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ICTHUMAN CAPITAL DEVELO MENT FRAMEWORK·
Department of Higher Education Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia
ICTHUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
Department of Higher Education Manistry of Higher Education Malaysia
U ni versiti Teknologi MARA.
SHAH ALAM • 2010
© Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia, 2010 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrievel system, without permission in writing from Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. e-mail: webmasteIjpt@mohe.gov.my
Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia
rCT human capital development framework/by National ICT Humau Resource Task Force. References: p. 51 ISBN 978-967-363-174-2 1. Human capital=Malaysia. 2. Information technology-Malaysia, 3. Communication and Technology-Malaysia. I. National ICT Human Resource Task Force. 658.3009595
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List of Figures Foreword Preface Executive Summary Acknowledgement
Vll IX Xl Xlll XVll
WHY DO WE NEED AN ICT HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK?
BACKGROUND VISION AND GOALS
WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES?
ALIGNING NEW WITH AND SUPPORTING ECONOMIC PLAN NATIONAL rCT STRATEGIES MODEL NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION (NEM)
3 3 5 5
MylCM886 NATIONAL MSC DEMAND lCT
10 13 13
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND ROOT CAUSES?
GRADUAL DECLINE IN THE NUMBER FACTORS TALENT OF ICT GRADUATES OF ICT ENROLMENT CONTRIBUTING SHORT STINT OF ICT FOR DECLINE IN MALAYSIA
PREDOMINANT ABSENCE STRONG REGIONAL MISMATCH THE ROOT
CULTURE BODY FOR ICT WORKFORCE
OF PROFESSIONAL Focus ON MIDDLE
COMPETITION OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND CAUSES FOR DECLINE OF ICT SKILLS ICT HR
18 19 19 21
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
RAISE WORKFORCE STRENGTHEN ApPROACH STRENGTHEN COMPETENCY ICT CURRICULUM ICT WITH DEMAND-DRIVEN CURRICULUM IN EDUCATION SYSTEM
23 24 24 25
EXPAND ENROLMENT IN
AREAS A BOUTIQUE TRl-PARTlTE ICT UNIVERSITY
& COMMERCIALISATION RECOGNITION AND STANDARDS MALAYSIA
FORM A BOARD PROMOTE RE-BRAND
PROFESSIONAL AND PROMOTE
OF PRACTITIONERS OF CHOICE
32 33 33 34 36
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTCOMES? CONCLUSION AND THE NEXT STEPS
41 43 45
Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Appendix D References
46 47 51
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.1 4.2 4.3
Figure 4.4 Figure 4.5
National Transformation Blueprint Strategic Directions for l O'" Malaysian Plan MyICMS886 Strategy Technology Focus Area MSC 2.0 Strategic Framework rCT Demand Projection and Skill Level Decline in rCT Graduates Breakdown ofICT and non-ICT Courses Annual Number of ICT Graduates Produced Language Proficiency Graduates Shortage of Talents ICT Job Outlook Mismatch of Supply and Demand Frequency ofICT Curriculum Review by IHL's Stakeholder Interaction for Curriculum Review Structure ofK-12 Computer Science Curriculum Generic ICT R&D Framework Focus Areas of Strategic ICT Roadmap Fitting into this Generic R&D Framework National ICT R&D Framework Encompasses Many Strategic Focus Areas ICT Professional Development
4 6 8 9 10 11 14 14 15 17 19 20 20 22 22 26 28 29 30 35
This lCT Human Capital Development Framework is conceptualised at a very important and crucial time - when our country is accelerating our effort to transform from a middleincome nation to a high income, developed nation, as called for in the New Economic Model (NEM). Critical for this transformation are the quality of our human capital, innovation, and the effective adoption of ICT in both the supply and demand sides. I believe this ICT Human Capital Development Framework outlines the required integrated approach that will address the many issues and challenges that face the human capital for ICT in Malaysia, while seizing the opportunities that arise out of globalisation and the rapid pace of technological development. This lCT Human Capital Development Framework sets out a clear and compelling vision and suggests the principles and policy measures that are needed to ensure that as a country, Malaysia will have a continued access to quality and competitive workforce. I take this opportunity to thank the National ICT Human Resource Task Force and all the stakeholders who contributed towards the development of this framework. This framework is a manifestation of a multi-stakeholder, inclusive and collaborative process to address. the perennial issue of the mismatch between ICT skills supply and demand, and prepare our most precious resource - human capital - to take Malaysia to the next level of growth. I urge all involved now to forge even closer collaboration to turn this framework into actionable programs that will yield the outcomes that we all want for our country.
YB DATO' SERI MOHAMED KHALED NORDIN Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia
The National ICT Human Resource Task Force has initiated the idea to put together this ICT Human Capital Development Framework since the beginning of 20 10 with the main goal of producing world-class ICT human resources to help our country realize the national aspirations. The driving factors for this Human Capital Development Framework is our shared, ongoing, and long-standing concerns over the direction of ICT programs in the Institutions of Higher Learning, the quality of ICT graduates coming out of these programs, their ability to perform in the workplace, and the overall gaps between demand and supply of ICT skills in our country. Already, there are initiatives being carried out by several stakeholders to address this perennial issue of the mismatch between ICT skills supply and demand, so this framework is proposed to be the umbrella framework that guides and coordinates the formulation and execution of these programs and initiatives. It is hoped that this leT Human Capital Development Framework will receive strong support from the all stakeholders to ensure that policies and programs are comprehensive and the rCT curriculum are relevant and of high quality. This commitment from all concerned are also crucial in achieving the vision to secure Malaysia's supply of world-class ICT professionals who will support the nation's ambitions to be a net producer of competitive ICT-based solutions for the global market and facilitate the higher adoption of ICT in private and public sectors.
PROFESSOR DATUK DR. KHAIRUDDIN AB HAMID Chairman, National ICT Human Resource Task Force
Malaysia had as long ago as the mid-1990s identified ICT as a key economic driver in her effort to shift to a knowledge-based economy and achieve the vision of becoming a developed nation by the year 2020. The most significant and ambitious is the 1996 launch of the national ICT initiative, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) which has brought considerable success in creating jobs, spawning many successful ICT companies, generating exports and putting Malaysia on the map as one of the world's top destinations for ICT investment. However, these successes breed its own set of challenges, and coupled with the fast changing and competitive dynamics of the JCT landscape, the factors that have helped Malaysia succeed are no longer sufficient to propel Malaysia to the level of growth needed to achieve Vision 2020. Chief among the challenges is the insufficient supply of skilled ICT human resource to meet the needs of the industry and economy at large. The lack of in-depth technical knowledge and soft skills has led to low employability. This was further compounded by the unfortunate perception portrayed by the media on this matter thus discouraging a large number of students who would have otherwise pursued ICT studies as their first choice. The. situation is now critical as the country's output of ICT graduates in terms of quantity and quality is woefully inadequate and threatens the success of the New Economic Model (NEM) that was launched by the Prime Minister in March 2010 to transform Malaysia into a high income economy by 2020. The NEM stresses economic development through productivity and innovation - features of advanced economies such as Singapore, South Korea, US and Finland - that make extensive use ICT. Malaysia must accelerate the development of its ICT talent pool if it is to achieve its aim of making the quantum leap to a developed high income nation status. What is required now is an integrated approach that will address the many issues and challenges that face the human capital in the ICT sector in Malaysia. This proposed ICT Human Capital Development Framework sets out a clear and compelling vision and outlines the principles and policy measures that are needed to ensure Malaysia has access to such a workforce.
The Vision: To secure Malaysia's supply of world-class ICT professionals who will support the nation's ambitions to be a net producer of competitive ICT-based solutions for the global market, and facilitate the higher adoption ofICT in private and public sectors. The Goals: 1. To nurture quality minds who will contribute towards our country's goal of becoming a high-income developed nation with significant standing in the global economy. 2. To inculcate strong research and development (R&D), commercialisation and professional culture within a dynamic, efficient, and effective leT workforce. 3. As input, to produce ICT graduates who are consistently relevant to current and future industries thereby ensuring a long career shelf life. 4. To increase the commercialisation of quality ICT applications for the global market in niche areas. 5. To increase the value of the rCT profession so that it will be an attractive and sustainable career option. The framework will focus on three strategic thrusts, within which several policy measures are recommended, although these are not yet exhaustive at this stage.
ST1: Raise workforce competencies ST2: Build greater R&D and innovative capacity
Strengthen ICT curriculum with demand-driven approach Strengthen ICT foundation in Malaysia's education system Expand enrolment in ICT Channel R&D and Commersialisation towards strategic focus areas Establish a boutique ICT university Increase tri-partite collaboration in Research, Development and Commercialisation Form a national ICT professional body Promote professional development of practitioners Re-brand and promote ICT as career of choice
ST3: Institutionalise professional recognition and standards
The strategic thrusts and actions need to be detailed into an implementation plan and must be executed with a focus to achieve measurable outcomes in the next 10 years. The following is the initial list of suggested outcomes: • • A secure supply of qualified ICT professionals Meeting the goals ofRMK-lO
• • • Matching of leT skills supply and demand on a sustained basis leT sector contributes 20% to GDP Sustained improvement in productivity and GDP growth
In conclusion, the National leT Human Resource Task Force fully recognises that several of the policy recommendations and measures to improve the quality and employability of our leT graduates are either being planned or have been initiated by the Government and stakeholders through other committees and forums. The Task Force's recommendations in this framework aim to provide the anchor point and clarity on the most important issues and their proposed solutions. Subsequently, this framework needs to be developed into a roadmap with an implementation plan and the identification of corresponding, responsible organizations to drive the programs. The following policy proposals that is more comprehensive including implementation plans have been or are being developed to cover the following strategic thrusts: • • • Improving reT curriculum (MAD reT, MQA) reT Technology and R&D Roadmap (MOSTI, MIMOS) reT Professionalism Roadmap (MNCC)
As has been recommended in the third strategic thrust, and this cannot be emphasised enough, there is an urgent need to re-brand and market the rCT profession so that more bright students will enrol in reT courses, and more leT practitioners will consistently upgrade their skills to remain relevant and valuable in this field. Finally, a critical step needed is the establishment of a program monitoring mechanism that will also receive feedback to ensure that strategies and programs being implemente~ do achieve their goals.
This JCT Human Capital Development Framework is the result of a series of consultations, dialogues, and workshops among the members of the National ICT Human Resource Task Force and key ministries, agencies and industry organizations. Grateful acknowledgement is accorded to the following parties for their valuable contribution. • Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE) o Prof. Dr. Rujhan Mustafa, Deputy Director General (IPTA Sector) leT Human Resource Task Force, Technology Roadmap Task Force and MADICT Committee o Prof. Dato' Dr. Khairuddin Ab Hamid, Vice Chancellor, UNIMAS (Cbainnan) o Prof. Dr. Zaharin Yusoff, President, MMU (Alternate Chairman) o Prof. Dato' Ir. Dr. Mashkuri Yaacob, Vice Chancellor, UNITEN o Prof. Dr. Aziz Deraman, Vice Chancellor, UMT o Prof. Dr. Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer, Dean, UNIMAS (Secretary) o Prof. Dr. Rosni Abdullah, Dean, USM o Prof. Dr. Haji Shahrin Sahib @ Sahibuddin, Dean, UTeM o Prof. Dr. Abdul Hanan Abdullah, Dean, UTM o Prof. Dato' Dr. Halimah Badioze Zaman, UKM o Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar, UTM o Prof. Dr. Tengku Mohamad Tengku Sembok, Deputy Vice Chancellor, UPNM o Prof. Dr. Abu Talib Othman, Deputy President, UniKL o Prof. Dr. Shamsul Sahibuddin, Director, CASE, UTM o Prof. Madya Dr. Suhaidi Hassan; Assistant Vice Chancellor, UUM o Associate Professor Dr Tang Enyakong, MMU Majlis Dekan ICT lnstitusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam (MADICT) Main members of MADJCT are also in the JCT Human Resource Task Force
Malaysia National Computer Confederation (MNCC) o YM Dato' Dr. Raja Malik Raja Mohamed, President o Tuan Syed Mohamad Syed Russin, Executive Director a Mr. R. Kunaseelan Persatuan Industri Komputer dan Multimedia a Mr. Shaifubahrim Saleh, President, PlKOM (PIKOM)
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) a Dr Amirul Abdul Wahab, Secretary, lCT Policy Division o Mr. Ooi Seong Hoe, Deputy Secretary, lCT Policy Division Unit Pemodenan Tadbiran dan Perancangan Pengurusan Malaysia (MAMPU) o Dato' Normah Md. Yusof, Director General (up until 3Ft May 2010) o Data' Dr. Nor Aliah Mohd Zahri, Deputy Director General- lCT Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) o Data' Ab. Khalil Ab. Hamid, Deputy Director General, JPA MIMOS Berhad o Dr. Chandran Elamvazuthi,
Senior Director, Technology Management Unit
Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) o Mr. Imran Kunalan Abdullah, General Manager, K-Worker Development o Dr. Yew Kok Meng, Senior Manager, K-Worker Development MSC Technology Centre Sdn. Bhd. (MSCTC) o Mohamad Suhaimi Mohamad Tahir, CEO (As Consultant)
WHY DO WE NEED AN icr HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK?
BACKGROUND The idea to put together this ICT Human Capital Development Framework was originated by a group of academics, ICT professionals and a few government bodies who were concerned over the direction of ICT programs in local universities as well as the quality of K'T graduates and their abilities to perform in the workplace. The problem of this mismatch between the supply ofICT human resources and the demand of the ICT market place has been around for many years. The lack of in-depth technical knowledge coupled with the lack of soft skills and proficiency in English among our graduates have been the main reasons for them not able to secure employment. Attempts to solve these problems have been made by various stakeholders for several years now. Subsequently, a highpowered National ICT Human Resource Task Force that comprised of carefully selected members from the academia, industries and the government sector was formed in 2008 to address these critical issues and work towards a: common goal of producing world-class leT human resources to help our country realize her aspirations. More specifically, this common goal is to ensure that our country will have a sustainable supply of ICT human resources with numbers and strengths in the right ICT domains and places throughout the national ICT ecosystem. One of the immediate tasks was to ensure that the universities are constantly engaged with all key stakeholders in keeping their respective curriculum and programs relevant with the market needs, especially regarding national policies and strategies such as the MSC Malaysia, the National Strategic leT RoadMap, and more recently, the New Economic Model (NEM) and l O" Malaysian Plan (IOMP). The members of the task force are listed in the Acknowledgement VISION AND GOALS Following severai consultations and workshops that deliberated on the issues and goals to produce the needed human capital for ICT, the National ICT Human Resource Task Force has adopted the following as the vision for this ICT Human Capital Development Framework. section.
ICT HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
The Vision To secure Malaysia's supply of world-class ICT professionals who will support the nation's ambition to be a net producer of competitive ICT-based solutions for the global market, and facilitate the higher adoption of ICT in private and public sectors. The Goals There are five main goals: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. To nurture quality minds who will contribute towards our country's goal of becoming a high-income developed nation with significant standing in the global economy. To inculcate strong research and development (R&D), commercialisation and professional culture within a dynamic, efficient, and effective ICT workforce. As input, to produce ICT graduates who are consistently relevant to current and future industries therefore ensuring a long and lasting career. To increase the commercialisation of quality leT applications for the global market in niche areas. To increase the value of the ICT profession so that it will be an attractive and sustainable career option.
There are several points to emphasize in this set of vision and goals. Firstly, as a country, we must strive to be a producer of technology and solutions in this area. We can no longer be just a predominantly consumer market. While the national ICT initiative MSC Malaysia has spawned many companies that have regional presence and export earnings, our country has yet to produce a global leT company with sustained innovation. Secondly, we must produce talent and solutions for not only Malaysia and the region but also for the global market. This is a tall order, but it has to be done if we are to achieve a significant standing in the competitive global economy. Last but not least, this framework sets a path to make the leT profession a recognized and rewarding career, similar to the profession in engineering, architecture and medicine.
WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES?
The country had as long ago as the mid-1990s identified rCT as a key economic driver in her effort to shift to knowledge- based economy and achieve the vision of becoming a developed nation by the year 2020. A major milestone of this journey is the establishment of the National IT Council (NITC) in the early 1990's and the launch of the National ICT initiative, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia), beginning in 1996. While this national ICT initiative and several other strategies have achieved considerable success in developing a sizeable ICT sector with strong export, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, and ICT-enabling other economic sectors, there remain a few major impediments to our country's journey towards a knowledge-based, developed nation. Key among these impediments is the lack of a large talent pool in science, JCT and engineering. Furthermore, as Malaysia shifts into a higher gear to achieve a high-income nation with the recent policy of the New Economic Model and its emphasis on innovation and quality human capital, the need for quality ICT human resources will be more vital and urgent than ever. Clearly, this is an opportunity for all stakeholders in this area to work better together and coordinate their efforts and programs to increase the pool ofICT talent. The first step is to take stock of the various national policies and ICT strategies, and then to ensure that these policies and strategies are aligned and reinforced to achieve common goals. The second step is to identify and understand what and where the demands are for ICT skills.
ALIGNING WITH AND SUPPORTING
As pronounced in early 2010, Malaysia acknowledges that it remains in the middleincome level and risks further stagnation, thus will not be able to attain the vision 2020 if it does not shift to a higher gear. The government has drafted a National Transformation blueprint to move the country towards its next stage of development, that is based on four key pillars as outlined in the figure below.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Figure 2.1: National Transformation
Source: New Economic Model
The first pillar is embodied in the principle of 1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now. This principle is meant to unite all Malaysians who collectively represent the key stakeholders of the government. The second pillar is the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) that will deliver the outcomes defined under the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs). The third critical pillar will be the New Economic Model (NEM) resulting from an ambitious Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) , meant to transform Malaysia by 2020 into a developed and competitive economy so the people will enjoy a high quality oflife and high level of income from growth that is both inclusive and sustainable. The fourth pillar is the 10th Malaysian Plan 2011~40l~ (lOMP) which will represent the first policy operationalisation of both the government and economic transformation programmes. The New Economic Model mid the llY" Malaysian Plan are highlighted below. New Economic Model (NEM) The New Economic MOdel that was anriounced in Marth 2010 is the re-structuring of Malaysia's economic policies to enable the country to achieve advanced nation status 4
by 2020. The NEM is set to push Malaysia out of the 'middle income trap' and address persistent socio-economic disparities with a different approach from the past. It has three broad goals that must be attained simultaneously: high income, inclusiveness and sustainability. The goals and outcomes of the NEM will be achieved by the implementation of bold policy measures across eight Strategic Response Initiatives (SRI's): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Re-energizing the private sector Developing quality workforce and reducing dependency on foreign labour Creating a competitive domestic economy Strengthening of the public sector Transparent and market friendly affirmative action Building the knowledge base infrastructure Enhancing the sources of growth Ensuring sustainability of growth
The second SRI emphasises the development of highly skilled human resources. Within this SRI, several policy measures with strong linkages to the focus of this framework are proposed: 1. Review the education system ~ shift educational approach from 'rote learning' to 'creative and critical thinking' 2. Increase emphasis on reintroducing technical and vocational training colleges 3. Identify and nurture talent through a demand-driven process 4. Improve autonomy and accountability of educational institutions 5. Encourage R&D collaboration between institutions of higher learning and industry 6. Enhance English language proficiency 7. Deliver high quality education, within reach of all localities 10lh Malaysian Plan The l O"Malaysian Plan (1 OMP), released in June 2010 by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, is the blueprint that provides economic development policy directions, strategies and programs to chart Malaysia's growth for the period 2010 to 2015. The 10MP is one of the two long-term plans before the year 2020, in which Malaysia has aimed to be at par with other developed nations. This plan is best viewed as the operationalisation of the economic transformation program to achieve the goals of the NEM.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
,Strategic--ij'trections for 10th Malaysia Plan:
Towards A High Income Advanced Economy
ECONOMIC PLANNING UNIT Figure 2.2: Strategic Directions
for 10'h Malaysian
As highlighted above, creative and innovative human capital with 21"( century skills is critical to achieve the goal of attaining advanced economy status. This demand for quality human capital is emphasised by the Prime Minster in his foreword of the 10MP: "For Malaysia to be a high-income nation, we must be able to compete on a regional and global stage. This requires redoubling our effort to attract investment; drive productivity and innovation. The foundation of any productive high-income economy lies in a globally competitive, creative and innovative worliforce. To achieve this, an integrated approach to nurturing, attracting and retainingfirst-world talent base will be implemented" The economic transformation that is now premised on innovation and productivityled growth will focus on 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Oil and gas Palm oil and related-products Financial services Wholesale and retail Tourism Information and Communications Education
8. Electrical and electronic 9. Business services 10. Private healthcare 11. Agriculture 12. Greater Kuala Lumpur Of great relevance to this framework is that ICT is one of the targeted NKEAs, and it is also accepted as the important enabler for other NKEAs, as it would help to make those sectors more efficient, productive and competitive. Also, the strategies to nurture, attract and retain talent are clearly spelled out in the 10MP. Two strategies that are very relevant are the setting up of the Talent Corporation under the Prime Minister's Department in 2011 to source global top talent, including among Malaysian Diaspora, and the development of the National Talent Blueprint by 2011 to identify the talent needs of priority economic sectors. Therefore, this ICT Human Resource Development framework can and should serve as the basis to identify the human resource needs of strategic areas for leT.
TALENT TO IMPLEMENT NATIONAL
As. a national policy since the mid 1990's, leT is an important sector and enabler for Malaysia's economic development, instrumental for Malaysia to achieve the vision of becoming a developed, knowledge-based economy by 2020. Such is the priority given to K'T that Malaysia has several inter-related national ICT strategies and initiatives. Three national plans have been formulated and implemented to address various issues and opportunities in rCT, ranging from infrastructure to futuristic applications. The three plans are: 1. MylCMS 886 by Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication (MEWC) in 2005. 2. Strategic I'CT Road Map for Malaysia by Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) in 2007. 3. MSC Malaysia 2.0 by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), which will cover the year 2010-2020 to replace the MSC Malaysia Phase 2 strategy (20032010). MylCMS886 Strategy This strategy launched eight service areas that in turri were to catalyse and promote the development of eight essential infrastructures ~ both hard and soft. These services and infrastructures were aimed at generating growth in six areas including content development for education, games and entertainment. The current service roll-out of High Speed Broadband by a few operators in Malaysia is a direct realization of the MyICMS886 plan. The following figure lists the said services, infrastructures and growth areas.
leT HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
'High S:pe'ed Broadbal1ld
,C & goeycnd
4-- O;g1bJl Multi,media
eroadc3St1l1g ,. D1gi td Home
·6.. Short Range
7. Vol.PJitntemet rel~'h01l1Y
B. IiJnN~TSal! Se,M!tf:
This strategy calls for Malaysia to build the competencies, rationalize institutional arrangements, and monitor development using the signposts-and-vision areas method in order for Malaysia to be a global leader in three Technology Focus Areas (TFA's), and intensify Malaysia's transformation to a knowledge-based economy. The three TFA's are Wireless Sensor Networks, Predictive Analytics and 3D Internet. A recurring theme of this strategic road map is the need to develop talent and competencies in these three focus areas. Another strong emphasis is the fostering of 3-way partnership between the government, industry and academia to coordinate and focus the research, development and commercialization efforts in these technologies. The main strategies of this road map are summarized below .
Figure 2.4: Technology
Source: National leT Road Map
MSC Malaysia 2.0 (2010-2020) MSC Malaysia has a three-phase development plan that began in 1996 to 2020. Each phase has its own strategy. This third and final part of the 3-phase strategy of MSC Malaysia aims to continue building the ICT sector through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Domestic Direct investment (DDI). However, the additional thrust is now for the ICT solutions, especially those developed by MSC Malaysia status companies, to be widely used in other economic sectors of Malaysia to make them more productive and competitive ..The third thrust of MSC Malaysia 2.0 is for ICT to directly improve the quality of life of the society. While the strategy in Phase 2 (2003-2010) has spawned a few MSC Malaysia status companies to become leading companies in selected regional markets (e.g Green Packet, Redtone, Iris Corporation and Les Copaque to name a few), there is now a concerted effort to push for many more MSC Malaysia solutions to succeed in the global market. The ICT clusters being targeted in this phase are Software Solutions, ICT-enabled services especially Shared Services Outsourcing (SSO) and creative content. The aim has always been and will continue to be that more Malaysian solutions attain international recognition.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
The MSC Malaysia 2.0 strategic framework is encapsulated figure.
in the following
Building the leT industr y with FDIs acting as catalys ts for DDIs
The use of reT to =ble gover nment s and industries tesulting in higher prcductivity in practically all aepe eta of their value chain
The use of ICT to @ffipO· ....er .·society, bridge the income
gap & reduce socio-
of life, and irnpr ove
tile quality of human capital Figure 2.5: MSC 2.0 Strategic Framework
To ensure that these goals are met, MDeC has carried out many ICT-enabled initiatives and capability-development programs. The latter equip the ICT and knowledge workers ofMSC Malaysia status companies with industry-needed skills up to international standard. Examples of this include the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, software testing and quality assurance, and IT Service standards. MDeC collaborates with the relevant government agencies and institutions of higher learning (IHL's) to develop and implement short-term and long-term programs to capacity and capabilities of knowledge workers in the MSC.
DEMAND FOR ICT TALENT EXPECTED TO GROW
It is clear that from the national policies and strategies outlined above, K'T sector development and ICT as tools for development will continue to remain a national priority for this decade. Even after the global recession of 2008-2009, ICT investment continues to grow world-wide. According to a market research finn International Data Corporation (IDC) (source: IDC directions 2009), the total Malaysia ICT market including Telecommunications and consumer ICT products was worth USD 4.6 billion in 2006 and this grew to USD5.7b in 2008. This market is forecasted to grow to USD 8.1 bin 2013,
after taking into account the many initiatives especially the implementation Speed Broadband network that started in 2009.
of the High
After the 2008-2009 global recessions, it is clear that the ICT market is expected to grow at rates higher than Malaysia's GDP growth rate of 6% for many years to come. With this growth comes the demand for more human resources with industry-relevant leT skills. Already, there is an increase in demand for ICT talent especially in computer science and engineering. A recent study by MDeC which was carried out by Frost & Sullivan shows that demand for ICT professionals is expected to grow from 244,643 workers to 293,703 by 2012, representing a 9.6 % growth rate. This is shown in the figure below. An important point to note is that 41 % of this demand is for software development skills, followed by networking and security skills at 21 %.
leT dama.nd prcjectlcn
250 220 200
~ I S~·· ..... (J" at-e oeve opment
as & Server
BI ~ A~I)'lk4 ~ 3% Hardware design ~ 3% ---------------_1-_._--------_._--_.-...__ __ -. _- .
2.6: leT Demand Projection
and Skill Level
Source: MDeC, Frost and Sullivan Study 2009
Another study by Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia (PIKOM) forecasts that the ICT industry will employ 497,000 workers in 2010. In 2012, the Shared Service and Outsourcing (SSO) sector of the industry is forecasted to employ 300,000 workers. It is very important to stress that the present and potential demand for lCT skills must not be confined to Malaysia alone, because it is a known fact that ICT is growing significantly in Asia Pacific, especially in China, India, Korea, Philippines and Indonesia. Hence, the demand for rCT skills by these countries presents significant opportunities to export not only ICT solutions but also the services and skills that go with them. Also, the web and internet technologies have made most ICT-basedjobs location independent. For
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
instance, a software developer in Malaysia could be working for a British multinational company serving its c~stomers in China. With global demand for reT skills remaining high, and the big push by our government to turn Malaysia into a high-income country by focusing on productivity and innovation, this means that a fresh approach is needed to ensure that the nation's supply of leT talent is top-notch and caters for the current and future needs of industries and economic sectors. As such, the vision, goals and recommendations of this leT Human Capital Development Framework are timely to support and in many cases re-enforce the new economic policies and strategies of Malaysia to achieve the coveted developed nation status.
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND ROOT CAUSES?
The lCT sector has for many years grappled with several main challenges concerning the quality and employability of rCT graduates produced our institutions of higher learning (IHL). These challenges are the decline in number of qualified graduates, the short stint ofICT professionals in the workplace due to the fast and dynamic pace of the ICT sector, and the mismatch ofICT human resource supply with the demand. This section elaborates on these challenges and their contributing factors.
GRADUAL DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF ICT GRADUATES During the 1990's up to the year 2001, there has been a high number of graduates in ICT. This was attributed to the government's policy which emphasises on ICT especially the launch of MSC Malaysia and its Flagship Applications in 1996. This was also the result of the liberalisation of the higher education sector whereby many universities, especially by the private sector, were established and the majority of them offered various types of lCT degree or diploma programs. However, since 2002, there has been a drastic fall in enrolments and graduates in rCT, as highlighted in the following statistics from the Ministry of Education . . As the statistics shows, there were over 119,000 students enrolled in ICT courses in 2002, with a production of over 53,000 graduates. However, by 2002 both figures fell drastically 80,000 and 19,500 respectively. According to a recent study commissioned by MDeC and undertaken by Frost & Sullivan, only 10.5 % of students in Malaysian institutions of higher learning (IHL) were enrolled in ICT courses and the number was staggeringly low compared to other countries.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Number of new entrants in IGT
leT 60 50
~ '!8 ~ 50 ;;
: : ~22:
, ', , ,
• Gain compared
200_'_'O_"_3 __ '0_0_5 _2_0_04 _2_O_06_2:J compared to previous: year to previous: year
2002 2003 200. ,OOS ,oo~~
to previous toprevl
Loss com pared to previous year Gain compared to previous year
Ga111 CQm pared
Figure 3.1: Decline in ICT Graduates
Source: Frost & Sullivan Study 2009
Breakdown of leT and non-tc'r courses
Students enrolment Students enrolment
in non-ICT courses in ICT courses
of leT and Non-ICT Courses
Source: MDeC, Frost & Sullivan Study 2009, OECD Education at a Glance WMD World Competitiveness
Another study that was done shows how far Malaysia is lagging behind in terms of producing the type of advanced lCT graduates needed for an innovation-led economy. India and United States, for example produce 75,000 and 52,900 computer scientists respectively each year. China, which currently brings 50,000 new ICT workers to the world every year, could eventually provide 200,000 computer science graduates annually, according to Marty McCaffrey, Executive Director of Software Outsourcing Research.· 14
WHAT ARE THe ISSUES AND ROOT
Graduates that has attained at least tertiary education for persons 25-34 (in millions)
3.3: Number of ICT Graduates
Source: MOeC. Frost & Sullivan Study 2009. OECD Education
at a Glance WMD World Competitiveness
In contrast, Malaysia produces about 15,000 to 10,000 graduates with ICT-related degrees of which only 2,400 are computer science graduates. Contributing Factors for Decline of leT Enrolment Several factors are known to contribute to the declining popularity ofICT courses in IHL and hence the decline in leT enrolment: ' 1. Perception that ICT is not a promising career - After the national euphoria for leT during the 1990's up to the early part of this 21'( century, and certainly with the disillusionment resulting from the "dotcom bubble burst" in 2000, leT is no longer seen as the high growth sector it once was. This issue was further compounded by the media's portrayal several years ago that degrees in computing will not lead to employability in well paid jobs. As a consequence, the cream of the prospective graduates are gravitating towards other disciplines such as engineering, accountancy and business courses. leaving mostly the average performing students opting for leT. 2. Belief on the use of mathematics in ICT - The widespread impression amongt students is that leT courses need extraordinary skill in mathematics. This is certainly not the case as only computer science and computer engineering courses have some emphasis on strong mathematical skill. Nevertheless, this misconception has led to confusion amongt students and may have discouraged them from choosing ICT courses.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
Uninformed secondary school counsellors - Many students based their decision on courses to pursue after consulting their career counsellors at school. Unfortunately, the majority of secondary school counsellors are not fully aware of the trends, opportunities and career prospects in K'T, Obviously, they are not in the position to adequately promote leT as a good career to students. Related to this is the lack of proper exposure of students to leT at school, which hampers their understanding of
No formal professional recognition for leT - Another contributing factor is partly due to the fact that leT is not a professionally recognized discipline. Without such recognition, l'Cf lacks the prestige factor that attracts the best and brightest students to other professions, such as accountancy, engineering, architecture and medicine.
SHORT STINT OF
Those working in the leT field always face the constant challenge of remaining relevant. The fast pace of technology means workers risk becoming obsolete unless they are constantly trained and their skills upgraded. This issue is also very dependent on the innovative capacity of the organizations that these professionals find themselves in. It is common knowledge that the majority of Malaysian organizations and businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SME), that as a group that provides the largest employment for our graduates, are not investing enough in leT (Note that SME in Malaysia account for 35% of GDP, 57% of total employment, and 20% of exports). Obviously, upward mobility for leT professionals are very limited, and in parallel, relevant and timely training in leT that are properly planned and managed are the exception rather than the norm in these organizations. This situation leads to many leT professionals moving on to management, or into the leT end-user environment, or to other business functions midway in their careers. As a result, only a small number of the leT workers become specialists. Again, a contributing factor for this issue is the lack of a professional body that governs the quality standard and promote life-long learning within the career. This matter is discussed further in the subsequent sub topic. Additionally, the lack of English proficiency amongt graduates as highlighted in the following chart makes it more difficult for them to engage in life-long learning and constant upgrading, given that most educational and leT materials are.written in English .
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND ROOT CAUSES?
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% SPMBM SPM English
Figure 3.4: English Language Proficiency among Graduates Source: MOHE
Other than that, there are many other factors that may lead to threats to the short stint ofICT talents in Malaysia. Some of them are elaborated in the following sub topic.
High-income nations, such as South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, US and Australia, are able· to generate a high level of wealth due to the ability to create valuable intellectual property. that is marketable worldwide. For Malaysia to join the league of these countries, it needs to establish a pipeline of talents that can innovate and develop high value intellectual property-based products. As it stands, the country is mostly a consumer of technology products and not yet a significant producer. While the MSC Malaysia has spawned several Malaysian companies with their own technology and software exported worldwide, the indicators suggest that this is insufficient. To date, there are no ICT companies in Malaysia that has become a global corporation with recognizable brands like those. from Korea, Taiwan, India and Singapore. In terms of global patents, Malaysia also compares unfavourably. It is currently ranked only 30th in terms of global patent filings with just 218 patents filed in 2009. This figure is less than many leading corporations such as Japan's consumer electronics corporation Panasonic that filed 1,891 patents in 2009, China's telecommunication corporation Huawei, which filed 1,847, and Netherlands' Philips, which filed 1,295 global patents. All this implies that the-majority of Malaysia's companies and research institutions are not aggressively investing in research and development.
ABSENCE OF PROFESSIONAL
BODY FOR ICT WORKFORCE
The absence of a professional body to define and monitor standards has led to confusion as to what an ICT career is and how it is made up of various disciplines, each with its unique sets of attributes and opportunities for development. Without this governing body, the ICT profession does not have a single and proper advocate to chart out the various career development paths for ICT practitioners and articulate industry issues to the public and private sectors. This issue also leads to the profession not being seen as serious or as challenging as that of engineering or similar disciplines. Recall that this matter has also contributed to the declining popularity and enrolment in ICT degree programs in universities since 2002. This should not be the case today when lCT professionals are heavily relied upon to conceive, design, develop, implement and support numerous mission-critical applications in banking, telecommunications, healthcare, transport, manufacturing and numerous service sectors. As more of our globalized economy and quality of life are dependent on these mission-critical systems enabled by ICT, the public and relevant authorities would be more assured if the K'T profession is governed by a well-defined code of practice. This absence of a professional body to govern and advice on the latest developments regarding the ICT profession may also have led to the short stint ofICT workers and graduates in Malaysia. While Malaysia has PIKOM as the association representing the ICT companies, there is now a critical need for a body to represent and promote the ICT profession.
STRONG FOCUS ON MIDDLE INCOME ACTIVITIES The nation is not currently focused adequately on preparing for the future high value niche areas in which Malaysia has a chance to stake out a leading position. The majority of Malaysian ICT workers are currently focused on the lower to middle end of the value chain such as end user activities, data centre and call centre operations, some software development, basic 3D animation and customization and support for packaged software from foreign Multinational Companies (MNCs). Higher-end activities such as the creation of world class software packages and services, 3D animation movies such as those created by Pixar and Dream Works studios in the US, hit games and hardcore computing such as database tuning for millions of users is not currently being done. To be fair, there have been a few initiatives and policy statements in recent years urging organizations and businesses to use more ICT in higher value-added work and as a competitive strategy. Such initiatives include the national ICT strategic roadmap, JCT planning and cluster development initiatives by many state governments. However, these efforts are still fragmented and need to be coordinated more effectively.
ARE THE ISSUES
REGIONAL COMPETITION Malaysia is not alone in wanting to advance its economy and knowledge capacity. Other countries are becoming increasingly competitive and have certain advantages over Malaysia, including a larger population base. As has been highlighted in the previous section, many countries in Asia Pacific will see significant growth in leT investment in this and the next decade, and with this growth comes the huge demand for highly-skilled ICl' professionals. While countries like India are already well known for their fierce reT industry, less well known is that neighbours like Vietnam and Indonesia are aggressively pushing ICT as one of the main pillars for their economic development. This phenomenon raises the potential for a damaging talent drain as countries like Singapore and Australia look for Malaysian talent to fill their own gaps in supply.
Mismatch of Supply and Demand of leT Skills
There is a growing mismatch between current supply and demand of industry relevant knowledge workers in the leT field in Malaysia. Whilst the number of graduates in the broadly defined leT field is substantial, most of them do not meet the demand by industry for qualified knowledge workers in terms of quality arid industry relevance. From the current supply of about 20,000 leT graduates per annum, only a mere 10-15% are deemed fit for employment. Although this problem occurs in practically all countries including India, this percentage is distressingly low and calls for immediate action. Another important point to note is that this talent shortage occurs in all areas of the ICT job spectrum, with the biggest shortage found in software engineering, software programming, networking and database, as highlighted in the following chart .
3.5: Shortage of Talents
Sburce: Frost & Sullivan Study
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
This is what is happening when JCT specialists are among the most sought after by employers in Malaysia, according to a study by PJKOM, KPMG and Jobstreet (See Figure 3.6).
leT Job Outlook
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
.:. Junior leT Executive Agriculture I Plantations I Aquaculture less than 4 years of experience including Automotive I Heavy Industry I Mach inery Banking Institutions fresh entrants into the job markets; Chemical industries .:~ Senior leT Executive Construction I Building, including Civil Engineering 5 or more years of working experience; Consulting, both Business and Technical Private Education c- Middle ICT Manager Electrical & Electronics Sector as declared by the job seekers; Financial Services I Securities / Insurance I Hotel I Restaurant I Food Services .:. Senior leT ManagerManufacturing as d9clared by the job seekers Oil I Gasl Petroleum industries Printing I Publishing Property I Real Estate Technology I Aerospace I Bio.technology TOP 10 SPECIALISATIONS EMPLOYERS SEEK Semiconductor I Wafer Fabrication 1} Marketing & Business Development Services 2) Sales/Marketing (Merchandising) Telecommunication 3) Customer Service Textiles I Garment 4) Computer & IT (Software) Transport I Storagel Freight I Shipping 5) Engineering (Mechanical) • Utilities 6) Human Resources 7) Sales/Marketing (Technical) 8) General/Cost Accounting 9) Top Management 10) Clerical/General Administration
Figure 3.6: leT Job Outlook
This mismatch is going to get more severe as the lCT sector is growing fast in line with the national and regional economic recovery. The following chart highlights the anticipated demand that cannot be matched rising from 335 workers in 2009 to 19,668 workers. This chart also indicates that the unmatched demand is not due to the lack of supply but the lack ofthe right skills,
, , ,
, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , ,, ,,
__ l..~ __
Figure 3.7: Mismatch of Supply and Demand
Source: MDeCIFrost & Sullivan, 2009
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND ROOT CAUSES?
The issues are noted by the industry players. According to the national rCT industry association PIKOM, there is a need to address the predicted shortfall of 40,000 knowledge workers in the ICT industry by 2012. Graduates with sound principles and foundation in computer science are badly needed to address knowledge skills gap. THE ROOT CAUSES FOR DECLINE IN QUALITY ICT HR Our country is thus faced with two main challenges in rCT human resource right at the time when it is embarking on a transformation to a new economic model that requires innovation, creativity and productivity of its workforce: the overall decline in enrolment and graduates in rCT, and for those who actually graduate, their lack of skills and competencies as demanded by industry. What are the root causes for this decline? Studies and consultations among the stakeholders have identified the following: 1. Lack of quality control and standardisation ofICT curriculum during the heady growth ofICT and the liberalisation of higher education sector in the mid 1990's. During this period, the number of new IHLs mushroomed. Almost all IHLs offered ICT -related diploma and degree programs with different names and focus areas i.e. Bachelor of Computer Science, Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Information System, to name a few. It can be safely stated that many of these programs provide only general lCT knowledge and skill development. When the graduates enter the workforce, many found that their skills and knowledge are not adequate to fulfil their job requirements. Employers from the industry have been lamenting this issue for years. Coupled with other factors such as the "dotcom bubble burst" in 2000 and its aftermath, and the media's portrayal of this 'employability' issue, many of the best students then opted for other courses, leaving mostly the average performing students opting for ICT. All these lead to the mismatch that we have today. 2. The lack of skill in problem-solving and communication, critical thinking, proactively and practically - these are often called the 'soft skills' - in ICT graduates can be attributed to two factors. One is the result of Malaysia's education system that emphasizes too much on examinations and rote-learning. The other factor, which is not widely known, is the reduction from four years to three years of many ICT degree programs. Related to this is the absence of or reduction in credit hours for a practical stint in the industry for many of these degree programs. While the government is attempting to revamp our education system to suit the workforce requirements of this 21'1century, the IHLs need to quickly change their education strategy including how they measure successful outcome. 3. This problem of supply-demand mismatch is further compounded by the very dynamic and fast-paced nature of the ICT industry. This and the above two factors suggest that the ICT curriculum in IHL's need to constantly keep pace with developments in the ICT industry. Unfortunately, not many universities review their curriculum frequently, as highlighted in the following chart from the "Malaysian rCT Human Capital Study" carried out by MDeC and Frost & Sullivan in 2009. The same study also indicates
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
that there is little consultation or collaboration between IHL's and industry for this curriculum review (see the second chart). It is no surprise then that the majority of leT graduates do not have the relevant competencies needed by employers .
..... ........... ,
Glyen the dynamic and evolving nature ollhe' ICT InciuslI)I,lt Is disappointing 10 note 311%01 5U""'yed [HLs "lVle.w '''''[rlCT ~u,rlcula In mono than 2 }'I>srs . IflLs wltITa "",lew cyda of 6 monll\$were mosliy prbiate '""lIIutes
of leT Curriculum
Review by IHL's
SupplV Side Ana-lvsl$
, ,," "J.;\,
Intef'aCllon with InduStrY play<>rswhom tevlewlll9lCT curricula would _mlngly ",,.plaln 1M par~'I ... d gap ootwe*'1' 'nm.Slry &xp<!ct.tlon QJIC!g'l!duQte~' COmp<!te-n<:8
Interaction for Curriculum
These root causes to the declining of I'C'T and coordinated manner, only one or two will not l C'I' education to deliver
plus the factors that have been enrolment need to be addressed as they have a cause and effect bring out the systemic change world class leT professionals
identified to contribute together in a holistic relationship. Resolving required for Malaysia's for the global market.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
As highlighted in previous chapters, there are significant opportunities and demand in leT, and likewise there are significant challenges and gaps with regards to the quality and competency ofICT human resources in Malaysia. The main contributing factors and root causes are known. In fact, they have been known for many years, and several policy interventions and programs have been initiated recently. But now that Malaysia is accelerating its transformation effort towards Vision 2020 via the NEM amid what will be an even more competitive environment for investment (both foreign and domestics) and talent, there is therefore an urgent need to coordinate and harmonise these efforts, as well as to formulate and implement new strategies. The National rCT Human Resource Task Force has identified three strategic thrusts (Table 4.1) that form the pillars of this ICT Human Capital Development framework. Within each strategic thrust, several policy measures are recommended, although these are not yet exhaustive at this stage.
Table 4.1: Strategic Thrust and Recommended Policy
ST1: Raise workforce competencies ST2: Enhance R&D and innovative capacity
• • • • • • • • •
Strengthen ICT curriculum with demand-driven approach Strengthen ICT foundation in Malaysia's education system Expand enrolment in ICT Channel R&D and Commercialisation towards strategic focus areas Establish ICT boutiques in universities Increase tri-partite collaboration in Research, Development and Commercialisation Form a national ICT professional body Promote professional development for practitioners Re-brand and promote ICT as career of choice
ST3: Institutionalise professional recognition and standards
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
Strengthen ICT Curriculum with Demand-Driven
To raise the competency of the rCT workforce, one of the key measures to be taken is to strengthen the rCT curriculums in schools and IHLs by incorporating frequent input from the industry. The recent proposals by MADICT (Majlis Dekan ICT) and MQA to streamline the various ICT-related degree programs into a clear grouping of focus areas, and to set and enforce certain quality standards need to be implemented and monitored regularly. The proposal by MADrCT suggests that the body of knowledge as recommended by the Association of Computing Machinery CACM) be incorporated into university courses. ACM is the world's oldest and largest educational and scientific computing society with 78,000 members and based in New York. MADrCT also recommends that a clear distinction be made between the Bachelor of Computer Science and Bachelor of Information Technology. Due to its importance, the area of software engineering also deserves its own discipline and the degree offered should be named as Bachelor of Software Engineering. Another recommendation is to enhance lCT competency according to the standardization based on global best practices and national demands. Focus areas based on the ACM computing curricula 2001- 2005 as pointed out by MADrCT are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Software Engineering Computer Systems and Networks Artificial Intelligence Multimedia Information Systems
For long term development, post-graduate studies and specialization will be promoted primarily in strategic focus areas identified in the national ICT R&D framework (See Figure 4.2). These focus areas include but are not limited to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. software development, software engineering, digital content development, information security, high performance computing, multimodal information processing, embedded system, and knowledge management.
To BE DONE
A scheme is also proposed for these postgraduates to implement the followings: 1. Facilitate research groups or centres in the universities to enable good graduates to join the universities, 2. Planning for good graduates to pursue Masters and obtain certifications. It is also recommended that lecturers be exposed to industrial practices and experiences, and there should be a structured programme for lecturers to be attached to industry. It is suggested that the minimum period of attachment be set at six months and .sufficient credit or merit be given to participating lecturers, in consideration for promotion in order to encourage participation. Review of ICT curriculums should be done ideally every year or at least every 2 years; The review must also be done in consultation with industry, either directly or indirectly, through organizations such as MDeC, MNCC, and PIKOM. In addition to the above longer-term programs, IHLs and industry stakeholders must also collaborate to formulate and run programs to address short and medium term industry needs. A good case is the establishment of the 'Knowledge Worker Development Institute' (KDI) by MDeC to provide knowledge workers with the skills required by the leT Industry, especially in Shared Services and Outsourcing (SSO) sector. A final and important point to stress is that in all the above efforts to strengthen leT curriculum with the demand-driven approach, the reference to industry should not only be to local and current needs,but also to global and future demands, especially the more developed ones. Stren·gthen leT Foundation in Education System The introduction of basic ICT foundation in secondary schools needs to be further promoted. While there are many public schools that have adopted the smart school model and many more have computer labs and programs, these efforts need to be expanded throughout the entire school education system. Basic computing courses should be introduced in schools and teachers need to be skilled at exciting interest among students in the field of computing as well as equip them with the skills for life-long learning. In the USA, K-12 curriculum, the largest provider of online education was introduced to target online learning for grades K through to 12. The curriculum includes instruction, exercises and assessments, as well as audio/videotutorials and links to interactive activities to make learning more motivating and engaging.
Recommended Grade Level
Le~ell ~ Foundations of Computer SCience
9 or 10
Levs/IIComputer SCience In the Modem World
10 or 11
Levet tv SCIence
Level III - Computer Science as Analysis and Design
11 or 12
: Topics in Computer
Figu re 4.1: Structu re of K-12 Computer
Source: Final Report of the ACM K·12 Task Force Curriculum
The structure of the K-12 Computer Science Curriculum, for example, shows that the preparation for computer science knowledge starts from the beginning with the basic introduction of Computer Science Foundations and Analysis & Design. The inclusion of leT as a foundation subject at the secondary school level will equip Malaysian students with the necessary knowledge and skills in problem-solving, systems analysis and computer logic/programming. These skills will enable them to learn other advanced rCT-related subjects within the three- or four-year programs. These foundation skills are also useful even if the students do not pursue IC'I' courses in their tertiary education. This policy will go a long way to widening our pool of IC'I' human resources. Expand Enrolment in leT. With the ICT curriculum strengthened through regular review and adherence to quality and standards established by MQA, all public and private IHLs should expand their enrolment of leT (As of writing, many IHL's intend to increase their enrolment in the next few years). However, it must be stressed that this expansion should only happen if proper planning and analysis are done in consultation with industry and relevant stakeholders so that it is demand-driven. Also, there must be adequate capacity in terms of the number of qualified lecturers, staff, and facilities to accommodate more student intake without jeopardising the quality of education. For this strategy to be effective, it is also recommended that every IHL offering lCT programs has a certain focus or specialisation. These focused areas of the IHL could either be a research focus, or software engineering, or information systems relevant to business or others. Subsequently, IHLs need to carry out a consistent branding and 26
promotion program to cast a wider net and get more 0"[ the top performing students to enrolin ICT. This branding should be done on a more specific basis to complement the branding and promotion of ICT as a career of choice at the national level to be done by the ministry or agency concerned e.g. MORE working with MDeC.
ENHANCE R&D AND INNOVATIVE CAPACITY Channel R&D and Commercialisation to Strategic Focus Areas
Malaysia currently is predominantly a consumer of leT and technology products, and this must change if we are to become a high-income nation that produces a lot more intellectual property in ICT. Educational institutions must be encouraged to inculcate a culture of research in students while the private sector must be continually encouraged and incentivised to invest in research and development of their own intellectual property that can be marketed globally. For Malaysia to increase its capability in R&D and Commercialisation, there is a need to identify niche areas of technology where Malaysia has the strong potential to excel. These niche areas have been identified in the proposed National ICT R&D Framework that was deliberated during the stakeholders' workshop in May 2010, and more recently during consultation with MIMOS and MOST!. This generic ICT R&D framework is an extension of planning done via the National Information Technology Council (NITC) in the past as well as the National Strategic ICT Road Map developed by MOSTI in 2007. The generic rCT R&D framework has taken a comprehensive and holistic view of the current development while duly taking into consideration Malaysia's resources and strengths. Figures 4.2, 4'.3 and 4.4 depict this generic rCT R&D Framework that emphasizes on the grouping of the R&D and Commercialisation activities into strategic focus areas. R&D and commercialisation efforts, especially in the public IRLs and research institutions, must be channelled to the focus areas indentified in this ICT R&D framework so as to optimise our country's resources while aiming for significant impact. The areas of greatest impact will now go beyond areas mentioned in the previous road maps such as smart agriculture, logistic systems, financial services, halal and manufacturing sectors. It will need to consider the protection of our sovereignty in the light of emerging global developments, i.e. the unbridled data control of data mining giants, such as large search engines. There is also an impending need to catalyse the development of home-grown platforms, systems and contents. The ability to have control over technology is hereby seen as mandatory to steer the direction of the nation to become an rCT producer nation. Other areas of greatest impact will also include sovereignty protection areas such as crime and catastrophe prevention, cyber security, local indigenous systems, local content such as preservation of culture and heritage, home-grown architecture platform, open source" systems development and embedded systems crafting and related application development. To create a robust and sustainable ICT sector, the country needs a complete ecosystem, 27
ICT HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
which would translate into actionable programs in the areas of education, R&D and commercialisation, infrastructure and industry development. The proposed generic computing road map presents an overview of areas for the nation to capitalise on, while also fully taking advantage of, the R&D capacity of current research institutions. It is only appropriate that Malaysia takes on the challenge of harnessing and building upon the capacities and expertise that are already available in the country. Considerable amount of expertise is available in network technologies (leading to grid and cloud computing), security system (leading to cyber security) and in multimodal data analysis and processing, artificial intelligence (leading to Discovery Informatics and Semantic Computing) among many other areas .
Figure 4.2: Generic leT R&D Framework
& R&D Framework
The framework proposed for the nurturing of a competent professional workforce necessary for shaping the nation to become a producer nation in cutting edge ICT technologies. Underlying the goal statement is the aspiration to provide a proper environment to boost the country's economic activities within the knowledge economy, which will contribute to national wealth derived from lCT competitiveness ..
One aspect would be by way of the development infrastructures/utilities, in . particular via accessibility to multimedia services under different and varying network 28
To BE DONE
conditions, high performance computing platforms, in a secure mode, using a diverse range of terminal equipment capabilities, serving a broad range of user needs, preferences and usage environment conditions. Another aspect would be by way of provision of infostructures, in particular via tools, technologies and methodologies to support knowledge management (ranging from acquisition, through organisation to application) as well as develop creative content with core competency in providing various media content, access, services and products. Above all, the third aspect is through the management of society needs, in particular towards the commercialisation of all products and services resulting from the above. It is to be noted that the proposed National ICT R&D framework in Figure 4.2 is generic enough to be able to include other road maps discussed in Chapter 3, for example. Figure 4.3 below shows how the initial National rCT road map that was done in 2007 fits into this generic framework, while Figure 4.4 highlights how this generic rCT R&D framework encompasses other strategic focus areas, each of which will have its respective road map. Appendix 5 provides further description of each of the dimension of the generic rcr R&D Framework. This generic ICT R&D framework also plans out the development of modules and tool kits to be used or assembled to produce a wide range of applications in many industries - a basic necessity for Malaysia to be a producer of rCT software and applications.
Figure 4.3: Focus Areas of Strategic leT Road Map Fitting into This Generic R&D Framework
. Source: Strategic leT Road Map (MOSTI)
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
The generic leT R&D framework as illustrated above highlights an array of technologies that serve as the basis for the development of the following capabilities: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The need for powerful computational resources aligned with the ability to manage knowledge Home-grown platforms for the construction of a wide-range of potential applications A complete ecosystem of component systems and core technologies that make up the leT technological competence layers A comprehensive coverage of cross-section of technologies that covers infrastructure to applications. R&D and commercialisation for these niche areas, which will in future lead to niche teaching and learning products such as the development of technology tool kits.
Figure 4.4: National leT R&D Framework
Finally, the leT R&D framework is aided by a set of specific, easily recognizable signposts to indicate significant events that will influence the possibility for an envisioned future occurrence. These actionable signposts are important stepping-stones in enhancing the likelihood of raising the country's regional presence and global competitiveness in key economic sectors .
The signposts are: 1. Establish a human resource directory of skills and competencies in line with the roadmap 2. Building national competence in key areas identified in the roadmap for the realization of the goals mentioned above. 3. Streamline funding agencies to. ensure that gaps in competencies are addressed.
Establish a Boutique ICT University
The proposal is to establish a specialised university for the next generation of ICT professionals and knowledge workers necessary to support the nation's aspiration to be a producer nation in ICT, particularly in software technologies and applications. The university's core businesses will be research, development and commercialisation (R&D&C), and the offering of academic programmes (foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate) in computer sciences, in particular in its core competencies: (especially in knowledge management technology) 2. Software Engineering (especially for knowledge-based and intelligent systems) 3. Computer Systems (especially in high performance computing) These will be applied in certain niche domains, such as:
1. Artificial Intelligence
1. Business Analytics (especially for business, finance, knowledge management) 2. Creative Multimedia (especially in animation and multimedia performing arts) 3. Health Informatics (especially in wellness and sports sciences) 4. Legal Informatics (especially for intellectual property and intemationallaw) 5. Social Informatics (especially in community-centred software for local and global needs) 6. Embedded Systems (especially in specialised software that controls a variety of devices and appliances) The university will produce graduates at all levels to be computing professionals or R&D personnel in the software industry, as well as intellectual capital in the form of innovations, products, modules and generic components for the said industry. Above all, faculty members and students will be expected at all times to be involved in the R&D&C in the said core and application domains, which win not only provide the necessary environment for the above, but will also result in the intellectual capital required for an IT producer nation. A specialised university cannot be too large in order to be effective. On the other hand, being a private institution, it has to generate sufficient funds to support itself for current needs and future expansion. The major proportion of the funds will have to be from 31
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Computing Curricula 2005 defined computing: In a general way, we can define computing to mean any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computers. Thus, computing includes designing and building hardware and software systems for a wide range of purposes; processing, structuring, and managing various kinds of information; doing scientific studies using computers; making computer systems behave intelligently; creating and using communications and entertainment media; finding and gathering information relevant to any particular purpose, and so on. The list is virtually endless, and the possibilities are vast. The BCPM would serve as a central repository of all ICT professionals in the country and be the trusted provider of professional accreditation. It would also review qualifications offered by other parties in order to serve as a guide and reference to both ICT professionals and employers when gauging which certifications are valid and relevant. Most importantly, it would raise professional standards industry-wide by developing and maintaining a code of conduct for ICT professionals. It would also have a hand in determining the scale of charges to ensure prices are reasonable, sustainable and competitive. Such a board will enhance the value of the profession, as it will require accredited members to possess minimum levels of qualification. Employers who hire professionals accredited by the computing board will then have some level of assurance of the quality they will be getting. The formation of such a board will require a new legislation. There would be various engagements of relevant ministries and organizations that will be involved in drafting the legislation for the formation ofBCPM to serve the needs of the ICT professionals working in the public and private sectors, in research, business, education, and in the user side. With such a body, ICT professionals can look forward to greater voice and support, similar to what professionals in the other disciplines are getting e.g. Bar Council for lawyers and the Institute of Chartered Accountants for the accounting profession. Taken together, the contributions of the BCPM would help enhance and regulate .the supply ofICT manpower in the country and help the nation achieve the New Economic Model goals of becoming a productive high-income nation. Promote Professional Development of Practitioners
The ICT domain, like many other technology domains today, are developing at a frantic pace and impacting many businesses, industries and sometimes regional economies. Graduates and professionals in ICT need to constantly keep abreast of the developments in their fields and obtain knowledge and skills to keep themselves relevant. While training and professional are done in many organizations in Malaysia, they are more Often than not reactive, ad-hoc and not directly linked to the professional career path and the needs of both
employee and employer. This has to change. More organizations and businesses need to be educated on the important role of ICT professionals to their respective businesses and hence the managed professional development of these ICT practitioners is one of the best ways to attract, develop and retain them. To its credit, MDeC's programs, particularly through their Capability Development Division, Knowledge-worker Development Institute (KDI) and collaboration with industry players, have carried out numerous professional development and certification programs in the last 5 years. The results can be seen in the significant number of number of certified leT professionals in several key areas e.g. networking, software quality and testing, project management, and process improvement. The results are also reflected by way of greater acceptance of MSC Malaysia products in Malaysia and international markets. However, these programs are targeted mostly for the MSC Malaysia status companies i.e. the supply side of the industry (with the exception of the big SSO business units of companies like DHL or HSBC that also represent the buyer side). Hence, there is a need for greater push for on-going professional development in the wider rCT sector and certainly in the user side. There has to be a comprehensive push for the private and public sectors to embrace training and professional assessments such as professional examinations, certifications and accreditations. Some of the details of professional development path are illustrated in the figure below.
Industry & Government
Basic Paper Qualification
Figure 4.5: leT Professional Development
Source: MADICT Talent Road Map Presentation
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Other steps that should be considered are: 1. An action plan needs to be established and coordinated by the key stakeholders to implement the Professional Development Framework as outlined in the above figure. A template for such an action plan is provided in Appendix 3. 2. The roles and responsibilities for professional development by the stakeholders like MNCC, MDeC, IHL, MNC's, GLC's, PIKOM, SME Corp, etc must be made clearer to all concerned especially to ICT professionals, entrepreneurs and students. 3. Conduct regular benchmarking of competencies and remuneration packages for ICT professionals with regional and major ICT markets. This benchmark will enable the relevant stakeholders to take actions to make our ICT human resource competitive in the public and private sectors The career path of ICT professionals also need to be clarified so that prospective entrants are clear of the different professional tracks, for example the difference between system engineers, ICT consultants and technical specialists. Programs and incentives should be introduced at different levels in the ICT value chain - from education institutions to industry bodies. The following is a short list of existing programs that can be expanded and promoted, and more importantly, synergized for professional development: 1. Existing education in Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) - each IHL individually plan the courses and numbers based on MQA requirements; research undertaken by IHLs are based on individual requirements & targets 2. MOHR Program - Train & Place program for-retrenched IT workers & unemployed IT graduates 3. Ministry of Education - Recruitment in schools, IT centres or laboratories 4. MDeC - Clusters Program, Industry-Academic Collaboration, Knowledge Worker Development Institute, etc 5. MCMC, Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture - Rural Telecentre programs 6. MNCC currently is a recognized but non-formal voice of IT professional, where the activities are centred on knowledge sharing through conferences, workshops, and talks. Promoting, developing, and implementing more demand-driven professional development programs would certainly increase the value and shelf-life of the ICT profession in Malaysia, and more importantly reverse the decline in quality of the country's ICT workforce. Re-brand and Promote ICT as Career of Choice With all the proposed actions and policy measures, there is now a need for a concerted effort to re-brand and promote ICT as the career of choice. The ICT field and profession need to be re-positioned as a rewarding, exciting and challenging endeavour that is at the core of
the New Economic Model and as an enabler to improve the quality oflife. The message that must be delivered is that there are many exciting disciplines within rCT - such as network design, software engineering, creative content development and multimedia programmingand they all cater to different learning styles and personal interests. It must also be stressed that many companies including the small companies with self-employed graduates are doing extremely well, and that the sector has all the government support, especially incentives, funding, infrastructure and professional development programs. The main goal of the re-branding and promotion effort is to attract and retain the best and brightest of students and adults to enter the lCT field, whether on the supply or demand side. This re-branding will also address the earlier misconception that lCT is no longer a growth industry and that well-paying lCT jobs are hard to come by. Multi-channel campaigns must be conducted to reach out to parents, students, career counsellors as well as those from other disciplines who may be inclined to choose ICT as a career. The campaigns will be delivered through outreach and roadshows, career days or job fairs, and using traditional and new media. MDeC and PIKOM working with MORE, MOE, MOHR and later the Board of Computing Professional s Malaysia (BCPM) are the ideal stakeholders to manage and execute this re-branding program.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTCOMES?
The strategic thrusts and actions need to be detailed into an implementation plan and must be executed with a focus to achieve measurable outcomes in the next five to ten years. The following is the initial list of suggested outcomes, which will be further quantified, verified and/or changed in the next stage when the full road map or implementation plan is developed. 1. A secure supply of qualified ICT professionals - The outcome of an ICT Talent development framework will be a secure supply of qualified ICT professionals who can service the needs of a high income nation, able to adapt to changing technological trends and produce globally marketable and proprietary intellectual property. 2. Meeting the goals of 10MP - The l O" Malaysian Plan (1 OMP) has identified ICT as one of the national key economic areas (NKEAS) as well as a need for first world talent. The ICT Talent Development Framework will help realise the goals of the 10MP by ensuring that the education system produces high quality graduates in possession of content and depth. 3. Matching of supply and demand - The graduates will also enter the workforce fully equipped with the necessary leT and communication skills that employers seek. They will be able to adapt to changing technology trends for a longer shelf life and have a better work culture as well as exhibit high levels of professionalism and leadership. Malaysian ICT professionals will be industry relevant and globally competitive and can be favourably benchmarked against leading regional technology hubs. ICT will also be a career of choice for talented and competitive candidates. 4. Contribute 20% of GDP - The ICT industry, comprising hardware, software, services and telecommunications, made up 9 per cent ofGDP in 2009. It is envisioned that ICT will be able to contribute up 20 per cent of GDP by the year 2020. 5. Improve productivity and GDP growth - global studies have strongly concluded that pervasive adoption of ICT across all sectors of the economy can lead to greater productivity and GDP growth as well as contribute as much as 60 per cent to the total factor productivity (TFP) growth. This should be the expected outcome once Malaysia has a large and sustainable pool of highly-skilled ICT human resource.
CO'NCLUSION AND THE NEXT STEPS
The National ICT Human Resource Task Force fully recognises that several of the 'policy recommendations and measures to improve the quality and employability of our ICT graduates are either being planned or have been initiated by the government and stakeholders through other committees and forums. The taskforce's recommendations in this framework aim to provide the anchor point and clarity on the most important issues and their proposed solutions. It is envisioned that this ICT Human Capital Development Framework will be the umbrella framework that guides and coordinates the formulation and execution of programs and time lines proposed in this framework as well as other programs formulated by the relevant stakeholders such as MQA, MADICT, MDeC and MOSTI. In other words, this framework needs to be developed into a road map with an implementation plan and identified corresponding responsible organizations to drive the programs. To develop the road map that can be implemented, further work in the form of engaging key stakeholders, verification study and implementation planning that is national in scope needs to be conducted for selected policy or strategic recommendations. Such multi-stakeholder implementation planning is required in order to ensure that policies and programs are comprehensive and get the buy-in from other universities as well as attract industry support. This further work can be carried out in a manner that is similar to or together with the NKEA Laboratories that have been or are being carried out under the Economic Transformation Programme. The following policy proposals that are more comprehensive including implementation plans have been or are being developed to cover the following strategic thrusts: 1. Improving ICT curriculum (owner: MADICT, MQA) 2. ICT R&D Road Map (owner: MOSTI, MIMOS) 3. ICT Professionalism Road Map (owner: MNCC)
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
As has been recommended in the third strategic thrust, and this cannot be emphasised enough, there is an urgent need to re-brand and market the ICT profession so that more bright students will enrol in ICT courses, specifically in Computer Science and Software Engineering. This re-branding effort will also make the majority of lCT professionals likely to want to remain in this field and hence update their knowledge and skills on a continuous basis. This marketing effort is best planned and executed in a coordinated manner by the 4 key stakeholders i.e. MORE, MOSTI, MDeC and PIKOM. Finally, a critical step needed is the establishment of a program monitoring mechanism that will also receive feedback to ensure that strategies and programs being implemented do achieve their goals. The mechanism to receive proper feedback in a timely manner is important as the programs are mostly medium-term and long-term in nature and they have to be adjusted to meet the fast-changing needs of the ICT market place. Bridging the overall gap between demand and supply is not enough. Even if macro level demand supply balance is achieved there could be serious imbalances at the lower levels of specific skills. Moreover the demand pattern for ICT skills at the national levels is likely to change rapidly over time as the domestic markets for leT products and services change and as the new export markets are explored and existing export markets expand. As such, a multilevel tracking of demand for and supply of leT skills is called far. A tracking model is required, which is skill based, multilevel and dynamic. Perpetual review and monitoring is essential for continuous improvement.
KEY ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE FRAMEWORK
EPU GLC HICoE HCI ICT IHL JPA MADICT MCMC MDEC MNCC MOHE MOHR MOSTI MQA MSC NEM NIM NKEAS NSE PIKOM
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Economic Planning Unit Government-Linked Company
Higher Institution Centre of Excellence Human Computer Interface Information and Communications Institutions of Higher Learning Jabatan Perkhidmatan Majlis Dekan ICT Malaysian Communications Multimedia Development and Multimedia Commission Awam Technology
Malaysian National Computer Confederation Ministry of Higher Education Ministry of Human Resources Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation Malaysian Qualifications Agency
Multimedia Super Corridor New Economic Model National Innovation Model National Key Economic Areas National Standard of Employability
Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry
SSO TFA WSN
Shared Services and Outsourcinq Technology Focus Areas
Wireless Sensor Networks
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
KEY MILESTONES FOR icr HUMAN CAPITAL FRAMEWORK
ICT Human Capital Development Framework Milestones
I~HR; :. Framework: !
Due Date Main:
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Meeting TKSU Minister: ;,
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DESCRIPTION OF KEY DIMENSIONS OF GENERIC ICT R&D FRAMEWORK
Generic ICT R&D Framework
- part 1 of 5
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Generic ICT R&D Framework - part 2 of 5
Generic leT R&D Framework - part 3 of 5
Packaging of Shared Processing Modules to be available as Web Services
Generic ICT R&D Framework - part 4 of 5
This lCT Human Capital Development references: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
with the following
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.
National Higher Education Action Plan 2007-201 0 by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) National Strategic ICT Road Map by Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) National Innovation Model by MOSTI; 2009 MyICMS 886 (Malaysian Information, Communications and Multimedia Services 886) Strategy by Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication (MEWC); 2005. MSC Malaysia 2.0 by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC); 2010-2020 The New Economic Model for Malaysia Part I by National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC); 2010 The io- Malaysian Plan 2011-2015, published by The Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department, Putrajaya; June 2010 ICTHuman Resource Development in Asia and the Pacific: Current Status, Emerging Trends, Policies and Strategies by Ravi Raina, United Nations; 2007 The overview report on Computing Curricula 2005 by The Association for Computing Machinery CACM), The Association for Information Systems CAIS) and The Computer Society (IEEE-CS) MADICT report on ICT Curriculum Standards Proposal for Malaysia's National Standard of Employability (NSE) Program for the SSO Industry: PIKOM; February 2010 Proposal to Enhance Quality of JCT degrees by MQA; October 2009 Malaysian ICT Human Capital Study by MDeC/Frost & Sullivan; April 2009 Presentation on The National ICT Month (NIM) 2009 by Persatuan Industri Komputer dan Multimedia Malaysia (PJKOM); July 20 - August 20, 2009. Presentation on Talent Management-Knowledge Worker Development by Imran Kunalan, MDeC Briefing on National rCT Technology Road Map by ICT Master Plan Task Force Presentation on The Direction of Computing in Malaysia by Prof Dr. Shahrin Sahib, Faculty ofInformation & Communication, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka
Department of Higher Education
Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia Level 1-3, Block E9, Complex E, Federal Government Administration Centre 62505 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA
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University Publication Centre (UPENA)
of the Prime Minister's QualitY. Award
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