1. I would like to thank the Malaysian Institute of Management for inviting me to launch this new publication entitled Malaysia Human Resource Management, in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Malaysian Institute of Management.
2. Over the years we have seen the remarkable growth of MIM as a leading organisation in training and development in the field of management and supervisory skills. The institute now has international exposure and has embarked on various long term training programmes including the degree programmes, MBA, Diploma and Certificate Programmes. MIM today is in the forefront of management development in the country.
3. The publication of the book Malaysian Human Resource Management by MIM is indeed very timely.
Firstly, there are few works published, especially on human resource principles and practices in Malaysia; and secondly, the book will provide very useful information to managers both in the public and private sectors. Human resource management concerns managing people and an effective human resource management has its objective in the commitment of employees towards the organisational mission and objectives. To effect such a commitment the basic philosophy of organisations must be to regard human resources as their most important asset.
4. During the coming years, human resource development will assume new importance. Competitiveness, productivity, innovativeness and capability in management of new technologies in Malaysia will to a large extent be determined by the quality of her human resources. A productive and efficient work force must be developed with strong ethical and moral values and a commitment to excellence. The country is facing more competition in trade and investment. In view of the challenges ahead, Malaysians should be well equipped with a strong base in technical education and training, including the ability to communicate in several languages.
5. Recognising that people are our ultimate resource, we must give the fullest emphasis towards human resource development (HRD). To my mind, the main thrust of HRD is: (i) the development of educated, well-trained and flexible manpower in order to enable the country to forge ahead and maintain its competitive edge; and (ii) the inculcation of positive values and attitudes of the work force.
6. The principles and practices of human resource management are now undergoing paradigm shifts from previous positions. This is as a result of the introduction of new information and production technologies. The routine and manual work undertaken by the work force before are now being replaced by programmed robotics. Previously, the power authority sent person to read the home electric metres. Now meters can be read electronically. It is possible for the charges to be posted on the customers' bank accounts. So, some routine jobs have evaporated. One can say that human resource management is also undergoing a transformation with the advent of technology. We are going to manage new work force who are highly educated and trained in technology analysts, highly educated and trained technology operators etc, and those who exercise higher levels of discretion. Human resource management must become a central concern for organizations.
7. The labour force in Malaysia is expected to grow at a rate of 2.7 per cent per annum during the Seventh Malaysia Plan period (1996-2000), to reach about 9.2 million by the year 2000. As a result of the greater access to educational opportunities as well as increasing emphasis on human capital investment, the labour force is expected to be more educated and better trained. An educated and skilled workforce will be a critical factor in the achievement of Vision 2020.
8. Whilst the main burden of industrial training is still borne by the public sector, it is essential that private sector employers play a greater responsibility in training the skilled workers required by them. To this end, employers, training institutions and the relevant Government agencies should cooperate to expand the in-service and apprenticeship training schemes so as to make the training more related to the needs of the labour market. It should be emphasized that industrial training should aim at developing innovative skills and technical competency of the labour force.
9. I am delighted to know that the author of the book to be launched "Malaysia Human Resource Management" was a former civil servant, who has embarked on a successful career in the private sector. I now have the previledge to launch the book Malaysian Human Resource Management .