow all the local requirements and to enhance our policies accordingly and from time to time continue to upgrade any changes in the requirement , i.e. compliance to ISO 9001 (QMS), 14001 (EMS) and OHSAS 18001 (ESH). We are also able to organise more In-House and customised interpersonal, leadership & supervisory skill training 32 | UP MAGAZINE

to all our supervisory & management employees. With these skills, they are able to perform new and different tasks, which keeps them motivated and fresh, and in turn see that the company values them enough to invest in them, improving loyalty and staff retention.

What are some of the challenges the organisation faces in attracting, growing and retaining talent which are key factors necessary for your growth? One of the key challenges that we face over the years is none other than distance of our recycling site from the major cities. Our HQ is based in Shah Alam, however our three other branches reside in Melaka, Penang & Johor is quite a distance from town. Hence the difficulty in attracting & retaining skilled employees to be based there. At the same time, due to the nature of scrap removal and recycling, employees have to work under extreme heat, dust, noise which is another key challenge in attracting the younger generation to work at our site. The newer generation of employees emphasise on working in a company with flexible set ups and not on working in a traditional 9 to 6 set up. We are unable to accommodate their needs especially those in operations due to safety and security issues.

What are the measures taken to address these problems? Our management team has always believed in transparent communication with our employees. That’s how we understand their needs and job satisfaction. With open communication in place, we noticed providing them with transportation to our site, attracted

and retained employees staying nearby. Another key measure we have taken is to provide additional benefits, for example free accommodation for those employees from out of town, recognising employees with full attendance awards and provided group medical insurance for employees. We also organise weekly sport /games, which created a win-win situation for both parties and provide them with attractive remuneration packages, opportunities for promotion, overtime and etc. Nonetheless, we believe in people development. We do invest heavily on our employees who are able to show commitment and loyalty to the company. With the opportunities for personal growth and career advancement, they are well informed on the expectations from the management, hence job satisfaction and contentment among our employees.




After the GST YYC Advisors outlines understanding the GST after its implementation.


ith the implementation of GST, all GST registered companies with annual turnover of RM5 Million and over are required to submit GST Return on a quarterly basis. Most companies with financial year end of 31 December will be obligated to file GST Return for their first taxable period of 1 April 2015 to 30 June 2015 and the GST Return must be submitted by 31 July 2015. On the other hand, the first taxable period of GST registered


companies with annual turnover above RM5 million is from 1 April 2015 to 30 April 2015 and these companies are required to submit GST Return on a monthly basis. However, there are also special cases whereby the annual turnover of companies which registered GST with annual turnover of below RM5 million, may now exceed RM5 million. These companies may write in and inform the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) first while they are in the midst of reaching the RM5

Million mark. Moreover, companies that fall under this category may need to submit manually if RMCD have not managed to update their records. We would like to share the critical challenges that many may have faced in GST filing and return submission. According to our experiences in dealing with our clients and the public, we found that many have only discovered that they made mistakes in their GST03 Return after submitting it. Some are minor rounding errors whereas

10 1

• Claimed full input tax on the simplified tax invoice (cannot claim more than RM30).

• Claimed input tax incorrectly on (bank interest, expenses on passenger car, government charges, tax free purchases, staffs’ medical insurance premium, donation and sponsorship, salaries & wages, expenses related to residential properties, purchase of cash voucher, Touch n Go top up and entertainment).


• Over claim input tax credit (one tax invoice is keyed in twice).


• Used wrong tax code.




• Claimed input tax incorrectly on the tax invoice with mixed supply or GST inclusive item.

some are major differences in amounts. These major differences are mainly due to double charging output tax or double claiming input tax. For instance, major differences in amount of GST output tax are caused by not being aware of transitional issues in tax invoices. Many are unaware that any invoice raised before 1 April 2015 and although the goods or services are only delivered later, after 1 April 2015 will still be subject to GST. These mistakes are critical and may lead to committing severe offences of not charging GST, thus indirectly leading to miscomputation of GST Return. Nevertheless, the major factors that lead to these mistakes are caused by lack of GST knowledge, lack of support from GST expertise, human error and system error. Businesses are advised to compute GST Reconciliations (Monthly, Quarterly and Annually) to ascertain correctness of GST input and output tax, never stay in the


• Purchase of capital goods with GST are not disclosed in Box 16 in GST-03 Return.

• Forget to include cash sales and other income in GST Return (due to use of POS system or issuing tax invoice manually)


4 5 6

• Did not charge GST on disposal of fixed asset.

• Claimed input tax credit on improper tax invoice or claimed without tax invoice • Business owner claim input tax credit for both private and business purposes

comfort zone and always be prepared for GST Customs Audit. Based on experiences of many businesses that have submitted GST Return, you are advised to submit the GST Return earlier, don’t leave it to the last minute. There could be a lot of unexpected things that bog you down! Let’s do it right together, we can do it right. This article was written in collaboration with YYC Advisors. YYC is a leading Malaysian group of professional chartered accountants, tax specialists and GST/ business consultants committed in advising and assisting Malaysian businesses’ growth. They provide one-stop GST Support Services for businesses gearing up for GST with the enviable reputation of breaking down complex information into simple and easily understandable pieces for a better understanding of the GST issues at hand. For more information, you may refer to YYC Advisors (03-2142 6689).

SOME PROCEDURES THAT BUSINESSES / SMES SHOULD BE AWARE OF: • Budget for cost of implementing GST. • Hire qualified accountants and GST consultants. • Configuration of accounting systems and recording of business transaction should be done correctly. • Tax planning. • Good management of cash flow is critical as GST is paid on accrual basis. • Analyse capabilities of existing accounting system and make necessary changes. • Review accounts payable process to ensure tracking and recording of expenses and any cash flow implications. • Review employees benefits and process of approving claims that are subject to GST. • Changes required for existing contracts, templates, documentations and related stationery. • Analyse and understand all the transitional issues on supply of goods and services. • Evaluate the impact on pricing of sales with effect from 1 April 2015. • Train employees on understanding and implementation of GST.



Taking over the reins at Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) Current CEO of MIM, Sivanganam Rajaretnan believes having passion and leading by example are key instruments in re-energising the organisation.


P Magazine sat down with Sivanganam Rajaretnan the new CEO of Malaysian Institute of Management to get an insight on where he intended to steer MIM and the milestones he intends to achieve. There is no doubt that his passionate spirit and positive outlook will give MIM the renewal it needs to push forward and achieve excellence in all its endeavours, fulfilling the fundamentals of the visionary leaders before him.

Tell us more about your management style and how it will drive positive change in MIM’s growth. When MIM was founded almost 50 years ago, its heroic mission to serve as the nation’s cornerstone for management leadership and excellence may have seemed ambitious. But succeed MIM did. This materialised because the organisation stood firm in its mission and never lost sight of its core values that are built on the foundations of Excellence, Accountability, Integrity and Growth. Since its inception, MIM has always been fortunate to have visionary and committed individuals steering the organisation forward. As the current CEO, the baton has now been passed on to me to bring MIM into a new era of greatness. I believe I cannot achieve this if I do not have the same passion they possessed in their hearts, to see our nation and this organisation succeed. Passion is the key to success and it’s very contagious, it can spread virally throughout any company, creating an air of excitement, driving people to achieve great things. Passion also encourages 36 | UP MAGAZINE

innovation. Passionate people do not wait for change to happen, they take steps to make necessary change. That is why I try hard to lead by example through my passion for MIM and I actively foster an environment that supports this approach. MIM has been around for almost half a century and many think its glory days are behind us, having a reputation for long dormant ambition and innovation. It is imperative that this perception is changed. MIM remains relevant today as it was when it first began operations. The new MIM is all about leveraging on tradition…but with innovative practices. Our focus has always and will always remain the same, to serve as the nation’s centre of excellence concerned with the practice of management and its development. We are rooted to this cause and together with my dedicated team, we remain passionate and steadfast in ensuring this commitment does not waiver even as we face new challenges every day. We are seeing these positive changes taking place and it is evident that the new MIM is bold, innovative and spirited. This vibrancy is reflected in our new logo, a stronger, more prevailing representation of MIM and our promise. Along with our new logo also comes the introduction of a more inspiring tagline - ‘Engaging Minds, Shaping Futures’. MIM’s new clarion call that truly complements our new logo in communicating our steady efforts for excellence.

What are the steps being taken to re-energise the organisation? It’s going to be an exciting ride re-

energising MIM and we’re facing it head on with a two-pronged approach. Firstly, we need to take steps to improve our fundamentals. Steps that will lead to a positive cultural change that I believe will also cultivate a sense of accountability, even ownership. The payoffs will be great in re-energising MIM. I mentioned earlier about infusing leadership by exemplary practices and inculcating passion. These are just two aspects in the many attributes an organisation requires to succeed. Talent as you know is another invaluable factor. There is simply no substitute for talent and acquiring good talent is every CEO’s dream. We are making sure we hire the right people with the right drive and a smouldering passion to hold the reins. We are also making significant investments in our current pool of talent to ensure their skills and expertise successfully meet the requirements of their roles. Marcus Buckingham, bestselling author and a world renowned coach on leadership said, ‘The ability to keep tweaking roles to capitalise on the uniqueness of each person is the essence of great management’. I truly subscribe to this thinking. Our fundamental role as managers is to help our employees cultivate and capitalise on their strengths so that they can reach their full potential. This is an approach that also focuses on a servant-leader philosophy, where we put the needs of others first and help people develop and perform their best. It will ultimately lead to a higher and more engaged workforce. Apart from talent, communication is also a crucial factor in reaching

CEO of MIM, Sivanganam Rajaretnan.

“MIM remains relevant today as it was when it first began operations. The new MIM is all about leveraging on tradition...but with innovative practices.�

our goals. It is imperative that we constantly communicate effectively on the changes that are happening so that all our stakeholders, from our members to our customers, right down to our employees are in the know. Communication is especially important when it comes to managing our Gen-Y employees. Some will say that they are a different breed, put on this earth to challenge every orthodox and traditional way of thinking. Well, I say, challenge accepted! They are a generation born with privileges we never had. I myself am a father to Gen-Y children and I always felt it was my duty to provide them with the best. With this follows a whole new generation of children who have grown up smarter, entitled even. This fact must be acknowledged for us to develop a strong bond with them. It will pave the way in presenting new techniques to engage with our Gen-Y employees, identifying what motivates and drives them. They have a lot to offer to the success of an organisation and their worth is truly valuable. Our second approach is innovation for greater member engagement. We are undoubtedly an organisation built on membership. Without members, we simply don’t exist. Just as our members invest in us, we too must make significant investments to remain relevant in their eyes and ensure our service offerings are of immense value to them. The world is constantly changing and organisations must innovate to compete. Technology is the main driving force for this and it only goes to show that we cannot rely on conventional methods of doing business anymore. We must keep up with technology trends, especially to deepen interaction with our members, make improvements to our business processes or make enhancements in our service offerings. Members can look forward to a new and improved MIM as we step up our technology game in modernising our member engagement activities. Be it to expand our reach or in introducing new services like e-learning products and online training UP MAGAZINE | 37


programmes, it is an exciting time ahead for us and I truly look forward to seeing our plans materialise.

What are some of the new programmes that MIM will rollout soon? MIM aims to bring a strong women presence back into the workforce with our Women in Leadership programme. Women have always shown great resilience in performing their roles and every bit as capable of being good leaders as men. In fact, they are even known for having more compassion. Why then are women not holding more leadership positions in organisations? Our goal is to inspire and empower women, imparting them with important career development and leadership skills so that they can initiate and lead positive changes in improving working environments. We’re also going back to our basics. All great organisations have an equally great history and as we look forward, we must also look back. I mentioned before that my predecessors were visionary in their approach. They realised early on that investing in our nation’s youth is an investment in our future. As cliché as it may sound, it’s the absolute honest truth. We will be conducting programmes to engage more with university students 38 | UP MAGAZINE

to help cultivate and develop their leadership and managerial skills. We’re also bringing back one of MIM’s greatest platform in youth development, the Tun Razak Youth Leadership Award (TRYLA). The TRYLA is a holistic programme aimed to transform youth between the ages of 24-35 to realise their true leadership potential, beyond their mindlimited capabilities. It empowers them to excel both professionally and personally. Good leaders should never stop learning. Life is a continuous learning process and we should never stop being students. With this in mind, we are developing our C-Suite programmes to further equip C-levels with successful management strategies. The goal is to help them sustain a corporate culture that not only encourages operational excellence but also furnishes them with the additional business acumen needed to develop their next generation leaders.

You have built a career for many years in the manufacturing line, how do you see this background supporting your vision for MIM’s continued growth and success? I came from a previous environment that valued continuous improvement. The practice of ‘Kaizen’ was the very centre of our being. It fostered an

ecosystem that innovates, it cultivated a drive to be meticulous and promoted a performance based culture aimed at achieving greatness and perfection. In addition to that, we also celebrated diversity, and we created an atmosphere of inclusiveness in the workplace where everyone’s role is important towards the success of the organisation. This same vision I have for MIM. We are only limited by our imagination and I am one person that dreams big. Apart from my past working experiences, I also draw from my involvement in leading a large non-profit organisation aimed at improving effective communication and leadership skills. I found it to be a humbling privilege and a marvellous opportunity to hone my leadership skills and to make a significant difference in the lives of the people around you and the organisation you lead. Personally, I come from the belief that we must always commit to give our best, to make a difference and to see the place we work in, thrive and grow. I am also privileged to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share the same belief. They are constantly vibrating with great ideas, willing to share their thoughts and designs for the further development of MIM and our nation. I am thankful to have them by my side. They have what one calls the spirit of altruism. Unselfish in their ways, always working for the greater good. We have had such individuals pass through the corridors of MIM, our previous remarkable leaders and members. It is my hope to gain their support again, for us to work together and set new heights in our purpose and mission. I truly see MIM growing exponentially with the programmes and initiatives already in the pipeline. One measure of our success will be an increase in membership and the utilisation of our services. I’m confident this is achievable and that MIM will continue to be the prevailing voice of management excellence and leadership in Malaysia – heralding a new era of growth in MIM.



Bermaz Motor Upskills Its Workforce Bermaz leads the way by equipping their employees with industry leading qualifications in Malaysia.


ermaz Motor Sdn Bhd, distributor of Mazda vehicles in Malaysia, is leading the way forward in the Malaysian automotive industry by upskilling its workforce with international qualifications. To further enhance customers’ ownership experience, Bermaz has been working with UK-based Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to equip employees with world


class skills and knowledge benchmarked to global standards. Bermaz began its efforts to upskill its staff through IMI qualifications and accreditations in 2012. Last year, 153 Bermaz technicians received the internationallyrecognised Level 1 to Level 3 qualification in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. A further 12 individuals in management roles

Above: The IMI members lounge at Bermaz’s Glenmarie headquarters. From L-R: Herbert Lonsdale, IMI’s International Business Development Manager; Jaswindar Singh, a/l Gurchan Singh, Advisor to Bermaz Motors; Steve Scofield, IMI’s Head of Business Development; Shamsuddin Amran, Bermaz’s Head of After Sales Service with Bermaz’ trainers at the launch of the IM members lounge at Bermaz’ headquarters recently.

received the IMI Diploma in Automotive Retail Management Level 4. Steve Scofield, IMI’s Head of Business Development and Herbert Lonsdale, IMI’s International Business Development Manager recently visited Bermaz’s headquarters to celebrate the launch of the IMI member’s lounge that had been set up by Bermaz. Open daily from Monday to Friday, the lounge comes equipped with a library and online learning facilities. The lounge will also be used to hold educational talks by automotive specialists. The IMI representatives also met with Dato’ Sri Ben Yeoh, CEO of Bermaz who had been awarded an honorary fellowship by the IMI in recognition of his efforts in developing automotive skills in Malaysia. Since taking the reins at Bermaz, Dato’ Sri Yeoh has been a strong advocate of training and development of the company’s human resource. He has implemented an in-house training programme which, over the past few years, has become a beacon to the Malaysian automotive industry. “We believe in training our human assets who are committed to a career in the automotive industry. Working with the IMI, we provide certification and accreditation to our employees through our in-house training

centre. This not only allows our people to be recognised as professionals in the industry, it provides our customers with the assurance that their vehicles are in good hands when undergoing maintenance and repairs,” said Dato’ Sri Yeoh. Matthew Stuart, Senior Manager of IMI South-East Asia hopes more players in the industry will follow Bermaz’s lead in providing international-standard training. As a leading automotive body that helps improve professional standards for the retail motor sector, IMI offers over 250 technical and non-technical qualifications and accreditations through 560 training partners in more than 13 countries around the world. Upon completion of their course, candidates gain certifications recognised in other geographies as their careers progress. In Malaysia, an average of 1,500 candidates are trained per year at partnering community colleges, automotive companies and education bodies. “It is our hope that Malaysia will in time reap the rewards of what companies like Bermaz are doing today with the automotive workforce. With world class assessment centres and with IMI educational support that is globally recognised, Malaysia’s automotive talent will be well sought after,” said Stuart. UP MAGAZINE | 41


FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES AT NO COST! Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera (Yayasan Peneraju) is changing lives by sponsoring certification programmes for professionals.


ost companies still see human resource as more of a cost center than a strategic partner. Because of that, employers become extra prudent in sending their employees for developmental programmes that may result in many missing the chance to upskill themselves. Under the Peneraju Profesional flag of Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera (Yayasan Peneraju), it is now possible to send employees


for specific developmental programmes at no cost to employers. Working adults can now reap the benefits of certification programmes like Accounting (CAT, CBA-CIMA, CFAB, ACCA, CIMA, CPA Australia, ICAEW and MICPA-ICAA) and Chartered Financial Analyst ÂŽ (CFAÂŽ) among others. These part time programmes allow employees to attend classes outside office hours to pursue their professional certifications which in turn will benefit their employers.


Yayasan Peneraju is an initiative launched in 2011 under the Bumiputera Economic Transformation Roadmap under TERAJU with the supervision by Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department. Yayasan Peneraju, for what it stands for, provides scholarships for eligible candidates to the trained/developed and prepare them for what the industries require. Within only three years of operations, more than 4,000 lives have changed through Yayasan Peneraju’s programmes. In 2015, Yayasan Peneraju aims to train more than 4,000 scholars and supply them to the job market in Malaysia. Through its initiatives, Yayasan Peneraju hopes that talents become highly skilled, earn good income and eventually benefit Malaysia.

There are 3 thrust programmes run by Yayasan Peneraju but 2 focuses on upskilling and job matching and placements. They are:


Expert Development Programme for professional and specialist certification

8 Peneraju Profesional Akauntan Muda 8 Peneraju Profesional Akauntan Muda Sarjana 8 Peneraju Profesional Pensijilan Perakaunan 8 Peneraju Profesional Akauntan 8 Peneraju Profesional Jurutera Lokomotif 8 Peneraju Profesional CFA®


Technical Development Programme for up-skilling of vocational and technical skills for international certification

8 Peneraju Skil Iltizam (Animasi, Industri Pelabuhan, Minyak & Gas among others)

8 Peneraju Skil Jurukimpal 8 Peneraju Skil Juruteknik Pesawat Berlesen 8 Peneraju Skil Perakaunan

CONTACT DETAILS Website: Social Media: / General Line: 03-2727 9000 UP MAGAZINE | 43


Employee’s Perception of Work Experience Dips as a Global Trend


Overall improvement across all engagement drivers in Asia Pacific but risk linked to local volatility and talent resources, says new study.

ew research from Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc, finds that while employee engagement levels have plateaued, employees’ overall work experience is deteriorating particularly their perceptions about the resources and programmes that enable them to grow and perform. Aon Hewitt’s Trends in Global Employee Engagement study represents the perspectives of more than 9 million employees at over 1,000 companies in 164 countries. According to the report, global employee engagement levels reached 62% in 2014, up just 1 percentage point from 2013. Employee engagement across the countries with the world’s 20 largest economies and labour pools remained the same at 61%. Despite modest increases in engagement, the study shows that employees’ net satisfaction with their work experience plummeted 28 percentage points in 2014. “As GDP growth continues, we expect to see organisations make greater investments in people, which could result in an increase in employee engagement,” says Dr. Ken Oehler, Aon Hewitt’s global engagement practice leader. “However, any improvements in engagement could be offset by increasing employee dissatisfaction with many of the work-related resources and programmes that enable them to effectively do their jobs. Employees who are engaged, but not empowered, are more likely to be frustrated, burned out and become disengaged, which puts organisations at risk of having suboptimal productivity and higher-than-average employee turnover,” he points out.

GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT DRIVERS The study found that career opportunities – the top driver of engagement – dipped three percentage points. Other top engagement drivers – reputation, pay, employee value proposition and innovation – also show opportunity for improvement, with about half of the global population dissatisfied with these key engagement priorities. Work experience indicators that saw the most significant decline in employee perception worldwide include: • Enabling tools, resources and people programs (-7 percentage points) • Employees feeling valued (-6 percentage points) • Customer focus and responsiveness to customer needs (-5 percentage points) • Change in Employees’ Perception of Work Experience 44 | UP MAGAZINE

Global Drivers

Percent Change

Senior Leadership


Brand Alignment








Work/Life Balance








Learning and Development


Managing Performance


Organisation Reputation




Work Processes


Physical Work Environment






Sense of Accomplishment


Work Tasks




Career Opportunities




BU/Division Leadership


Customer Focus


People/HR Practices


Valuing People/People Focus




Net Employee Work Experience:


“There has been significant emphasis on increasing engagement over the last several years, but many organisations are overly focused on diagnostics and not on the holistic solutions that address the specific challenges they are facing,” says Oehler. “The best way to rapidly address low engagement levels is to ‘fix the basics’ in areas like safety or the systems, processes and resources needed to get work done. Beyond these areas, top organisations will create a culture of engagement by focusing on performance, growth and engaging leadership,” he adds.

Volatility A complex and dynamic global environment requires more of employees and leaders.


-2% to +8%

The report shows engagement levels vary by region: • Latin America continues to be the region with the highest engagement levels, with approximately seven out of 10 employees engaged. • The Africa and the Middle East region is seeing the greatest positive trajectory, with engagement rising 14 percentage points since 2012 to 67%. • In North America, engagement reached near pre-recession levels at 66%. • The Asia Pacific region has seen a nine percentage point increase in average engagement over the last five years, due in large part to high economic opportunities across many markets in the region. • Europe remains the same at 57% with many markets continuing to struggle with stalled economic growth. “If we look closer to home, while engagement levels in Malaysia have marginally increased (+ 3 to 4% compared to 2014), employers still need to persevere. To drive engagement, companies in Malaysia need to go beyond providing the basics and, as Best Employers demonstrate each year should focus on providing a compelling employer brand, engaging leadership and high performance orientation,” says Prashant Chadha, Managing Director, Malaysia. Stephen Hickey, Head of Talent, ANZ and Co-head of Engagement Services, Asia Pacific, says that the Asia Pacific region shows continuing strong prospects but also local volatility and engagement risk. “In this region, we see strong GDP growth and improved engagement and work experience indicators across all key engagement drivers,” he states.

Make Employee Engagement Happen Global Engagement Trends

62% ..... h1pt 61% Engagement in the world’s largest markets (no change)

Range of economic growth in the world’s largest markets



-6 to +15


Point at which GDP growth moves from tailwind to potential engagement barrier

Range in engagement levels across markets

Range in the change in engagement levels across markets

Change in employees that engage or disengage year over year

Our Talent practices are helping us build and sustain a culture and leaders within Cargill. We need to engage our employees to drive high performance.” ~ Director, Assessment, Coaching, Engagement and Performance Management Source: AON Hewitt’s 2015 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Report

Average Employee’s Work Experience

28% i

Net change in employee work experience


Enablement, autonomy and sense of accomplishment


People focus

2012 2013 2014


60% 61% 62%

North America



57% 57% 57%

Asia Pacific




Latin America




Africa/Middle East






Customer focus

Top Engagement Drivers Only about half of employees have a favorable view of the critical engagement areas: * #1 Employee growth opportunities


* #2 Reputation

No change

* #3 Pay

No change

* #4 Perceptions of a strong EVP



* #5 Innovation

h3pts h1pt

8 of 10



favorable on leadership, reputation, performance and engagement

higher TSR for Aon Hewitt Best Employers vs. average company

higher operating income for companies that invest in engaging leaders



Beyond Knowledge:

Developing Skill Mastery Through Project Management Training By Michelle LaBrosse


egardless of the type of job you currently hold or the industry you work in, you’ve most likely gone through some sort of training program. You’ve probably noticed that some training programmes and activities stick with you beyond the training itself, while others are easily forgotten. What accounts for this difference? We discovered that for training to have lasting impact, it must engage all four levels of learning. Most corporate training works at the first two levels of awareness and knowledge; it is then left up to you to figure out how to apply the knowledge. The educational experiences incorporate skill development into their activities and provide you feedback throughout this process so that you can create value with what you know. In order to show why skill development and mastery are so important, we first need to define the four levels of learning:













This is the level of learning where you become aware of the range of knowledge possible but have not yet acquired that knowledge. For example, many people think there is nothing to doing Project Management. They are not even aware there is a whole body of knowledge relating to how to do your projects more effectively. When they start to realise that there are in fact numerous skills they could acquire that would help them become more successful with their projects, they have achieved the first level of learning – awareness. Once people are aware there is a lot more to managing projects than they originally thought and they do, in fact, manage quite a few projects in their lives (even if they are not called a “Project Manager”), then they have intrinsic motivation to acquire more knowledge about how to better manage their projects. This is where most other Project Management training programmes come in – they teach you key Project Management terminology and practices, and help you develop an understanding of examples in which this knowledge is put into use. Learning by example, however, is not the same thing as learning in your own environment. Everything always seems to work out so nicely in the examples, doesn’t it? This is where the limits of “knowledge” are most obvious. To do the hard work of putting skills into practice in the complicated, messy reality of life, you need to move beyond Knowledge to Skills.

When you develop real skills in an area, you have advanced beyond the level of being able to understand just hypothetical situations. You are now able to identify the most relevant areas of your knowledge and make them work for you. You develop strong negotiation skills by applying what you learn about negotiating based on your unique personality type. You not only know the various negotiation techniques that can throw you off, but you are able to swiftly and appropriately respond to these in the heat of the moment because you developed the skills to do.

Skills are closely tied to mastery. Mastery, however, is only reached when you make consistent deliberate practice with your skills – and it always takes time. For example, you reach mastery with your negotiation skills when you consistently practice negotiating using the processes you have learned. Mastery is no small achievement – when you reach this level in one or several skills, you develop expertise in this area.

What does it mean to have developed expertise in an area? The National Research Council’s 1999 study on experts revealed that experts in a wide range of fields all displayed the following four abilities: noticing patterns others can’t see, organising their knowledge, understanding context when making decisions, and quickly retrieving a wide range of knowledge. When you become an expert in your field, you not only perform to your highest level of ability, but you become an indispensable resource to others on your team. Achieving great success in your career requires reaching a mastery level of learning in one of your areas of innate strength. Training programmes are a key step to reaching masterwy, but the programmes must be focused on application of knowledge in your own environment. If the programme revolves around only memorisation of information or lectures with no opportunity to apply what is described, then learning takes place only at the lowest level. When deciding where to go for Project Management training, make sure to invest in a programme that moves you beyond awareness and knowledge and into the realms that matter most – skills and mastery.

MICHELLE LABROSSE, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses. Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques. Honoured by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle is recognised by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world. Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications.She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/ President Management (OPM) program and holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.



Enterprise Security


lobal study confirms the need to identify and support highrisk, security-lax employees to protect sensitive data. The study also reveals that 63% in Malaysia share their devices regularly and 71% believing that mobile technologies enable them to be more productive. This increasingly mobile world has produced a new generation. #GenMobile are a group of people for whom smartphones have gone beyond personal entertainment and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). In fact, they’re now shaping their lives, especially their working lives, around mobile devices. Aruba Networks, Inc. is calling for 48 | UP MAGAZINE

businesses worldwide to take action as a new mobile security risk report reveals that businesses are ill prepared for the high-risk, high-growth mindset of the #GenMobile workforce, creating alarming disparity around security practices in the corporate world. The chasm that is exposed between age, gender, income level, industry and geographic location has a direct effect on the security of corporate data. The “Securing #GenMobile: Is Your Business Running the Risk” security threat study, which questioned over 11,500 workers from 23 countries including Malaysia, shows that employee attitudes are swaying towards

more sharing of devices. They also have an indifferent view to security in the workplace. The study shows that the younger males especially those in the high tech and finance industries in Malaysia pose the greatest risk to enterprise data security. Three key trends highlight how #GenMobile is paving the way for risk-prone behaviour in the workforce – which can be both good and bad for business.



• GLOBAL Globally, six in 10 share their work and personal devices regularly

with others. Nearly a fifth of employees do not have passwords on devices, with 22% of respondents stating that they do not have security measures in place so that they can share more easily. • MALAYSIA In Malaysia, similar to global, six in 10 of the respondents share their work and personal devices with others regularly. Also, about 29% of the respondents do not have security measures in place enabling them to share easily.

and business growth. That said, these employees are also far more willing to share company data, and are notably oblivious towards security,” said Beverly Lu, Senior Director of Marketing, Asia Pacific Japan, Aruba Networks. However, as this high-risk culture enters the enterprise, the report finds an alarming level of disparity among industries, individuals and countries when it comes to the treatment of mobile devices and data:

of paper compared to those in high tech. Educators also score the lowest, compared to all other industries, when asked if they password-protect their personal smartphones. • MALAYSIA Finance professionals (34%) and educators (17%) in Malaysia are most likely to store passwords on a sheet of paper compared to other industries. They also scored the lowest when asked if they password protect their personal smartphones.






• GLOBAL Security ranks fifth behind brand and operating system when #GenMobile is making buying decisions for new devices. Nearly nine in 10 (87%) of respondents assume their IT departments will keep them protected; however, a third (31%) have lost data due to the misuse of a mobile device. • MALAYSIA Security ranks third among respondents in Malaysia for device purchase decision making. A high 82% of respondents believe IT departments will keep them protected and 40% in Malaysia admit to having lost data due to misuse of mobile device.

FINANCE IS LEAKING DATA • GLOBAL Believe it or not, 39% of global respondents from financial institutions admit to losing company data through the misuse of a mobile device, which is 25% higher than the average across all industries surveyed. The public sector (excluding education) is the least likely to report lost or stolen data. • MALAYSIA In Malaysia, a high 39% of the workers in the finance industry report loss of personal data and 23% admit to identify theft. It is the hospitality sector (excluding education) that is least likely to report lost or stolen data in Malaysia.




• GLOBAL Over half (56%) of workers today say they are willing to disobey their boss to get something done, another 51% say that mobile technologies enable them to be more productive and engaged, and over three quarters (77%) are willing to perform self-service IT. • MALAYSIA In Malaysia, more than half (62%) say they will disobey their boss to get something done, and 71% say mobile technologies enable them to be more productive and engaged. Interestingly, 81% of the Malaysian respondents say they are willing to perform self-service IT. “#GenMobile workers are flexible, transparent and collaborative, willing to take action to drive productivity


• GLOBAL High tech employees globally are nearly two times (46%) more likely than hospitality or education workers to simply give up their device password if asked for it by IT. • MALAYSIA Comparable with the global respondents, Malaysia high tech employees are two times (42%) more likely to give out their passwords if asked by IT compared to workers in the education sector.



FEMALES IN MALAYSIA MORE PRONE TO DATA THEFT • GLOBAL Men are 20% more likely to have lost personal or client data due to the misuse of a smartphone and 40% more likely than females to fall victim to identity theft. • MALAYSIA In contrast, women in Malaysia (26%) are more likely to have lost personal data due to the misuse of a smartphone compared to men (20%). Women here are also more prone to identify theft.


YOUNGER EMPLOYEES WREAK HAVOC ON COMPANY SECURITY • GLOBAL Respondents over the age of 55 are half as likely to experience identity theft or loss of personal/client data compared to younger employees. The age bracket with the highest propensity of data and identity theft are employees between 25 and 34 years old. • MALAYSIA Respondents over age of 55 in Malaysia are six times less likely to experience identity theft or loss of personal/client data compared to younger employees. It is the 25-34 years old group that are prone to losing their personal data.



• GLOBAL The study reveals that educators globally are 28% more likely to store passwords on a sheet

• GLOBAL Employees earning more than USD60K are more than twice as likely as those earning less than USD18K




to have lost company financial data and 20% more likely to lose personal data due to misuse or theft of a mobile device. Ironically, when offered money, those that earn greater than USD75K were three times as likely to give out their device password as respondents making less than USD18K. • MALAYSIA Employees in Malaysia who make more than USD60K are six times as likely to have lost company financial data and two times as likely to have lost personal data compared to those making less than USD18K. However, the higher income earners are not willing to give up their device password when offered them with money.



• HIGH-RISK, HIGH GROWTH The emerging and growth markets of China, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are found to exhibit the highest risk behaviors worldwide suggesting that greater risk-taking is linked to increased growth and opportunity as much as it relates to security risk. • WEST IS PLAYING IT SAFE: To support this connection, the least riskprone countries are the westernised markets, including the USA, UK and Sweden.



The study suggests that businesses may not be prepared for what lies ahead with over a third (37% globally and 26% in Malaysia) do not have any type of basic mobile security policy in place. Nearly a fifth (18%) of employees globally and 11% in Malaysia do not use password protection on their devices, suggesting that employers are not enforcing some basic security practices. Aruba contends that if businesses strategically measure and intelligently manage their security, the more flexible, open methods of working and information exchange that #GenMobile workers bring can drive new business innovation. 50 | UP MAGAZINE

“Organisations should strive to build a secure and operational framework for all workers, rather than stifle them. These trends underline that #GenMobile employees continue to be a growing part of the everyday workforce, but they also bring with them some risky behaviours,” said Lu. “In a contemporary connected world, firms need to nurture creativity, while at the same time minimise the risk of data and information loss. As a result, employers need to take an adaptive trust approach to connectivity and data security, identifying individual worker preferences that factor multiple layers of contextual information in order to build secure infrastructures around them.”

RUN YOUR RISK Using this global data, Aruba has developed an online Security Risk Index tool to allow organisations to benchmark their Mobile Security risk levels relative to organisations in their country and industry.


Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company designs and delivers MobilityDefined Networks that empower IT departments and #GenMobile, a new generation of tech-savvy users who rely on their mobile devices for every aspect of work and personal communication. To create a mobility experience that #GenMobile and IT can rely upon, Aruba MobilityDefined Networks™ automate infrastructure-wide performance optimisation and trigger security actions that used to require manual IT intervention. The results are dramatically improved productivity and lower operational costs.


RATE CARD (HALF A4) ( JULY 2015 ) OTL copy.pdf 1 7/29/2015 5:15:42 PM



Right Culture VS Wrong Culture E.T. Khor, Culture Transformation Expert discusses why it’s crucial to have the right working culture to get optimum results. DOES THIS SCENARIO SOUND FAMILIAR? A Marketing Executive just emailed his colleague in Finance to request for some numbers. He needs this information in order to run his next campaign. Somehow, the response from finance took too long, which resulted in the marketing campaign having to be delayed and they missed out on a window of opportunity to market their product. As expected, the Marketing team accused Finance of being slow in their response, and Finance responded by saying Marketing came to them at the last minute and didn’t specify when they needed the information. While both Marketing and Finance had their points, it can also be said both played their part in contributing to the problem. The fact is, this could have been averted had there been a culture of openness and accountability between the parties involved. Culture is the sum of behaviours of the individuals in a team or organisation. Much of these behaviours will be guided by the values in the organisation. So why is having the right culture so important?


Culture Drives Performance

If a company has a culture where all the staff take accountability in the organisation’s results (not just their teams or departments), everyone would have been aware and concerned about ensuring the marketing campaign was able to run on time. Could the Finance staff have taken the initiative to find out


how important or urgent the request was? Perhaps the Marketing staff should have also explained this upfront, instead of just making a request for information. Having everyone in the company being accountable creates an environment where everyone does what is needed to deliver the best service, complete a project or meet a deadline, instead of just waiting and finger pointing when things go wrong.


Constant Improvement Is A Must!

Leaders should be constantly looking to develop their people as this creates a culture of wanting to improve constantly. Having a mindset of seeking to learn and a desire to change things around will usually bring benefits such as processes shortened, errors reduced, revenues improved and costs being reduced. That is because everyone is constantly looking to see where else we can do better.


It’s All About Having A Happy Environment

Nobody wants to work in a miserable work environment, regardless of how much the pay is or how glamourous the company may be. A positive culture means everyone working towards a common goal, ever y individual playing their roles and having great leadership and teamwork. This can increase motivation, reduce turnover and basically have your people look forward to coming to work every morning.

E.T. KHOR (Khor Eng Tat) • Culture Transformation Expert • Certified PEAKS Psychometric Consultant • Certified Professional Trainer (HRDF/PSMB & Western Kentucky University) H/P : +6012-390 6772 E-mail : Website: E.T. Khor is a Culture Transformation Expert. With 10 years of training and consulting experience, he specialises in culture transformation, mindset change, leadership, personality development, change management and team development. ET has worked and trained in Malaysia, China, Singapore, Brunei and UK. His programs are able to impact people, change behaviours and are trackable/measurable.



Innovating and Scaling Talent Capabilities To Drive Business Growth Farhani Lee explores the importance of hiring and retaining the right talent in an organisation.


Farhani Lee is a Personal Brand Strategist, Educator and Author of “How To Market Like Lady Gaga”, also Founder of Karl Consult Sdn Bhd that focuses on entrepreneurial development systems and processes for business stakeholders, SMEs and scalable corporations. Find out more about Farhani Lee at


ack in the 90’s, organisations were stormed with challenges of hiring the right people that perform, resulting in ‘war talents’ in some industries across employment sectors. It is important to seek and recruit ‘that top performer and the brightest’ talent they can find for that post, and at whatever cost required. Today, businesses are being run with speed, high trust and value propositions expected in delivering great results to end customers. Thus, management have come to understand that each and every talent in the organisation play a pertinent part to ensure these objectives are met every step of the way. Many organisations are still striving to seek capable ‘shiny’ talents to provide greater efforts to deliver to these objectives. However, this is not a stand-alone effort of an individual. It demands great cohesive team effort and contribution to achieve this, in which most company’s will participate in ‘team-building’ exercises and activities to keep fostering the need to work together. With the toughest economic challenges experienced now in most regions, combined with high competitive businesses impacted globally, businesses have been challenged to deal in a manner that not only required staff to be performing at their best, but demand their people to be constantly innovative, proactive and creative. The words ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ are often considered synonyms, along with the perceived meaning of competency, productivity and proficiency. From the perspective of a stakeholder’s point of expectation, efficiency is about doing things right, while effectiveness is all about doing the ‘right’ thing. With this expectation in mind, today’s stakeholders include human resource partners’ main concern on how they can build and develop their existing pool of talent to be capable and efficient while being effective at the same time. This perhaps, may call for human resource heads to find solutions beyond existing trainings, in order to be able to nurture these talents to

become somewhat, the corporation’s ‘armies or warriors’ that put in relentless effort and hardwork to ensure business targets and visions are met. The question is ‘who are those people coming on board with you for that ‘battle’ and who is willing to ‘fight’ with you, when on the battlefield?’ With this in mind, most organisations and human resource managers begin to understand that it takes more than just salary to motivate.They begin to see their human capital needs and their talents differently. To an extent, it acknowledges the fact that existing workforce today are highly vulnerable, which can take a toll on the business itself and at times, may even cost organisations a loss. Human resource leaders start to see this problem as an added business challenge aside from the already tough ones such as meeting organisational KPIs and balancing scorecard targets. Businesses are now becoming even more vulnerable on its own. It is at this critical level, organisational stakeholders and human resource professionals need to put their highest priority to not only hire the ‘right’ talent, but to first seek a holistic talent development solution that focuses in building, developing and growing a strong, visionary and enthusiastic workforce who are willing to give and contribute more than they are expected to do. This is truly a personal ownership attribute, as it calls for each member of staff to look far and beyond what they are required to do, as if they own the business themselves. The most immediate need may be to consider adopting a long term solution plan that stretch and scale existing talent abilities and capabilities through a holistic change through personal development aspects of behavioural change, mindset, beliefs, identity, needs and wants, abilities, purpose, mission and perhaps their own visionary aspects. If you ask me, it is about time to have that ‘wake up call’ and believe that our employees too can be an ‘employee-preneur’, given the right environment, platform and opportunity for each individual to grow and excel in any organisation.

“We are focused on providing programmes that will add value to the employers so that their employees will be able to compete in the international arena.�



GADGET GUIDE MICROSOFT SURFACE 3 : DESKTOP MACHINE & TABLET The Surface tablet strives to make itself known as the ultimate laptop. Running Windows 8, it performs exactly like a desktop machine, with the advantage of turning into a tablet with just a touch of an icon. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to draw and take down notes with a pen. If you’re not fazed by its 10.8-inch display, you can hold it up to take pictures and videos.


POLAROID ZIP PRINTER : PORTABLE AND INSTANT PRINTS If you have a smartphone camera will you bother to print out hard copies of your pictures? You will if you have the Zip or Zink Instant Printer from Polaroid. The Polaroid Zip printer is a pocketable wireless photo printer that turns your smartphone pictures into full-colour 2-inch x 3-inch prints. Simple to set up and use, it doesn’t require any consumables beyond Polaroid’s Zink paper. It is a great accessory for freeing your photos from your smartphone.

What’s the next best thing to get after an iPhone? An Apple Watch, of course. It comes ready to strap around your wrist in three models: stainless steel straps and sapphire glass watch face, Sport edition with anodised aluminum straps and ion-X glass, and the luxurious edition with an 18-carat gold casing. Connected wirelessly to your iPhone, the watch can alert and notify you of messages, calls and emails. You can make calls or send messages the normal way or sketch something with your finger on the display. When you tap on it the other person can feel your tap patterns on his Apple wrist watch and when you press two fingers on it, you send someone your heartbeat.

MONSTER 24K HEADPHONES : LUXURY AUDIO IN GOLD If you are into music, the Monster 24K headphones are designed just for you. With unmatched clarity and depth, as well as DJ-style swiveling earcups, you’ll experience the purest 24k sound. The headphone’s ControlTalk in-line controls let you conveniently switch between songs and incoming calls. An in-line mic features controls for Android, tablets and other devices.


XIAOMI YI CAMERA : ACTION CAMERA Looking deceptively like a little toy camera in white or green, the Xiaomi Yi aims to be a GoPro killer. The Chinese phone maker managed to squeeze in a huge 16 megapixels into its lens with 155 degrees of wide angle viewing. This little device can capture action videos in high resolution of 1080p. To save some microSD space you can shoot in a low 480p. It snaps still pictures individually, in bursts or time intervals, and with self-timer if you wish.

MICROSOFT UNIVERSAL FOLDABLE KEYBOARD : FOLD IT, LINK IT This universal foldable keyboard is an ideal travel companion. It is ultra-thin, lightweight and compact making it easy to be carried around anywhere. To switch it on, just open it. You can simultaneously pair it with any two mobile devices such as an iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Windows tablets, and Windows Phone, and then instantly switch between them with a single touch. When you’re done, simply close it to turn it off and you’re ready to go.

ACER REVO ONE : COMPACT COMPUTER The Acer Revo One is one little bulbous gadget. On one side, it contains all the necessary HDMI and mini display ports you would need to link it to a TV. With WiFi and four USB ports, it also doubles as a regular computer. It has 2 GB of RAM and you can easily add 2.5-inch hard disks or SSDs to boost its storage to as much as 6 TB. You can control it using a wireless keyboard or with your smartphone or tablet.

LG G4 SMARTPHONE : LEATHER BACKED A gold finish on a phone may be the height of luxury for some, but for others it is the genuine leather stitched onto the back of the phone. The LG G4 combines the latest technology with a classic look and feel. This camera allows you to capture key moments even in low lighting with a state-of-the-art 16MP (f/1.8) camera in the rear and 8MP up front. It also streams in vibrant and authentic colours on a 5.5” IPS Quantum QHD display with 538 PPI.

FUJIFILM X-T10 CAMERA : BETTER THAN ANY CAMERA PHONE The new Fujifilm X-T10, a light, small and easyto-hold camera, is the latest to join Fuji’s X-series digital camera line-up. It doesn’t use photographic film but it can simulate it by letting you select options from its Film Simulation modes. Its digital system can autofocus on a subject in 0.06 seconds, with up to 77 points. There is almost no lag time between shots even in low lighting conditions. With a 16.3 megapixels lens, pictures turn out sharper than those from most smartphones.

KYOCERA TORQUE GO2 : SEA WORTHY SMARTPHONE The Kyocera Torque G02 is said to be the first sea water-resistant smartphone. It is said to meet military toughness standards in categories such as resistance to water and dust and shocks. It can also withstand a brief dip in the ocean as well as operate and take photos in salt water. The phone’s camera software even includes an underwater mode to keep colours vivid when snapping shots of sea life. It is also loaded with apps that can track weather and water conditions, and offline maps. Without a doubt, it is just the thing for those into extreme sports.

TIPS EXCEL SHORTCUTS 1. To open more than one file at once: first select the multiple files. Then press Enter. 2 To add more than one row or column: drag and select, say, three rows. Then right click the rows highlighted. Next, from drop down menu, choose Insert. 3. To move from top of sheet to bottom line of data: Click Ctrl + and the down arrow key. 4. To select all data: just click on corner button 5. To enter a number beginning with zeros: just place a single quote before the first zero.



GRAND HYATT This luxurious 5-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur offers seven unique, versatile event venues spanning over 3,300 square metres of dedicated meeting and event space. The venue’s design has adopted circular curves to create a more comfortable, softer and warmer ambience. In addition, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur has also expanded a new event venue on the highest floor of the building – the Sky Lobby Lounge. Planners now have a variety of venue options to host private business meetings or grand events.

INTERCONTINENTAL Redesigned as an elegant and flexible environment to canvas a variety or events, the pillarless Grand Ballroom accommodates up to 1,300 people and the Junior Ballroom can cater to over 230 people. The eight smaller function rooms can accommodate between 30 and 70 people. The function rooms are now equipped with upgraded audiovisual amenities, new high-resolution LCD projectors, HDMI cables, Wi-Fi connectivity, increased motorised screens and programmable LED lightings to create ambiance to suit every function requirement.

CAPRI BY FRASER Located in the newly transformed Bangsar South district, and surrounded by a myriad of entertainment and recreation options, Capri by Fraser in Kuala Lumpur, marries the complete range of facilities to cater to the needs of businessmen. Capri offers seamless complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi Internet connectivity so that the hotel guests are constantly connected throughout the property – in the rooms and all public spaces. Meeting and conference facilities such as The Pod and Pow-Wow, are also equipped with the latest audio-visual capabilities.

RENAISSANCE Located near the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, this 5-star hotel caters to business travellers’ needs with meeting spaces equipped with the latest audiovisual technology, plus a fully staffed business center offering copy, fax, messenger, secretarial and translation services. Guest rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, a desk, 24hour room service and a coffee/tea maker. The 2,000 square feet Grand Harpers conference room which can seat 80 attendees in a reception-style setup is the latest in the hotel’s portfolio of event spaces which spread out across nearly 37,000 square feet and 26 multi-functional rooms. 58 | UP MAGAZINE



G TOWER HOTEL Awarded as the first green building in Malaysia, GTower Hotel is located at the prime area of Kuala Lumpur and is minutes away from the city’s major attractions such as KLCC, Petronas TwinTower and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The hotel offers choice of seven multi-functional meeting and boardrooms to host a variety of events from business meetings to seminars and 2 function rooms which can accommodate up to 196 people each, with a theatre style option and a partition to divide the room.

TRADERS HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur by Shangri-La offers the best panoramic view of the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC Park and the city’s skyline. Trader’s natural daylight meeting rooms are available at the Business Centre and Traders Lounge, offering functional and private meeting facilities for small boardroom conferences with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. The hotel is also connected to the world-class Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) which offers the city’s most technologically advanced facilities, ideal for conference delegates.

THE MAJESTIC HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR The resplendent pillarless Majestic Ballroom seats 1,200 for a banquet or 1,500 theatre-style. A large pre-function area is ideal for cocktails or exhibitions. State of the art audio-visual facilities provide fidelity of sound suitable for an indoor concert, while the largest LED wall in any ballroom in Malaysia will enhance every event or celebration. The hotel’s 13 elegant function rooms allow flexibility when organising conferences, meetings and seminars and its professional banqueting and meeting planners help ensure successful events.

GRAND MILLENNIUM KUALA LUMPUR The 5 star Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur blends style and sophistication, making it a preferred choice for all discerning travelers. Spanning over 15,000 square feet of versatile spaces, the hotel’s selection of meeting and function rooms are well-appointed with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, intelligent lighting systems and efficient internet connectivity to suit every occasion from conferences, receptions or social events.


A perfect destination for business and leisure... A 4-star resort hotel offering 183 spacious guest rooms and suites with full amenities five F&B outlets with one ballroom and 13 meeting rooms to cater to your business requirement or even for a weekend ascapade. Perfect destination for:

We are a certified Leadership & Training Program provider approved by Ministry of Human Resources and claimable under HRDF



PARTY The RIGHT Way At The Malaysia Urban Retreat Festival 2015 Encapsulating the best of festival fun through wellness, music and dance promoting a healthier lifestyle from the core.


assion for a healthier mind, body and spirit drove Shobie Malani to mastermind the latest festival to grace our shores, The Malaysia Urban Retreat Festival 2015 (MURFEST). To be held from the 13-15 November 2015 at Pullam, Bangsar, the festival is all set to bring a holistic meaning to partying. UP Magazine speaks to Shobie about how it all began and what festival goers can expect from the second edition of Murfest.

What is the inspiration behind Murfest? Four years ago on a solo trip to Bali, I was invited to be part of an amazing festival called the Bali Spirit Festival, in Ubud. It was a festival that changed and impacted my life in a big way as I was introduced to holistic living, yoga, world music and dance that transcended cultural barriers. I came home feeling the need to bring such a festival to our shores. MURFEST was born with just one objective in mind- to remove the public’s misconception that being healthy meant only taking care of your physical body. With MURFEST, it’s all about addressing the needs of a healthy body, mind and soul, which we often neglect. An urban retreat of such a nature will definitely transform the urbanites from being unproductive individuals at work with stress related issues, to becoming productive and effective individuals not just at work but at home with family and friends. This festival began as a dream for my daughter and today we are the pioneers in educating a new generation of health conscious individuals.

What was the feedback from Murfest 2014 and what are your hopes that this year the festival will garner even more support from festival goers locally and internationally?


MURFEST 2014 was held at the beautiful grounds of Pullman Lakeside Putrajaya and Marina Putrajaya. It was a bit of a challenge as many complained about the distance. Hence that is why this year, we brought the Festival closer to the centre of Klang Valley to Pullman, Bangsar. We have extensively promoted MURFEST to our International partners and supporters and can already see amazing feedback from our foreign guests. This year, the festival hopes to not only garner participation from tourists but from the local URBAN workforce. It is the right place to come unwind with colleagues, to have a unique team building activity and to ensure that your lifestyles matches your work placement. Attending MURFEST, participating in workshops and seminars by International speakers and facilitators will ensure employees get the best solutions to beat stress, gain healthy habits and be motivated.

In your opinion are more and more Malaysians focused on a healthier, more holistic lifestyle? If not, how do you think we can instill the importance of this in Malaysian society. There is a huge shift now in Malaysians wanting a more conscious lifestyle. More people are attending classes in wellness and although the awareness is there, it may not be enough. It has to start in

CORPORATE WELLNESS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER! Corporate wellness cannot be treated as a band-aid, and you definitely won’t be able to find it in a fitness app. Engagement, motivation, support and strategy are the keys to a successful program. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you design a wellness program for your company: A HIGHER LEVEL OF AWARENESS IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS. Malaysians are becoming more and more health conscious. But due to higher stress, longer work days and constant multitasking, it is more difficult to find the time to act on wellness goals. Creating an on-site wellness program is important because the majority of an employee’s time is spent at the workplace. MANY CHRONIC DISEASES ARE PREVENTABLE. The Malaysian Ministry of Health reports chronic diseases account for 75 percent of total healthcare costs. They are also the most preventable type of disease. Such illnesses include heart disease, stroke, cancer and obesity. The only way to prevent disease is with actionable steps to halt progression. When a person is able to commit mentally, emotionally and socially and on a conscience level, progress is possible. An employee wellness program needs to address this through consistent education and layers of accountability. BE CREATIVE. Corporate wellness shouldn’t be boring. Creating unique and dynamic programs that consistently evolve over time to ensure the best possibility of long term success. Human beings need to be challenged and stimulated in different ways via different means to create change. Challenge your program to stay on the latest trends and appoint a wellness lead that takes direct responsibility over the programme. schools. It is not just teaching our kids about fitness, but also aspects of the mind, body and soul. A healthy body does not mean a healthy mind. Depression and anxiety have been known now to start with children as young as 6 years old. Getting it right from the early years will ensure a much stable generation as we move forward encouraging quality graduates and then you get the cream of the crop in employees and human resource. Holistic programs in schools, universities and also in the workforce would enable continued education on a complete healthy lifestyle. For more info please visit www. or contact hotline +60166610262 for further enquiries.

COMBAT RISING HEALTHCARE COSTS. Healthcare costs are rising year after year and employers, especially those from smaller companies are unable to keep up. As a result, they are passing the costs on to their employees through higher deductibles. As an alternative, some employers are now lowering employee’s contributions with rebates if they do participate in wellness programmes. CORPORATE WELLNESS IS A COMPLEX, LONG TERM PLAY. The success of corporate wellness is driven by the unique strategy behind it. It involves a framework that outlines short and long-term goals for the employee and the employer. Corporate wellness needs support, leadership, commitment from the vendor, employer and employees. A successful program takes time and constantly evolves so it can be integrated into the fabric of the company’s culture. It involves layers of physical activity, education, communication, incentives, and a long term commitment.



Reversing Brain-drain in Malaysia


s a developing nation transitioning from labourintensive economy to one that is higher up the value chain, Malaysia faces challenges similar to other nations in the region. High-skilled talents are scarce and many companies are engaged in nailbiting competitions to recruit and retain the best people. The push for the ‘Malaysianisation’ of the workforce led to the formation of TalentCorp in 2011 to help drive economic transformation in the country. At its core, TalentCorp shoulders the responsibility to attract skilled Malaysians living abroad back to Malaysia with incentives such as tax exemptions and appealing remuneration schemes. Luring these high-skilled Malaysians back home helps us get a step closer to achieving the country’s economic goals such as becoming a developed nation by 2020. The target is to have skilled workers make up 50 per cent of the population within that time frame. The many ways of getting there however do not come cheap. Whilst Government initiatives are encouraging in many areas, we have seen the demand for talented local candidates skyrocketing over the years. There are scores of returning talent with in-demand skills and highly valued international experience, but they come with a price tag that sets employers back compared with a local recruit. Recruitment and human resource services company, Hays also rightly pointed out that, remuneration is only part of the equation that would sway


such hires. What motivates Malaysians to return and what is the best approach to their recruitment? In a survey of what matters most to Malaysian skilled workers working abroad, Hays reached out to 341 survey respondents, 25 per cent had studied in Malaysia and 25 per cent in Europe. The quest resulted in some major findings: Returning Malaysians are typically a highly educated group. 44 per cent hold a Bachelor degree, 37 per cent a Masters. Almost one third (30 per cent) of the survey group have 15 years or more of experience and 22 per cent have between five and 10years of experience. They have studied or worked internationally which provides them with a Westernised way of thinking and experience of how business is done overseas. Employers operating in a globalised economy value such skills and experience not least because these returners are in demand to help drive economic reform. They also have an advantage over foreigners; their local cultural understanding. Moving on from there, Hays asked returner survey respondents what would make them consider coming back to Malaysia. Culture and family ties are strong factors in motivating talent to return home. A significant 62 per cent of returners said it was a desire to live closer to their family. A further 53 per cent said they miss the culture and lifestyle but people who have lived and worked abroad are also often highly ambitious to achieve certain career goals. Twenty three per

cent said they were motivated by more job opportunities in Malaysia compared with abroad and 31 per cent said their career path would be faster in Malaysia. Financial services seems to be leading the pack in terms of demand. The sur vey suggested continual demand for senior level finance professionals who have international experience and regional exposure with multinational companies in Malaysia. In light of this, 20 per cent of returners further supported the observation with intentions to work in financial services. Other desired industries include IT/ telecommunications (14 per cent), engineering (also 14 per cent) and professional services (12 per cent). As for salary, many returning Malaysians are aware of their worth in the global marketplace, the value of their demand back home, as well as the advantage of their cultural awareness and global business acumen. Therefore it is no surprise that respondents will only be willing to return home if they earn a salary equivalent to their current earnings. Thirty eight per cent of respondents say they will return only if they can increase their current earnings. One interesting finding is that Malaysians appear to be less motivated by increased salary alone than those thinking of returning to Hong Kong (53 per cent) or Singapore (49 per cent) where simultaneous studies were conducted. This suggests that the cost of living and housing are an attractive proposition for returning Malaysians. Apart from salary, other drivers include opportunities for advancement, a desire

for new challenges and an improved work/life balance. Forty one per cent of returners said cross-cultural communication skills are their number one advantage over local jobseekers with no overseas exposure. Cross-cultural communication skills can only come from being immersed in another culture and gaining the insight to provide intercultural understanding and cultural adaptability. While luring back Malaysian’s residing overseas, there is also a need to retain talents in the country. Malaysia faces a challenge with an estimated five per cent of skilled locals exiting the country annually, mostly to neighbouring Singapore. Most of them (82 per cent) said they would consider working overseas for better job opportunities, career development or exposure and lifestyle factors. Hays has a word of advice for employers – do not short change the candidate. Whilst salary is a key driver, overall benefits package must also be given thorough deliberation. What attracts a candidate to any organisation may not just be the salary. As the survey shows, talent can be brought home by family ties and career advancement opportunities, so it pays to communicate with a recruiter to gain deeper insight on what motivates the candidate. With this knowledge, companies can easily tailor their offers. Finally, it is about retaining talents. According to the survey, 31 per cent of returners are considering coming back to Malaysia because they believe they will have a faster career growth path here. This highlights the importance of putting solid, individualised retention plans in place which includes open and honest discussions about career development expectations. For example, for one returner the opportunity to leave work an hour early one day a week to spend time with ageing parents might be viewed as a highly attractive benefit, while for another a structured career development plan might encourage that person to accept the job offer. UP MAGAZINE | 65



Nilai Springs Resort Hotel and Gold Club oers an ideal location for your next teambuilding event.


ilai Springs Resort Hotel and Golf Club compromising 27hole Championship Golf Course with 183 Guestrooms and Suites, 5 Food and Beverage Outlets, 1 Ballroom, 13 Meeting Rooms and extensive teambuilding circuit to offer you a myriad of teambuilding program. Located only 15 minutes away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and 35 minutes from Kuala Lumpur City Centre, it is an interesting destination for rest and relaxation. This urbanised getaway destination twinset the business travelers and holiday makers alike. The Sports and Leisure area offers a comprehensive range of activities and facilities. All centralised around the swimming pool, they cater to the whole family and sports enthusiasts alike. Conveniences encompass the Swimming Pool, Children’s Pool and Play area, Game Arcade, Gymnasium, Tennis Court, Aseana Foot Reflexology & Body Massage, Sauna and Jacuzzi.

Teambuilding Fun!

The teambuilding circuit comprises the most challenging high ropes and flying fox, abseiling, spider web, minefield crossing, bomb removal, 12ft wall, jungle 66 | UP MAGAZINE

trail, trust fall, orienteering and dynamic obstacles. Their dynamic obstacles are divided into three obstacles, ie, dynamic obstacles 1 which comprises of stepping stone, wormhole, swinging bridge, commando crawl and giant pole, whereas the dynamic obstacle 2 includes checkers solution and laser zone. The Dynamic Obstacle 3 comprises hurdle crossing, Vertigo Net, cowboy ride, seasaw bridge, komodo nest and electric cable. Adding to the list is the Amazing Race, which can be arranged either during daytime or for those who are into a more challenging teambuilding activity, Night Amazing Race is an experience not to be missed. The teambuilding package is priced from RM380nett per person inclusive of 2D/1N accommodation with breakfast, lunch, dinner and two coffee/ tea breaks. Non-residential teambuilding package is also available. Nilai Springs is a certified Leadership and Training program provider approved by the Ministry of Human Resources. All our leadership and training programs are claimable under the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).The elegant Rajah Brooke Ballroom and the other 13 cosier meeting rooms are awaiting bookings ranging 12- 800 persons.

The Nilai Springs Golf & Country Club, adjacent to the hotel is ever ready to welcome you for a special arrangement to tee-off in between your seminar. Tired of traditional dinner in a coee house or function room can be easily change to outdoor theme dinner or a relaxed BBQ, overlooking the stunning fairways and greens of our 27 holes championship golf course. This is an idyllic venue for meetings, seminars, workshops, wedding banquet and corporate dinners. The Residential Seminar Package include 2 days/1 night stay in our Superior room, Coffee/tea break with snacks, lunch, dinner and breakfast. Special packages tailored for the government sector are available and non- residential seminar package is also available be it a full day or half a day seminar. Contact them at 06-850 2288, or visit their website at for more information.



Genashtim, Making Dreams A Reality Thomas Ng, through Genashtim has given Persons with Disabilities (PWD) a lifeline to be independent, contributing individuals to society.


ven when your life takes an unexpected turn, your dreams are still your dreams. People living with disabilities are talented and capable individuals who if only given a chance will succeed in the workforce like any one of us. “I have always been a supporter for the underdog. When watching any competition, I would generally cheer the less favourite team,” says Thomas Ng, Founder of Genashtim. It was when he was the country manager for ABB in Philippines and invited to be on the board of trustees for a computer school for the blind when he came up with the idea for Genashtim. “When I saw how blind people can effectively use the computer with technology, I felt the urge to create opportunities for them to work and earn a living.” Genashtim was set up in 2004


to bring world-leading eLearning programs to Asia. They have developed their own online learning solutions, and other online support services. The majority of the people behind the online learning solutions are individuals with disabilities. “We are determined to prove that with the right opportunities, working environment and processes, Persons With Disabilities can be as productive as any other employee,” explains Ng. “Today we have more than 50 people permanently on our payroll, of which now 90% are PWD (Persons with Disabilities). We also have about another 50 staff paid by the hour. Less than 10% are PWD,” he says. He adds, “I believe despite their disability they do a great job. They are a lot more reliable, loyal and work harder because they value their jobs more. Most people we hire have never worked before.” Their clients include multinational companies like ABB, McDonalds, Holiday Inn, Herbalife, and academic institutions like Taylor’s University, University for Peace (Costa Rica) and some departments of the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. When asked how he came up with the name Genashtim, Ng explained he wanted it to be a reflection of what they do but eventually it was more a reflection of the most important people in his life. “I doodled and came up with Genashtim. Genevieve is my wife, Ashley is my daughter, and Timothy is my son.” Ng has big dreams for Genashtim. “There is really no limit to our expansion. I hope within the next 3 to 5 years, we will hire

500 PWD’s and continue to grow exponentially. I also want to tap into other marginalised communities like former convicts, housewives, HIV positive individuals, women in oppressed environments and more.” They are also one of 40 companies included in the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network, has already expanded its services to include remote surveillance and remote IT support. He envisions the company to be worth US$100mil one day. “I just want to give them an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. It is there and it is real. I remind them that they can be successful beyond their wildest dreams,’” he says. It is at Genashtim where these wildest dreams become a reality.



Profile for Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd

UP Magazine|Vol 1|No 2|2015|Dato Hafsah Hashim SMECORP  

UP Magazine is the premier quarterly magazine in Human Resource (HR) Management, the first of its kind to incorporate HR Management with dev...

UP Magazine|Vol 1|No 2|2015|Dato Hafsah Hashim SMECORP  

UP Magazine is the premier quarterly magazine in Human Resource (HR) Management, the first of its kind to incorporate HR Management with dev...