Archive for the ‘Interview Guides’ Category

To find jobs, let go of our past

Monday, October 19th, 2020
We must start teaching in schools and colleges that people need to leverage their innovative abilities. - NSTP file pic, for illustration purposes onlyWe must start teaching in schools and colleges that people need to leverage their innovative abilities. – NSTP file pic, for illustration purposes only

LETTERS: We are living in an era fraught with ambiguities. Rapid change is the norm. It requires courage to challenge the status quo.

We need to create new neural pathways in the brain that, over time, replace old patterns that make us shift our responsibility to others.

Albert Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

We must start teaching in schools and colleges that people need to leverage their innovative abilities.

If we do not like our conditions, we have to do something different. It is frustrating and even soul crushing when my former students tell me that they cannot find jobs.

I know I must tell them to move on from having too many ideas or knowledge to the ones they want to do something with.

I am guilty as well. We prepare youths for a world that no longer exists.

It is unlikely that jobs will come by easily. Everybody has a creative potential.

Start to change your perspectives. We behave in a certain way based on expected results and experiences.

You have to believe you can serve some of the world’s needs or at least get training and develop new job skills. Let go of previous programming that’s holding you back.

If you cannot find a job, why not create your own? Start with what you love, even if you cannot see the whole picture of how it will turn out.

When you believe in yourself and take action, opportunities will come from places and people you would never expect.

Ask for help when you are struggling.

The government also provides programmes or aid for you.


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Tips on standing out in the job market

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

Employability advantage: Gen Z has easy confidence and skill with new media, therefore forming a critical part of any organisation.

THE implementation of the movement control order (MCO) since March 18 to curb the spread of Covid-19 has affected the workforce like never before.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the number of people who are unemployed in Malaysia increased by almost 50% in April 2020 compared to the same period last year.

The Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Employment Insurance System (EIS) has also reported that job losses can be expected to accelerate from April 2020 onwards, with job losses increasing by 50% to 200% year-on-year for each subsequent quarter in 2020.

Witnessing the escalating number of layoffs and job cuts, how could eager young minds who have just graduated expect their careers to take off?

INTI International University and Colleges’ industry partners – JobStreet Malaysia, Talentbank and Advanced Micro Devices Inc – believe fresh graduates can be more career-ready by acquiring certain competencies, attitudes, and skills.

“Without a doubt, the current job market is challenging for both experienced workers as well as fresh graduates,” said JobStreet Malaysia country manager Gan Bock Herm.

“Though we have seen a decline in job postings of up to 70% in March 2020, this has since recovered to about 50% since the easing of the MCO.

“We expect that the job market will continue to improve as the economy opens up,” he said.

He added that fresh graduates should remain hopeful and be proactive in securing employment.

To emphasise his point, Gan cited the outcome of a recent survey conducted by JobStreet and said 25% of the employers surveyed will be looking to hire again in the next six months, and this will include entry-level graduates.

Echoing this, Ben Ho, who is the chief executive officer at Talentbank, a corporate body that focuses on producing career-ready candidates from all disciplines, said: “We foresee that it will take an average of six to nine months for fresh graduates to land a job.

“Following our digital career festival that ran throughout May and June, we noticed that employers are still hiring fresh graduates as there were more than 800 vacancies listed at the event.”

Besides the science and technology sector, JobStreet’s research indicates that the top five industries still taking in new staff amid the pandemic include the information technology, food and beverage, government, and health and safety sectors.

“My company is still hiring for junior positions and we are open for fresh graduates to apply,” said Chandra Segar, the regional employee relations and human resources operations manager at Advanced Micro Devices Inc, an American multinational semiconductor company with a chapter in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

An experienced recruiter, Chandra opined that those who have just entered the job market should adopt a very open mindset.

They should start with securing any job that is available in the market presently as there are plenty of things to learn in any profession, he said.

To land a job fast, graduates should try to contact employers or business founders actively via LinkedIn and offer a voluntary internship or apprenticeship instead of applying via multiple job sites, Ho advised.

“Once accepted, graduates could request for a permanent role after three to six months,” he said, recommending fresh graduates always initiate self-learning and pick up skills like digital marketing, basic programming or other capabilities related to the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Though inexperienced, young jobseekers have their advantages.

Gan added: “According to JobStreet’s Laws of Attraction survey, Malaysia has a multi-generational workforce.

“While Gen X and Gen Y form the mainstay of talent with experience, Gen Z has confidence and skills with new media and technology, which adds value to an organisation.”

In a press release from INTI, Gan, Chandra and Ho, provided the following tips to help fresh graduates ace potential interviews:

> Customise your resume for each application and avoid using a standard template.

> Take interview opportunities seriously; carry out research about the company, the vacancy and how you can contribute to the role.

> Wear the right attire even though you are being interviewed online, and be mindful of the time arrangements.

> Minimise the likelihood of any Internet connectivity issues; practise your mannerisms and responses beforehand using a webcam.

> During the interview, highlight your “unique values”. These might include experiences like managing a project within a short time, organising an event, acquiring soft skills, and gaining abilities (while studying) deemed suitable for the job at hand.

> Never ask about the salary being offered or the working hours during the interview; only negotiate on this when the recruiter gives you an offer.

> Thank the recruiter at the end of the interview. Follow up with the recruiter via email on the agreed time. If the recruiter doesn’t send you a reply, do not assume that you are not getting hired. Give them some time to come back with their feedback.

> Fresh graduates can also post questions on

While it is a particularly difficult year for fresh graduates everywhere, INTI chief executive officer Tan Lin Nah believes it is also an opportunity for them to experience how the job market and the hiring process have changed due to Covid-19.

“We are grateful that many of our industry partners continue to guide our students during this time and develop their awareness of what the future workplace will look like.

“Collaborations between education institutions and the industry are more important now than ever to help students and graduates get on the right track to their future careers,” she added.

Online platforms erase barriers to learning

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020
Online learning will be a new norm for teachers and students, even when the pandemic is over.  - Pic source: freepik.comOnline learning will be a new norm for teachers and students, even when the pandemic is over. – Pic source:

EDUCATION has undergone an abrupt change from physical classroom to online platforms at scale.

In meeting the urgent demand for online learning, the development of digital collaboration and communication tools have accelerated.

According to Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Malaysia general manager Jordy Cao, Alibaba Group has initiated an “Online Classroom” programme for free via DingTalk — a communication and collaboration platform.

The programme has benefited six million teachers from 140,000 schools across China, who are conducting online classes for 130 million students.

“DingTalk can deliver low-latency, high-definition video conferencing involving more than 300 people simultaneously at no cost. It also allows free group live broadcast to up to 45,000 audiences at the same time,” said Cao.

He added that DingTalk has also been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) as an effective digital learning solution as schools face closures over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Online learning is a great supplement to conventional teaching methods, Cao said.

“It allows students to arrange time flexibly, reduces the cost for textbooks and lowers the threshold for accessing educational resources.

“Schools, universities and students are encouraged to be more open-minded and make better use of digitised tools and resources to make the transformation to online learning easier and more efficient,” he said.

Recently, Xiamen University Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alibaba Cloud to enhance education and cloud computing skills of its staff and students.

Cao said the collaboration between universities and enterprises will benefit both sides and empower future generations.

“Such tie-up allows students and staff of the university to get unparalleled access to resources put together by Alibaba Cloud. Besides, our team plays an advisory role to ensure that the course content remains updated, relevant and focused on the future needs of the industry, so students can better plan their careers in a competitive job market.

“To date, 12 Malaysian universities have joined the community, and over 800 students have benefited from the online training to pursue a professional certification to better prepare them for their future in the digital era.

“Online learning will be a new norm for teachers and students, even when the pandemic is over.

“Meanwhile, developers of online learning tools will strive to improve user experience, thereby increasing their popularity further,” he said.

By Murniati Abu Karim.

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Face-to-face job interviews and meetings now allowed

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob  addresses the media during a press conference in Putrajaya. -BERNAMA picSenior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob addresses the media during a press conference in Putrajaya. -BERNAMA pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Face-to-face job interviews as well as meetings, seminars, workshops, courses, training sessions and conferences are now allowed to be held, subject to strict compliance of the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this applies to both the private and public sector involving ministries, government department and agencies.

He said this was agreed upon by the ministers’ special meeting on the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) held on Monday.

“Prior to this (during the MCO and Conditional MCO), job interviews were done via online platforms such as teleconferencing and video conferencing.

“The ministers’ special meeting on Monday examined the applications from various ministries and agencies to conduct face-to-face interviews and had agreed to it. This is also applicable to the private sector,” he said at a press conference today.

The Defence Minister said the Public Service Commission (PSC) will prepare the SOPs for the the face-to-face interview process, which will be reviewed by the Health Ministry and National Security Council and subject to the Prime Minister’s Department’s approval.

The approved SOP, he said, would be used for reference by all ministries and agencies as well as private companies in conducting the interview process.

Ismail Sabri further said the ministers’ meeting had also agreed to allow the public and private sector to hold meetings, seminars, workshops, courses, training sessions, and conferences.

The approval, he said, would be subject to the various SOPs, which among others states that the maximum number of participants is 250 and there is at least a one-metre gap among one another.

“However, this depends on the capacity and space of the venue. If it is a smaller space, then the number will be smaller to ensure social distancing is practised at all times.

“Other SOPs include washing hands with soap and using hand sanitisers, and participants are encouraged to wear face masks and they must all download the MySejahtera application to scan the QR code during registration.

“Food and drinks must be pre-packed and buffet dining is not allowed. Events are only allowed to be held at the green zones and disallowed at Enhanced MCO areas.

“Besides, any patient under investigation (PUI) and person under surveillance (PUS) for Covid-19 are not permitted to attend the events,” he added.

By Tharanya Arumugam.

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Improve your presentation skills to ace a presentation like a pro

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

When you watch TED Talks or any public speaking event, do you ever wonder how the speaker can make it seem so easy? Speaking confidently and persuasively in front of an audience isn’t something that comes naturally for most people. However, it is a skill that can be picked up with enough practice.

Whether you’re simply presenting to fellow colleagues or have to impress some prospective clients, knowing how to pull off a great presentation is an important soft skill to have, particularly if you’re planning on moving up the ranks.

So if you’re in need of some tips on how to improve your presentation skills, look no further. Check these out:

Know your audience

Design your presentation as if you were a member of the audience – put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what are the three main takeaways you would want them to have by the end of your presentation. Your slides should go straight to the point and not be cluttered with too many words or images.

Make sure that you cover the things that they need to know and would want to know.

You may be an expert in the subject matter, but in your presentation, don’t assume that everyone knows what you know.

Explain things clearly and simply, and avoid using jargon as much as possible. Your presentation should give listeners something of value, be it a solution or a lesson.

Tell it in story form

The best way to keep your presentation engaging is to use stories to hone in on your key messages or to emphasise your point.

Tell an anecdote or two to make your presentation more personal and relatable – it doesn’t even have to be your own story, but as long as it’s interesting and relevant, use it to your advantage.

Go beyond text and pictures by using a short video or other multimedia to spice things up.

However, it should enhance what you’re trying to say, not drown it out unnecessarily.

You should also tailor your content to your audience and the occasion: we’d advise against using funny GIFs or memes in a board meeting (unless your company culture is cool with that and it helps to break the ice a bit – but do so at your own discretion).

Present with your entire body

Statues and robots aren’t known for giving memorable presentations, and that’s because non-verbal cues make up a significant portion of interpersonal communication.

So make sure you’re moving about! But not too much – keep it natural.

Open and relaxed gestures will help your audience feel open and relaxed, too.

One of the best ways to make a connection with listeners is to make eye contact and smile.

Avoid crossing your arms across your chest, putting your hands behind your back or in your pockets, and staring down at the floor.

Use your emotions

Emotions are a powerful thing: facts and statistics may be informative, but if you fail to link them to your audience and the things they care about, they will probably forget what you said by the next day.

Infuse your delivery with emotion and why your audience should care.

When you exude enthusiasm and passion about the subject you’re talking about, your audience will feel it and they too will feel more interested in what you have to say.

Speak deliberately and don’t rush your sentences like you’re reading off a script. Instead, pretend like it’s a conversation.

Practice, practice, practice

You should know your subject matter and key points like the back of your hand, which is why prep work is so important.

Prepare an outline with keywords relating to your main points and examples, and rehearse your speech out loud – either to yourself in front of a mirror, or even better, in front of trusted friends or co-workers.

The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be when the time comes for the actual presentation.

You’ll be able to weed out what works and what doesn’t, and time yourself to make sure you don’t drone on and on.

Set it up properly

Having technical difficulties during your presentation can throw you off, so smoothing out all the kinks beforehand will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

We recommend that you arrive at the venue early and do a brief test run to check whether everything works, such as videos, animations or sound.

Save a copy of the fonts you used and the multimedia you want to show in a pendrive, along with your presentation.

Do you need the internet during the presentation? Make sure it works and that you’re connected.

If you’re using a remote or a pointer, try them out to see if they work.

Doing all this will help you avoid tripping up just as you’re approaching the finishing line. – Jobstreet

by  Jobstreet.

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How to fill the gaps in your resume

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Due to the competitive environment that we live in, people are expected to have a continuous string of jobs that indicate career progression.

However, there are times we need to take time off due to health reasons, getting retrenched, going back to school or in need of a long term holiday.

Generally, employers usually want to know how you spent the time and how well you stayed connected to your field.

When this happens, you don’t want to be caught off guard and seem like you spent a full year doing nothing. To prevent this, here are a few things you can do.

Restructure Your Resume

Instead of putting your career experience first, highlight your achievements, skills and education history before you get to the career time frame.

Once you have them by the hook with an impressive set of skills and achievements, it will create a level of curiosity which they are more likely to follow through and find out more from you.

In addition to that, you could also include a compelling reason on why you had chosen to make those changes during your career and include a good game plan for the future, in a well thought out cover letter.

Be Upfront

Being honest about your time off is better than fumbling through a made up excuse which automatically make the employers doubt you.

While you may need to be honest, how you word your answer could make or break how your future employers react.

If you told the hiring manager that you were retrenched, explain what happened and what action you took afterwards to keep your skills sharp.

Use the opportunity to tell them how you took up courses or kept working on freelance initiatives rather than leaving it to their imagination.

If you took a leave of absence travelling, taking care of your family, or any other reason, be sure to include the lessons and skills you’ve picked up during that time.

For example, travelling may have taught you conversational French, or taking care of your family taught you about household budgeting.

Don’t worry if these skills aren’t necessary for the job you’re applying for, because that’s not the point. The point is to show that you’re not just sitting at home watching YouTube all day.

Be Frank with Your Commitment Level

If you had taken time off to study or go on a trip around the world, you can expect your future employer to ask, “Will you be taking time off again?”.

When hiring someone, a company would worry about such an issue due to stability of operations. Should you take time off again, the company would need to hire and train a new person and will have to keep your position open until you get back.

This puts the company at a disadvantage as it increases their cost.

In a scenario such as this, be willing to provide the hiring manager some form of security.

Maybe, you would be willing to work for at least two years without the option of taking long periods off, unless it was due to emergencies such as health reasons.

A counter offer such as this would reassure the hiring managers and portray how committed you are.

This is assuming you do plan to take some leave off in the future of course.

Otherwise it’s a simple matter of reassuring them that you’re fully committed to your new position. Easy.

Lastly, Don’t Sweat it Too Much

While it’s understandable to be a bit anxious over how that gap in your resume might be construed, remember that a consistent career calendar doesn’t guarantee you a job, either.

What’s most important here is to be honest with your time off and be aware that you can still be a valued member of a team even if you did have to take a whole chunk of the calendar off work just to work on things.

If you being away was due to a medical situation, don’t rush to get back into work, since your health is way more important than your wealth.

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Writing a resume: Art of your ownself

Friday, November 9th, 2018
(File pix) When writing a resume, job applicants should create an outstanding first impression through an attention grabbing layout, powerful keywords and clearly articulated achievements. Pix by Hafiz Sohaim

WHEN writing a resume, job applicants should create an outstanding first impression through an attention grabbing layout, powerful keywords and clearly articulated achievements.

Career Expert managing director Ainul Naim, a resume consultant, said a good resume is one that attracts recruitment managers and promises a job interview opportunity.

A resume is a tool to promote and market yourself to the industry.

“When the industry offers you an interview, you know that your resume is good. A good resume is a masterpiece of your own, crafted with proper guidance,” she added.

A lot of effort should be put into writing a resume.

“Writing a good resume is where the life of a graduate begins. It is important for graduates to learn to write their own resume — it’s an art of your ownself.

“If they fail to make a good impression through the resume, then it will be a rough career journey ahead.

“It requires a lot of effort to market yourself, much more than the work put in at university.”

As a Certified Professional Rèsumè Writer and Certified Employment Interview Professional with more than 13 years of experience, Hans Toh said the best resume is one that is tailored made for a specific position.

An excellent resume contains three key elements — relevant working experience, measurable achievements and educational background or professional training obtained.

“In a resume, work experiences are the subjects while measurable achievements are the grades. You only have less than 10 seconds to market yourself. That is all it takes for employers to read your resume and know you.

“Fresh graduates should keep their resumes to one or two pages. Don’t make the mistake that the longer the resume, the better.

“The information presented in the resume has to be relevant to the job,” he added.

Job seekers should ideally start planning three months before they graduate. “Every year, public and private universities produce hundred of thousands of graduates who compete in the job market. So it is important to kick-start the job hunt as early as possible.”

Fresh graduates make similar mistakes in their resumes which are not meant to be a history of every course, training and examination in their life.

“I’m not saying these are not important but highlight your skills suitable for the job you are applying for.”

There are two types of skills — specific job-related skills and transferable skills that are general and can survive the shift from one industry to another.

“Highlight the ones that match the requirements of the position — the more matches, the higher the chances of getting a job interview.

Provide relevant, important information in short, simple sentences and bullet points, and your resume will have a much higher chance of catching the right attention.

“Details such as format, standardised headings and spacing as well as font sizes make the overall appearance of the resume look well-planned. Use bullet points instead of long-winded sentences.

“State your facts, and leave out unnecessary flowery words and adjectives unless you’re applying to be a writer. Avoid unnecessary use of bold and italics, they are for emphasis only.”

Toh has developed highly effective resumes and cover letters for many clients in all fields throughout the country.

Since 2002, he has reviewed and written over 10,000 resumes for all levels of career progression including entry, junior, managerial and senior management.

He also provides coaching on effective interviewing skills and conducts workshops at universities and colleges. He recently published a book on resume-writing and interview techniques, Get Hired!

Toh studied engineering and worked in the field for several years before he switched to a career as a resume-writing specialist. “Young graduates should not limit themselves to their comfort zone and apply for jobs in their field of studies.

By Zulita Mustafa.

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Employers value workers with good English

Sunday, October 15th, 2017
NIE Specialist Vincent D’Silva (standing right) with Grand Bluewave Hotel general manager Long Cheow Siong observing the students at the workshop. (pix by VINCENT D’SILVA)

JOHOR BARU: The reality of the workforce today is that employers are looking for qualified workers who are not just skillful in their field, but also competent in English communication.

Grand BlueWave Hotel general manager, Long Cheow Siong told participants at the New Straits Times-Newspaper in Education (NST-NIE), who comprised 95 Form Six students, that prospective employers valued candidates who possessed the soft skills that can carry themselves through in their career progression.

The half-day workshop was co-organised by the Johor English Language Teaching Association (Jelta) and Johor Education Department with support from the hotel.

Jelta president Vincent D’Silva conducted the workshop.

According to Long, English is the major language used for communication in most work places in the private sector. He said the language is a tool used in crossborder business dealings and networking with international counterparts.

“There is a certain benchmark for companies to penetrate the market. English plays a pivotal role in distinguishing which companies have that extra edge against its competitors,” said Long in special talk he gave to the Form Six students.

He told them that it was essential to master the English language not only for the sake of passing examinations, but to ensure they can secure a job later on in the future.

“Many of those I had interviewed in the past possess qualificiations for jobs in accountancy, hospitality and tourism fields, but some of them lacked the proficiency in English. I could see this when they were expressing their thoughts and opinions orally,” he said.

He said most employers these days were looking beyond good grades in English.

“Candidates for jobs must posses a good command of spoken English.

“It is very crucial for our youth, who will be joining the workforce in the future, to be able to speak English professionally. They need to become fluent speakers of the language as they also reflect the company’s good name when they are meeting with potential customers or considering career enhancement elsewhere,” he said.

Meanwhile Johor Baru District Education Office’s English unit for secondary schools officer, Al Mujani Abdul Rahman said an initiative to further increase English proficiency among school students in the state was carried out in the past two years under the Education Ministry’s ‘Highly Immersive Programme’ (HIP), which focuses on the usage of English language in school activities.

“Since the start of the programme in Johor two years ago, 10 schools were made to observed the HIP initiative.

“This year, the number increased to 60 schools statewide. By next year, there will be a total of 150 primary and secondary schools in the state that will be adopting HIP,” he said.

Al Mujani said based on his observations of students in the district, a majority of them are able to write and express their thoughts and opinions in English on paper, but they have difficulties conversing fluently in the language.

“They either do not have the confidence to speak or they do not understand the words they are trying to say which became a limitation for some of them,” he said.

Al Mujani welcomed the advocacy of English proficiency as recently stated by Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, who is the Royal Patron of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Associaton.

“This is why the Johor Education Department is working closely with Jelta to address this issue with students and teaching professional via platforms such as the NST-NIE workshop.

“We hope to colloborate more in future with Jelta and the New Straits Times in this effort to improve the mastery of the English language among our students,” he said.

Jelta president Vincent D’Silva, an English lecturer who has been conducting NST-NIE workshops for the past 19 years, said students will find the NST to be the best tool in helping them to enhance their command of English.

He said the newspaper was a flexible teaching tool that can be used in all areas of curriculum, in all aspects of the different syllabus in schools.

“It is for every level and age, encompassing everyone irregardless of their level of competency. What is important is the reader must fully understand what they are reading and make full use of the news content in the paper to improve their command in English,” said D’Silva

One of the participants, Syarifah Syafiah Syed Mustafa, 18, from SMK Sultan Ismail she had joined the workshop to get insight on English requirements that employers look for.

“I know English is not just about writing but also being able to express ourselves in the language, as we would be meeting or socialising with others using English as a professional language,” she said.

By Halim Said.

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The point about English

Monday, October 9th, 2017
If graduates applying for a job have poor English communication skills, potential employers can’t gauge their character to see if they are a good fit for the job.

WHEN hotel manager Long Cheow Siong recently interviewed a university graduate for a position at his establishment in Johor Baru , the latter’s weak grasp of English baffled him.

The interview with the youngster, who walked in with several others to pitch for an administrative position, was a dampener.

Long was not looking for a worker with impeccable English, but he noticed that the young man could not convey who he was as a person in simple English

“This youngster has a diploma in hospitality and was applying for an administrative post at the hotel.

“But his basic communication skills in English were poor and that is very disappointing,” Long said.

“The interview ended with me not knowing who the interviewee really was. He couldn’t express what his career goals, hobbies and interests were.

“Employers want to know more about a person’s character to see if they have the right attitude for the position they applied for.”

This is a constant lament of Malaysian employers about English proficiency among local job applicants.

They have often complained about the standard of English not only among school leavers, but also university graduates.

As English is an international language widely used in various spheres, not being proficient in the language is something hard to accept.

The issue of poor English proficiency among Malaysian job seekers gained prominence recently when Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah called for concerted efforts by academicians, non-governmental organisations and corporations to provide opportunities for youngsters to learn the language.

She said serious and urgent intervention was needed to resolve the “dramatic and drastic” decline in the proficiency of written and spoken English among Malaysia’s younger generation.

Raja Zarith Sofiah’s suggestion spurred much discussion on social media and even earned brickbats from Facebook users who claimed that a focus on English would erode the use of the national language.

Such opinions prompted Raja Zarith Sofiah to write a posting on Facebook, in which she related her personal experience of how English had helped her engage with western thinkers and policymakers to correct misconceptions about Islam.

She said communicating with academicians and policymakers in English helped her get her message across during a talk she gave at Somerville College, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom five years ago.

She mentioned two other instances when English helped to bridge the gap between eastern and western thinkers: once, during a talk about Islam and science by former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia vice-chancellor Datuk Zaini Ujang at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and the other during the World Islamic Economic Forum, which she attended a few times.

“In all the three examples, it is the use of English which had made it possible for those of us here in the east to express our opinions and concerns with those from the west.

“That is why I believe our young people should be given the chance to learn the language,” she said on her official Facebook page.

Raja Zarith Sofiah said speaking English did not make a person less Malaysian.

She said she spoke to and wrote letters to her parents and siblings in her mother tongue when she lived and studied in the UK.

She recalled her cravings for Malaysian food during weekly cookouts with her siblings in the UK, during which they would warn their English neighbours before they began grilling belacan to make their favourite condiment, sambal belacan

“During the 11 years I lived
in England, I did not for even
one second forget that I was a Malaysian.

“I did not dye my hair blonde or wear blue contact lenses (although I see there is a trend in Malaysia now for ladies to look ‘pink-skinned’ and wear coloured contact lenses),” she said.

By Ahmad Fairuz Othman

It’s your poor attitude, youths told

Sunday, March 26th, 2017
GEORGE TOWN: Fresh graduates cannot find jobs after completing their studies because they have attitude problems.

StudyExcel Sdn Bhd general manager Jerry Tan (pic) said some blamed the employers for not giving them a chance because they are fresh graduates.

“Is that true? The Malaysia Employers Federation said there are about 200,000 unemployed graduates in the country.

“Many employers are not concerned whether you are a fresh graduate or whether you obtained your degree in Malaysia or overseas.

“They just care if you are good,” he said in his talk on ‘Options After SPM: Choosing The Right Subjects & Pathways’ at the Star Education Fair yesterday.

He added that 68% of employers think that fresh graduates have unrealistic expectations of salaries and employment benefits.

“I once interviewed three students from a college who asked for the same salary.

“When I asked them why they made that request, they said their lecturer told them they must get that kind of salary,” he said.

Besides their poor attitude, Tan said most fresh graduates were unemployed because of their poor English and poor communication skills.

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