Archive for the ‘Careers’ Category

Understand the meaning of ‘love for the job’

Monday, September 21st, 2020
Some people have a high tolerance for crime because they think the police are highly underpaid and so have little incentive to protect them. - NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

Some people have a high tolerance for crime because they think the police are highly underpaid and so have little incentive to protect them. – NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

LETTERS: I refer to a report titled “Ex-IGP: Don’t join the police for money”, and while I fully agree with the view expressed, I also feel that people should not regard “love for the job” as a justifiable reason for being underpaid.

Some people have a high tolerance for crime because they think the police are highly underpaid and so have little incentive to protect them.

A woman may be walking leisurely along a pedestrian walk when she is approached by two guys on a motorbike who tag at her handbag until she lets go.

In the process, the woman may fall on the concrete pavement, or be dragged along the way, which may result in serious injuries and even death. Handbag snatchings and muggings are among the most vicious crimes, yet perpetrators are seldom caught.

Then, there is the speed limit on every highway, for the safety of all drivers. Yet, drivers flaunt this regularly. One wonders about enforcement to stop these reckless drivers.

Another issue is drink drivers who get into accidents. In some ways, responsible drinkers are made to feel guilty for a pleasure in which they indulge responsibly.

Those who consume alcohol get a bad name, even though many drinkers are cautious, and many accidents are in fact caused by speeding drivers who are perfectly sober.

We also sometimes see vagrants sauntering through respectable housing estates. These people are highly noticeable because they sport unkempt hair, dishevelled clothes, and are often bare-footed. They are suspicious to say the least. Would they be strolling there at all if there were a regular police patrol?

In the last few days, we have read about the sad case of three young ladies who died in their parked car, of carbon monoxide poisoning. A fourth young woman, the driver of the car and the one who was sick at the onset of the incident, is now in critical condition in the hospital.

To the reader, the case is strange. Why would four young women fall asleep in the same car at the same time? Why would they not take turns sleeping and making sure that at least one stayed awake to spot any danger?

We do not know if the police were ever called to oversee the case. Yet, we know that a huge part of eliminating crime is prevention. And how can you prevent a crime unless you know why it happened?

Love for the job is essential, but being underpaid is not an excuse for not doing your job. If you are drawing a salary which does not pay for all the work you do or are supposed to do, you are not excused for overlooking, underperforming, or neglecting.

On the other hand, if you do your work out of love, and therefore with a sense of duty, responsibility, and care, you will eventually be paid your full worth, plus a bonus that will reflect your faith, understanding, and true love.

by Marisa Demori.

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Be confident when looking for jobs, Sabahans told

Friday, September 4th, 2020

Darell speaking at the IDS forum on the impact of Covid-19 on the state’s economy at Wisma Sedia yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans should be more confident of themselves when looking for job opportunities instead of playing the blame game on the illegal immigrants issue, said Penampang Member of Parliament Darell Leiking.

Based on a research by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), he disclosed that 72 per cent of the youths in Penampang are currently unhappy with their ‘wakil rakyat’ for failing to send back the illegal immigrants, which resulted in them losing job opportunities.

However, the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) deputy president opined that the illegal immigrants working in the state are mostly working as hard labourers, a sector which most locals would not usually go into.

“When was the last time PTIs (illegal immigrants) were working in a bank? When was the last time they were working in McDonald’s? The last time I went there, it was still a local person working there.

“I’m wondering who does the ‘tukang’ work – the hard labour work? Are they locals?” said Darell in his speech during the IDS forum on the impact of Covid-19 on the state’s economy, here at Wisma Sedia on Thursday.

He said that even in the UK, it’s not the English who would do the hard labour jobs; it’s the foreigners such as the Czechs and the Romanians.

In this regard, Darell urged Sabahans to look at the bigger picture and to upscale themselves.

“If you still think the PTIs are taking over your jobs, then you’re in serious trouble because you have no confidence in yourself,” he added.

Darell further revealed that the Federal Government had been sending the illegal immigrants home on a monthly basis.

He also said that there is a need for the government to take tougher actions in resolving the illegal immigrants issue.

“As long as we don’t document the illegal immigrants, we wouldn’t know who they are. We have to admit that we have to be a little bit tough. Despite all the criticisms, we still need to document these guys.

“We will not make them citizens but we have to document them,” he stressed.

The speech given by Darell was his maiden speech as the newly-appointed chairman of IDS.

Among those present at the event were IDS chief executive office Anthony Kiob and his deputy Chong Vun Then.

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Prihatin saved 1.4 million jobs’

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
Workers at a construction site in Labuan yesterday. Besides saving more than a million jobs, the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package has also assisted 213,688 employers.  Workers at a construction site in Labuan yesterday. Besides saving more than a million jobs, the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package has also assisted 213,688 employers.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package’s (Prihatin) Wage Subsidy Programme launched in March has helped over 1.4 million people in the country keep their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said it was one of Prihatin’s programmes that had shown results so far.

“It has assisted 213,688 employers and maintained 1.46 million jobs and, at the same time, reduced unemployment,” he told the Dewan Negara yesterday.

Rahim added that the effects of various aid measures offered under the Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), which was a continuation of Prihatin introduced in June, had yet to be seen.

“This is because it had just been announced and its implementation is still at an early stage. Therefore, the effectiveness of the initiatives can be measured only in few more months

Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.

“The government has set up the Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) under the Finance Ministry. It serves to monitor and evaluate every initiative under the Penjana and Prihatin packages and will announce its implementation performance from time to time,” he added.

Rahim was answering an oral question by Senator Datuk Razali Idris, who had asked the finance minister to state the success of Penjana, which had more than 40 initiatives worth RM35 billion to restore the country’s economy impacted by the virus.

Penjana was launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on June 5. Out of the 40 initiatives, 11 worth RM13.2 billion were for the people, 14 worth RM14.7 billion were allocated to the trade sector, and 15 at a cost of RM7.1 billion were meant for the economic sector.

By Dawn Chan.

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Socso holds mini career carnival to help jobseekers

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

Awang Ali (back row, seventh left) and Dr Mohd Ali (back row, eighth left) at the Perkeso Merdeka Mini Penjana Career Carnival and Merdeka Day Celebration launch at Wisma Perkeso yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) organized a Merdeka Mini Penjana Career Carnival yesterday to help jobseekers in Sabah.

Perkeso board member Awang Ali Ahmad Raji@Amat said Perkeso Sabah organized the mini carnival, together with its Merdeka Day Celebration, with the involvement of 12 employers from various sectors and industries in Sabah.

He added some 820 job vacancies located in Sabah and the Peninsular from the dozen of state employers were available during the mini carnival.

He said the program was targeted at unemployed Socso contributors so they can get new jobs through job resettlement programs including mobility assistance and improving employability of unemployed contributors through job marketability programs.

“Independence is not only synonymous with being free from colonialism alone, but when linked to today’s career carnival program, I hope that jobseekers who are still unemployed can be free from unemployment,” he said during the officiating ceremony of the event at Wisma Perkeso here yesterday.

Sabah State Perkeso director Dr Mohd Ali Hindia said the program is aimed at promoting the Perkeso products and services through the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) incentive.

He said the carnival will also raise awareness about the Perkeso MyFutureJobs as one of the people’s online job vacancy platform, and establish Perkeso cooperation with employers and industries, amongst others.

Dr Mohd Ali said the mini career carnival was not only open to Perkeso contributors under the Employment Insurance System (SIP) alone but also to everyone in the state, especially the youth and people with disabilities (OKU).

He said this mini carnival included CKS Supermarket, J&T Express, Astepave Sdn Bhd, Oscacom Sdn Bhd, Lintasan Resources Sdn Bhd, Rock Maestro Sdn Bhd, Tasek Emas Enterprise, Heera Food Enterprise, AFCL Bioscience Sdn Bhd, Inner Peace Spa Consultancy and Academy, D’ Queens Kitchen and Winabumi Sdn Bhd.

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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.

World-class medical education available locally

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

NUMed offers students world-class education locally with a global perspective

WHAT do you want to be when you grow up?

Perhaps, this is a question you often encounter during childhood.

Fast forward to today, you are ready to fly the nest to pursue your ambition.

However, choosing a university is one of the biggest challenges and it can be overwhelming if you are not sure how to go about it.

To ease your decision-making, take into consideration the key factors that you would be comfortable with while you study such as distance from home, location of the institution, course content, the institution’s community and facilities, and most importantly, the cost and credibility of the institution.

If a career in medicine or biomedical sciences is what you are working towards, one place to develop your aspirations is Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) in EduCity, Johor Baru, which has a track record of almost two centuries of academic excellence.

Having marked its 10th year in Malaysia in 2019, this international branch campus of NUMed draws on the legacy of Newcastle University in the UK, established in 1834 as

a medical school, and has always been at the forefront of research and teaching, with its reputation externally confirmed as of the highest international quality.

The establishment of NUMed here in Malaysia means that students in Malaysia and the region will now have the advantage of getting the best of both worlds – quality UK medical education in Malaysia at an affordable price.

The programmes of study lead to the award of the same degrees as those who go to the parent campus in the UK.

Additionally, NUMed’s curriculum is also designed to complement curiosity-driven self-study and help students develop learning habits that are beneficial in life-long learning.

Innovative programmes are delivered to students by highly motivated and well-qualified international academics through top-notch facilities.Innovative programmes are delivered to students by highly motivated and well-qualified international academics through top-notch facilities.

The essential factor for Newcastle University’s position as a world-leading medical education provider is the quality of the educational experience it offers.

On top of excellent facilities and vibrant student life, NUMed curates quality-related activities which are inextricably linked to contributing to the overall experience – well-designed innovative programmes are delivered to students by highly motivated and well-qualified academics from around the world, complemented by carefully considered student support strategies and a firm ethic of scholarship.

NUMed offers a pre-undergraduate programme – Foundation in Biological and Biomedical Sciences – and two undergraduate programmes: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (BMS).

While all five years of the MBBS programme are delivered in Malaysia, students can have the opportunity to study in the UK during the fourth year. In addition, students may also have the opportunity of studying for an extra year in the UK for an intercalated research qualification at either Bachelor or Master level.

As for BMS, the degree programme has two parts – two academic years at NUMed which mirror the programme offered in the UK, and one academic year at the Newcastle campus with research-led teaching and an intensive research project in one of the highly regarded research institutes in Newcastle University Medical School in the UK.

NUMed also offers three highly interactive online postgraduate programmes from Newcastle University UK, delivered online via platforms such as Virtual Learning Environment and Blackboard with face-to-face workshops and short-term on-campus sessions available for selected programmes.

NUMed is currently accepting applications for the September intake for its Foundation

in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (BMS), and

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programmes.

For details, email, call +607-555 3800, WhatsApp +6011-1231 5411 or +6012-7849456, or visit the NUMed website.

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Work Matters! Gratitude – the missing link

Friday, July 31st, 2020
The writer with Dr. Philip George.The writer with Dr. Philip George.

“To wake at dawn with a winged heart, and give thanks for another day of loving; to rest noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; to return home at eventide with gratitude; and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.”

These are the beautiful words of Khalil Gibran, the renowned Lebanese writer, poet and visual artist, who is also considered a modern-day philosopher. It is the very essence of gratefulness.

Recently, I wrote about two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, who have done numerous studies on gratitude.

Their research shows that gratefulness is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.

If you want to feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve your health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships, you first need to be thankful. Just like Khalil Gibran so elegantly describes it, in the quote above.

However, through experience and the hard knocks life offers up, you know that some people have a more grateful character than others. For some, gratitude just doesn’t come as easy.

I’ve always simply assumed that if a person is schooled properly to be appreciative of everything around them, there is a higher likelihood that they will have a grateful disposition.

But it seems that genetics also plays a role in why some people feel and express gratitude much easier than others. In a study published by the Journal of Research in Personality in 2007, Michael Steger from the University of Louisville and his colleagues, offer evidence of this.

Their research shows that identical twins, who essentially have the same DNA, had similar levels of gratitude when compared to fraternal twins. If you are a twin, but you are not identical, you share only 50 percent of DNA.

Sara B. Algoe another researcher whose work is published by Oxford University Press in 2014 says that specific genes may underlie a person’s grateful or less grateful disposition.

These, together with other similar studies indicate that there may be a genetic component to gratitude.

Aside from your genes, there also personality factors that may hamper you from being appreciative.

Researchers from Washington University published an article titled “Thieves of thankfulness: Traits that inhibit gratitude” in 2016. They studied the individual features of a person, which prevents gratefulness.

The study concludes that narcissism, cynicism, and materialism obstruct feelings of gratitude in you.

Greed and materialism both involve coveting what you do not have, so it’s no surprise that these emotions are the complete opposite to gratitude.

Quite frankly, it is impossible for you to be grateful if you are greedy or materialistic at the same time. You can see this clearly with some people you meet. I have even seen this with some of my extended family!

In the consumerist society that exists right now, you tend to focus on what you lack, or on what other people have that you don’t, whereas gratitude is the feeling of appreciation for all that you already have.

You need to recognise that perhaps your genes don’t predispose thankfulness in you, or your personality traits are a barrier to gratefulness, and that you might be too consumed to get ahead in your career or in life, that you only tend to focus on materialism.

But you cannot deny that all the prevalent research indicates that it is gratitude that encourages joy, tranquility, empathy, awareness, and enthusiasm.

Grateful people engage much more with their surroundings, which simply leads to better personal growth, and feelings of purpose, meaning, and connectedness.

I have a daily segment on Lite Malaysia, a leading English language radio station, where I share a platform with a few other experts in their respective professions.

One of whom is Dr. Philip George, a Consultant Psychiatrist, Addiction Specialist and a Professor.

Recently, Dr. George together with Leong Hui Yen published a paper discussing the effects of the lockdown, and its toll on our mental health. The ongoing uncertainty puts pressure on our emotions and resilience.

In the paper, they suggest that concentrating on things you can be grateful for, helps you cope with anxiety and the negativity that your mind may experience.

For those of you who find it hard to be grateful, maybe you can start by using these techniques.

Dr. George and his associate recommend ways to foster gratitude.

This includes keeping a gratitude journal where you can write down three things that have gone well for you in the day, and identify the cause. And, to also think about people who have inspired you, and what was most noteworthy about them.

Significantly, they suggest that you should engage in “mental subtraction”, which is where you imagine what your life would be like if some positive event had not occurred.

This is the way to build your gratitude “muscle”.

Hasn’t the Covid-19 pandemic shown you that gratitude is perhaps the missing link in your life? Isn’t this what you should be focusing on?

By Shankar R. Santhiram.

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Govt to propose new amendment for flexible working arrangements

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking towards implementing flexible working arrangements between employers and employees for the post-Covid-19 new normal, says Deputy Human Resource Minister Awang Solahudin Hashim.

“The ministry plans on introducing a new amendment that will detail the flexible working arrangement in line with the new normal post-Covid-19.

“This includes the flexibility in working hours, working days and workplace, where it has to be agreed upon by employers and the employees,” he said when answering a question raised by Jugah Anak Muyang (IND-Lubok Antu) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

He said employees must put in writing to employers to change their existing employment contracts to allow the implementation of the new flexible working arrangements.

He added that the implementation of the flexible working arrangement would help ease the daily expenditure of employees in connection with work.

Awang also informed lawmakers that Cabinet had approved implementation of “floor wage” or minimum wage of RM1,200 for employees at all levels.

At present, he said the RM1,200 floor wage had been implemented in 56 city councils nationwide compared to the previous minimum wage of RM1,100.

“The proposals have been approved by the Cabinet, and God willing, the amendments (the Employment Act 1955) will be tabled in Parliament in this session,” he added.

On weaning the nation’s dependence on foreign labour, he said the government had decided to limit foreign workers in all but three sectors.

“We have decided to allow foreign workers for only three sectors, namely the construction, agriculture and plantations sector.

“We want the other sectors to be filled up by locals.

“This will be part of our guidelines to decrease foreign worker intake, ” he added.

Awang said the move was necessary to ensure job opportunities for locals following the economic impact due to Covid-19 global pandemic.

At present, he said that there were some 2.1 million registered foreign workers in the country.

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Pathway to success

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Berjaya University College’s alumni have gone on to be restaurant owners, award-winning mixologists, winner of MICE International events, among others.

IF you received your SPM/STPM results in March this year, read on. This is for you, school-leaver.

Embark now on the next chapter of your life. Instead of sitting at home wondering about what comes next, start researching on what matters most to you.

Berjaya University College’s flagship programmes – Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons), Bachelor of Events Management (Hons) and Bachelor of Tourism Management (Hons) – are specially-designed to ensure its graduates of high calibre are employed by top-notch organisations all over the world.

Over the decades, its alumni have proven themselves as well-known restaurant owners, award-winning mixologists, winner of MICE International events, and many more.
Berjaya University College is the only culinary school in Malaysia that offers Diploma in Heritage Cuisine.Berjaya University College is the only culinary school in Malaysia that offers Diploma in Heritage Cuisine.

The Bachelor of Culinary Arts Management (Hons) or Diploma in Culinary Arts are qualifications that get you around the world.

Recognised by the World Chef Association, these qualifications will land you in your dream kitchen. You will see yourself traveling around the world, showcasing your passion, and seeing smiles on faces from all walks of life as they savour your cooking.

To keep our Malaysian heritage alive, Berjaya University College is the only culinary school in the country that offers Diploma in Heritage Cuisine. This certification makes you unique in your own way, and as you travel around the world, it gives you a platform to stand out from the crowd.
‘Our commitment is to ensure our students get well-deserved tertiary education and ensure they are employable in the industry,’ says Berjaya University College chief executive officer Dr See Hoon Peow.‘Our commitment is to ensure our students get well-deserved tertiary education and ensure they are employable in the industry,’ says Berjaya University College chief executive officer Dr See Hoon Peow.

If you think that mass communication is suited for you, consider the Bachelor of Communication (Hons). It opens a multitude of doors to a variety of professional opportunities – from journalism, public relations to media, career opportunities are vast, to say the least.

Berjaya University College is also one of the very few private higher institutions in Malaysia to offer Bachelor of Finance and Investment Management (Hons). With the current trend calling for fintech talents, this degree will surely lead you to greater heights.

Worried about difficulty getting a job after graduation? All these doubts will be cleared once you step into Berjaya University College.

The university college strives to ensure its students are employable and well-informed of all industrial knowledge. It imparts not only academic knowledge but also essential survival skills for the working world.

Berjayans will be a robust workforce in specific industries since they are the product of professional industrial coaching complementing the undivided attention given to every student.

Berjaya Higher Education prepares students to join the workforce as skilled graduates.Berjaya Higher Education prepares students to join the workforce as skilled graduates.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought home the realisation that skills are vital for survival. If you did not make it with SPM, Berjaya TVET College offers an alternative pathway to join the workforce as a skilled graduate.

Berjaya TVET College provides a wide variety of choices from certificates to diplomas in Business and Accounting, Digital Marketing, Web Development, Food Preparation and Production, International Business Leadership, and more.

Make an appointment to see how classes are conducted in these pandemic times – how Berjaya has made social distancing its priority. The classes are small in number, because Berjaya believes that small-sized class = quality + attention.

For more information about courses offered, visit Berjaya Higher Education

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Stimulus injection working, as re-opening gathers pace

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Some analysts have unfairly criticised Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his reluctance to dip into the government’s coffers and introduce more stimulus measures to help in the recovery of the ailing economy. - NST file pic

Some analysts have unfairly criticised Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his reluctance to dip into the government’s coffers and introduce more stimulus measures to help in the recovery of the ailing economy. – NST file pic

THE latest figures released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) in which the unemployment rate for May is increasing at a slower rate is a good sign that the stimulus package announced by the government during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic had worked.

The unemployment rate in May rose by 0.3 to 5.3 per cent from April 5. In terms of the number of persons out of jobs, there were 826,100 unemployed persons in May compared to 778,800 in April – an increase of 47,300 persons.

This compares favourably with the March to April figures when the 610,000 unemployed persons in March (for a 3.9 per cent jobless rate) ballooned to 778,800 in April for a jobless rate of 5 per cent – a staggering increase of 168,800 jobless people (1.1 per cent) compared to the increase of 47,300 jobless people (0.3 per cent) between April and May.

Of course, going by the absolute number of 826,100, the number of unemployed is quite a high number. The highest was first recorded in 1982 at 7.4 per cent.

The good numbers in May could also be due to the result of the gradual re-opening of the economy, which began on May 4 with the introduction of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). Going by other indicators, there is a case for an optimistic outlook on the unemployment situation and the economy as a whole. This is borne out by the facts that:

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an indicator of manufacturing performance, rose sharply to 51.0 in June – its highest since Sept 2018, up from 45.6 in May. The Industrial Production Index (IPI) rebounded by 18.2 per cent in May from April; and saw a 19.1 per cent gain in manufacturing sales to RM90.2 billion in May compared to the previous month.

These rapid turnarounds in production since the severe collapse in April suggest a very strong possibility for a V-shaped recovery. Moreover, the Penjana stimulus which was announced in early June would have worked itself into the economy by the time the June unemployment figure is announced in mid-August.

What’s more, on July 7, Bank Negara (BNM) cut benchmark interest rate by another 25 basis-point to a record low of 1.75 per cent – the fourth since January. Malaysian benchmark rates have never been cut below 2 per cent, even at the height of global financial crises of the past.

More optimistic outlooks are on the cards, with the recent announcement of the government’s health accreditation scheme for hotels and the agreement forged between Malaysia and Singapore to gradually relax people-to-people movement by August. - NST file picMore optimistic outlooks are on the cards, with the recent announcement of the government’s health accreditation scheme for hotels and the agreement forged between Malaysia and Singapore to gradually relax people-to-people movement by August. – NST file pic

Hopefully, this combination of fiscal stimulus and monetary policy will stimulate the economy so that even in the worse-case scenario of a W-shaped recovery, the detrimental effect of the pandemic on the economy is greatly cushioned via the judicious use of fiscal and monetary policies.

Some analysts have unfairly criticised Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his reluctance to dip into the government’s coffers and introduce more stimulus measures to help in the recovery of the ailing economy.

However, he is astute enough to know that full recovery is dependent on Malaysia attaining the status of a country that is free from Covid-19 infection, and even if the infection is under control, he is aware that a second wave of infection cannot be ruled out.

That is why he does not metaphorically put all the eggs in one basket through announcing stimulus after stimulus ad infinitum. He leaves some for contingency in case a second wave of attack materialises.

In between stimulus, he allows monetary policy to be tweaked so that if the economy recovers in the short to medium term, there will be more monies for the government which can be used for future stimulus should the situation deteriorate.

More optimistic outlooks are on the cards, with the recent announcement of the government’s health accreditation scheme for hotels and the agreement forged between Malaysia and Singapore to gradually relax people-to-people movement by August. These efforts will definitely boost the tourism sector.

Muhyiddin has already mapped out an exit strategy for the economy through his 6Rs strategies: Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise and Reform. Perhaps the fifth phase of Revitalise will take place once Malaysia is declared Covid-19 free.

By Jamari Mohtar.

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