Highlights:
  1. Sabah UMNO crippled as entire committee, almost all division chiefs quit party
  2. IATA cautiously optimistic about airline performance in 2019
  3. New national automotive policy focuses on next-generation vehicles
  4. HRDF to have four new directors
  5. HRDF will train about 1.2 million Malaysian workers in 2019
  6. Lack of skills and mismatch of young workers among the main problem faced by employers
  7. World Bank: Malaysia on track to becoming high-income nation
Sabah UMNO crippled as entire committee, almost all division chiefs quit party The entire Sabah UMNO liaison committee, including chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, and almost all the divisional chiefs announced their resignation from the party today, severely crippling Sabah UMNO. Hajiji told a media conference that five MPs, nine state assemblymen and two senators from Sabah UMNO have quit the party with immediate effect. He named the MPs as Datuk Ronald Kiandee (Beluran); Yamani Hafez Musa (Sipitang); Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Beaufort); Datuk Zakaria Edris (Libaran) and Datuk Rahim Bakri (Kudat). IATA cautiously optimistic about airline performance in 2019 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast the global airline industry to generate a net profit of US$35.5 billion in 2019, slightly above the US$32.3 billion net profit expected this year. IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said the forecast was due to lower oil price coupled with solid, albeit slower economic growth which would extend the run of profits for the global airline industry. “This is after profitability was squeezed by rising costs in 2018. It is expected that 2019 will be the tenth year of profit and the fifth consecutive year where airlines deliver a return on capital that exceeds the industry’s cost of capital, creating value for its investors,” he said in a statement today. New national automotive policy focuses on next-generation vehicles Malaysia’s new National Automotive Policy (NAP) which will be unveiled by year-end is expected to focus on next-generation vehicles which are smart and connected, as well as utilising green technology. Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and Internet of Things Institute (MARii) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Madani Sahari said the NAP would also look into mobility as a service. “Connected cars have the potential to create new business and job opportunities. As cars become connected and smarter, mobility can become an important aspect of the service industry,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. HRDF to have four new directors The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) today announced four new directors. In a statement, the HRDF named them as Petronas senior vice-president of group human resource Datuk Raiha Azni Abd Rahman, who is also a member of the Malaysian Employers Federation, retailer Sia Tze Yong who is the executive director of Everise Departmental Store Sdn Bhd, non-profit organisation Educational Welfare and Research Foundation deputy president Govindasamy Annamalai and BTC Group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Kadir ME Sikkandar. HRDF was formed in 1993 as the Human Resources Development Council and is an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Human Resources. It is tasked with catalysing the development of competent local workforce that will contribute to the country’s vision of becoming a high-income economy. Meanwhile, the Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran announced the HRDF will train about 1.2 million Malaysian workers in 2019 using the RM900 HRDF levy that is collected from registered employers. Kulasegaran said the Human Resources Ministry and HRDF were looking to forge partnerships with public universities and colleges to train graduates who are job-ready. On top of that, the HRDF is also developing a skills’ matrix in line with industry requirements, which would essentially contribute to the fund’s mandate in upskilling the employees of its registered employers. In a related development, a survey conducted by Khazanah National found that the majority of employers in Malaysia do not have problems in hiring workers, especially young people, but they are facing problems of workers who lack skills and mismatches. The “School to Work Transition Survey” report. launched by Khazanah’s Managing Director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan today said based on the survey, the employers also wanted soft skills, including `to learn skills’ such as strong work ethics, good communication skills, creative and problem solving skills enhanced. “This is because the employers rate soft skill and work experience above the academic and professional qualifications,” the report said. World Bank: Malaysia on track to becoming high-income nation The World Bank said Malaysia is well on its way to cross the threshold into high-income and developed country status in the coming years. In a statement today, Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa said Malaysia’s economy was well-diversified and stood on solid foundations, which are primed to take the country to the next level. “We welcome the government’s efforts, as part of this process, to strengthen institutions, develop human capital and protect the vulnerable in the society. The World Bank Group stands ready to support Malaysia during this important transition process,” she said. Kwakwa concluded an official four-day visit to Malaysia on Monday during which she met Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus.