HRDF: Developing Human Capital, Building The Nation

Dec 11, 2015 1 Min Read

HRDF hosted a conference and exhibition to inspire people to develop their talents

With Malaysia chairing the Asean Economic Community (AEC) this year, efforts made towards achieving the goals of the AEC have become critical to the development of the country’s economy.

It should be noted that the Malaysian economy is faced with a dip this year, from 5.6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter, to 4.9% in its second quarter and finally to 4.7% in the third quarter, according to Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

One approach of uplifting the economy is through the enhancement of the country’s labour market efficiency.

In line with this, one of the initiatives taken by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) or Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd (PSMB) was to organise a HRDF Conference and Exhibition 2015 for human resources (HR) thought leaders and practitioners.

HRDF is a dynamic organisation, with an aim to catalyse the development of a competent workforce, in order to support the country’s vision of becoming a high-income economy.

The widely-anticipated event which took place on Dec 8–9 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, saw a turnout of over 2,000 participants, and 15 industry experts – locals and experts from abroad, who took on key roles as speakers, panelists and moderators.

This year’s theme of ‘People, Prowess and Progress’ reflected PSMB’s commitment in supporting the Government’s aspirations of accelerating the growth of our human capital, with the aim of achieving a national agenda of a 35% skilled workforce by 2020.

The conference this year was a unique one as it managed to deliver a range of perspectives on the nation’s human capital development, which is critical as the new year looms just around the corner and companies are already formulating plans for 2016.

The conference observed a meeting of minds between leading players, decision makers and key personalities of the industry, not just to better understand Malaysia’s human capital development, but to also exchange talent and resource ideas.

It witnessed 15 highly interactive and content-rich sessions, with discussion topics as follows:

  • Recognition of the advantage of a multi-generational workforce
  • Leveraging on synergies of a workforce that cuts across various ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds
  • Cross-border movements for optimisation of resources and the nurturing of new skills

One of the popular topics discussed during the conference was the brain drain epidemic in Malaysia.
This is a significant issue as depicted in a 2011 World Bank report entitled Malaysia Economic Monitor: Brain Drain, where it was stated that the number of skilled Malaysians living abroad has tripled in the last two decades.
The conference thus served as a platform to critically deliberate on the matter from a HR perspective, with several key experts from this industry.

Speakers that were present at the conference are as follows:

  • Maybank Group chief human capital officer Nora Abd Manaf
  • Mydin managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin
  • PETRONAS Group human resources management senior vice-president Datuk Raiha Azni Abd Rahman
  • Malaysian Directors Academy chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Aziz Abu Bakar
  • Sheridan College Continuing and Professional Studies associate dean Michael Cassidy
  • Prosci Global Business and Strategic Partnerships vice-president Mark Dorsett
  • SMR HR Group English Language Training project manager Michael John Hughes
  • Asian Institute of Finance chief executive officer Dr Raymond Madden
  • Korn Ferry International office managing director Reza Ghazali
  • University of Technology Sydney senior associate Prof Babette Bensoussan
  • IMD SE Asia Pte Ltd regional director for South-East Asia and Oceania, and Professor of Strategy Margaret Cording
  • Validity Group HSE Specialist Brian Dalby
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia, College of Business, School of Business Management, lecturer Dr Norizan Azizan
  • AsiaAus Leaders Pty Ltd director Catherine Duncan
  • Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Business Administration, assistant Prof Olivia Kyriakidou

HRDF chief executive Datuk CM Vignaesvaran A/L Jeyandran said:

“We hope that participants of the conference had received valuable insights that would help drive a collective mutually beneficial collaboration, in order to build a globally competitive workforce, that will drive the AEC.

“We also hope that the conference has managed to inspire others to develop their talents in order to improve the quality of life of the nation.”

For more details on HRDF and their initiatives, visit

Prethiba is a writer and content curator with Leaderonomics. She believes that Malaysia already has a large pool of talented individuals and entities, and if the skills and capabilities of these talents are not honed according to the relevant needs, the progress of the country may be affected.

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Prethiba is passionate about impacting people through the written word. She believes that our lives are solely written by us, and thus the power to change for the better lies with us.

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