Sultan Ibrahim warns against forcing Johor to leave Malaysia

Jun 17, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor told Putrajaya to respect the state-federal accords that established the Federation of Malaysia.

Speaking at the opening of the Johor legislative assembly sitting here today, the state Ruler expressed his disappointment with some decisions by the federal government that he said appeared to ignored the state's will.

"All parties must remember not to make decisions at will as the power of the state is enshrined in the agreement,” he said.

He said he was disappointed with the federal government’s decision to quash the appeal of the Pulau Batu Puteh (Pedra Branca) claim in 2018.

"The then prime minister made his own decision by ordering the Attorney General to take leave when the Cabinet had not been formed," Sultan Ibrahim said, referring to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"Johor was also not consulted at all when the decision involved its land and sovereignty. Therefore, I want the government to take stern action against those who violate state authority.

"In fact, if the state power has been violated, then the federal agreement can be considered void by itself and Johor is no longer part of the federation," he said.

He also castigated the federal government for failing to maintain or upgrade existing public facilities in Johor and make them more efficient.

His laundry list of poor-maintained facilities included buildings like Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Hospital Sultan Ismail, and the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar bordering Singapore.

He also reminded the federal government of its promised lane expansion of the North-South Expressway and the Senai-Desaru Highway and the repair of potholes on federal roads.

"I feel as if Johor is being ignored even though Johor is the main contributor to the country's economy.

"Don't force the people of Johor to leave Malaysia. Perhaps Johor can be more developed if it stands on its own," Sultan Ibrahim said.

He also said that in Johor, the minimum age for those who wish to run for public office as an assemblyman is 21 and not 18 despite the federal gazettement of the amended law lowering the eligibility.

He said this is because he had yet to consent to the amendment of the state enactment.

"In my opinion, the proposal to lower the minimum age limit is not in line with the direction of the government which wants high quality leaders with proper knowledge.

"Nevertheless, I still support the right to vote given to those aged 18 and above," he added.

The 63-year-old state monarch also reminded the Johor state government to make changes that benefit Johoreans.

"Johor will no longer give out land ownership to the federal government, but instead any federal project will only be given reserved land," he said.

Earlier today, Sultan Ibrahim surprised assemblymen and others covering the legislative sitting by announcing his son and heir Tunku Ismail Ibrahim as Johor regent with immediate effect as he wished "to rest a while".


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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%).