M'sian MP says floods could be turned into tourist attractions

Jun 22, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

A former Malaysian minister and current Member of Parliament (MP) urged his countrymen to look for opportunities instead of complaining about the floods that have plagued the country.

"If you know it is coming, then start planning now. Maybe we can have voluntary tourism where people come to the country to help us with the floods, and it is not about them coming here just to enjoy but for them to also learn," said Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz to Sinar Daily, according to The Star.

Nazri served as Malaysia's Tourism and Culture Minister under the Barisan Nasional government of Najib Razak. He represents Padang Regas (Perak) in Parliament.

Malaysian floods

Floods are a big problem in Malaysia, where annual rains have ruined houses, blocked roads and even taken lives.

In December 2021, floods killed at least 14 people and displaced over 66,000 people in the states of Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Perak and the city of Kuala Lumpur.

Singapore donated money to disaster relief and offered the assistance of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

As late as May 2022, floods were still affecting Seremban, in Negri Sembilan.

What if we had a yearly festival for the flood? - Nazri

But Nazri thinks there could be a silver lining -- in more ways than one.

He mentioned annual floods in Kuala Krai in Kelantan, and said that the flood is like a "festival."

"Every monsoon, we have a flood festival, and people will come. Because now there is 'voluntourism', where foreigners come to do volunteer work and they pay (to buy tickets and so on)."

He also pointed out that due to the current weakness of the Malaysian ringgit, this could be another enticement for tourists to visit Malaysia.

"When our currency falls, it’s time for us to promote tourism for the country because it is cheap for them," said Nazri.

He also had Singaporeans in mind.

"The Singaporeans will come because they spend only one-third of their salary and to them, our five or six star hotels are just so cheap," he said, according to The Star.

Top image from Wan Juniadi Tuanku Jaafar's Facebook page.

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Talent shortage in Singapore with 8 in 10 employers reporting difficulty in filling roles

Jun 15, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

In ManpowerGroup Singapore's Q2 Employment Outlook Survey, the company revealed positive sentiments regarding pay increments and bonuses. In the latest edition of this report, for Q3, the sentiments have shifted towards hiring between the July to September 2022 period - labelled as "a record high" in the report.

In brief, Singapore’s net employment outlook (NEO) is at +40%, with the previous "record high" being in Q4 2011 at +31%. Further, employers surveyed in all 11 sectors (i.e. communications & media, manufacturing, and construction) anticipate positive headcount growth in Q3, with not-for-profit employers reporting "strongest" hiring intentions at 67%.

Despite the optimistic outlook, Singapore’s talent shortage level has been found to be at "its highest in 16 years", with more than eight in 10 (84%) employers reporting difficulty in filling roles. This statistic represented a 20% increase from 2021. Prior to that, talent shortage levels were quite high in 2018 at 56%, and in 2010 at 53%. According to the findings, the most difficult-to-fill roles are in restaurants & hotels (97%), other services (89%), and construction (88%).

That said, the "most sought-after" professions are: IT & data, operation & logistics, sales & marketing, manufacturing & production, and customer facing & front office. On top of that, employers are also looking at soft skills such as critical thinking & analysis, creativity & originality, resilience & adaptability, leadership & social influence, and reasoning & problem solving.

"The shift from pandemic to endemic has given companies greater clarity on their business outlooks," explained Linda Teo, Country Manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore. "Employers are ramping up their hiring due to a combination of factors like pent-up demand for manpower, employee attrition, and shortage of workers with the right skillsets."

Dissecting the local numbers

Filtering Singapore's NEO figure, analysts discovered that:

  • More than half (52%) of employers plan to hire;
  • More than one in 10 (12%) of employers expect a staffing decrease;
  • Close to four in 10 (35%) of employers plan to keep workforce levels steady, and
  • Less than five in 10 (2%) of employers are undecided about the hiring/talent scene.

In addition to not-for-profit employers having strong hiring intentions, those in other services (professional, scientific & technical, and administrative & support) similarly have positive intentions at 59%. These employers are then followed by those in banking, finance, insurance & real estate (56%), wholesale & retail trade (50%), and restaurants & hotels (46%).

A global perspective

Of the more than 40,000 employers surveyed across the globe, many are likewise expecting to hire more workers in the Q3 2022. According to findings, the global NEO is at +33% - which revealed hiring intentions to "increase year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter" respectively at +18% and +4%. In terms of per country/territory data, Mexico ranks top with a +59% NEO, while India has a +51%; Mainland China +29%, and Hong Kong +11%.

India's NEO is the strongest in the APAC region for the second consecutive quarter, up 13% since Q2. As for Hong Kong's NEO, it improved by 8% compared to Q2 2022, and by 10% compared to the previous year.

Looking at the hiring/talent scene, analysts discovered that digital roles continue to drive "most demand" with employers in IT & technology (+44%). This is followed by those in banking, finance, insurance & real estate (+38%), construction (33%), and manufacturing (33%).