PUTRAJAYA, Dec 6 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced new policy initiatives to address the need for world-class talents for Malaysia’s economic transformation.
He said the initiatives included allowing selected Public Services Department scholarship holders to serve their bond outside the civil service.
Another move was the introduction of a resident pass, which accords the holder the long-term right to live and work in Malaysia, he added.
“To achieve the aim of Malaysia to become a world class economy, we have to implement initiatives to attract, develop and retain skilled human capital,” Najib said, when launching Talent Corporation at his office. Also present was Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Najib said the selected PSD scholarship holders could serve their bond of service with a broader range of organisations, including government-linked companies and private sector corporations, especially in NKEAs, the National Key Economic Areas.
The mechanism for this would be developed next year, he said, adding:” We recognise there are many ways to contribute and we are creating opportunities for scholars to do so.”
On the resident pass, Najib said that it would be available to highly skilled expatriates seeking to continue living and working in Malaysia.
Unlike an employment pass, it would not tie the holder to an employer, he said. It could be issued for a longer period and would cover the spouse as well.
“The resident pass will also be offered to the Malaysian diaspora and their offspring who no longer hold Malaysian citizenship. The resident pass is one way to offer them linkage to Malaysia and give them the flexibility to return whether to work or to be with family members,” Najib said.
He said the Immigration Department would be ready to receive applications for resident passes by April 1 next year.
Malaysia, the prime minister said, was open for business and welcomed highly skilled foreign talents who could help to drive its economic transformation.
“For that reason, there will no longer be a requirement to advertise for key expatriate positions,” he added.
Najib said the cabinet had also approved the relaxation of employment pass conditions, involving the lifting of the 10-year limit and mandatory understudy requirement for executive positions.
Najib said that Talent Corporation would collaborate closely with the relevant agencies to coordinate implementation of the policies announced today.
The corporation, which starts operating on Jan 1 next year, will have a board of trustees and be chaired by Najib himself.
The board members will include Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan. Johan Mahmood Merican will be the Chief Executive Officer of Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad, Najib said.
The Prime Minister said:”The talent corporation is not just about bringing back Malaysians from abroad, but also about retaining talents in Malaysia.”
Najib said that an estimated 700,000 Malaysians were working abroad, most of them in Singapore and Hong Kong.
He said the company would be acting as intermediary, engaging with the private sector and government-linked companies, to attract Malaysians to come back to work.
“They (the Malaysians) cannot be compelled to register, but Talent Corp will try to locate them and engage them,” he said.
Commenting on the salary that may be the main issue, Najib said:”We have to be globally competitive, otherwise people will not want to come back to Malaysia.”