PM calls on JPA scholars to play key role in building the nation

PUTRAJAYA, 9 August 2016 – The Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak today reminded Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) scholars of their responsibility to serve the nation and honour their scholarship contracts which require them to work in Malaysia upon graduation.

“Malaysians who have been given the privilege and opportunity of a good education, funded by the Government and the rakyat, have the added collective responsibility to harness their skills and talents for the benefit of their fellow Malaysians at home,” said the Prime Minister at a dialogue with 14 graduates under the JPA scholarship programme. 

Organised by Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp), the dialogue explored how the Government, through JPA and TalentCorp, can ensure optimal return on the nation’s investment in young talent. Also present were Tan Sri Mohammad Zabidi Zainal, Director-General of JPA and Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani, chief executive officer of TalentCorp.

The Prime Minister also announced that JPA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TalentCorp to renew their partnership for the next five years to enhance the Scholarship Talent Attraction and Retention (STAR) initiative which enables JPA-funded graduates not selected for the public sector to serve their scholarship bond in the private sector. 

The STAR initiative gives JPA scholars the opportunity to build careers in key sectors of the economy and at the same time, take part in Malaysia’s economic transformation. In this way, the nation optimises on its scholarship talent by ensuring that those not required for the public sector are retained and nurtured to contribute to the priority areas of the Malaysian economy.

Commending the scholars that he met at the dialogue, who graduated from top-ranking universities in Malaysia and abroad such as Australia, France, Korea, New Zealand, the UK and USA, for their passion in wanting to make a difference to Malaysia, the Prime Minister called on other JPA scholars to play their role in developing Malaysia. 

The Prime Minister reiterated that the Government views scholarships as an investment to identify the best and brightest, especially for the civil service.  In addition to introducing a new scholarship model early this year which aims to incentivise the best scholars to serve the civil service, the Government will tighten its enforcement of existing JPA scholarship contracts. 

Under the new MoU, both JPA and TalentCorp agreed to step up their efforts to enforce the terms of the JPA scholarship contracts to ensure that JPA scholars awarded scholarships before 2016 serve their bond in Malaysia after graduation. 

“The demand for top JPA graduates far exceeds the supply, particularly for foreign-trained scholars. Currently, more than 3,000 scholars are registered under STAR and serving their scholarship bond with 1,700 private sector companies driving the country’s economic transformation,” said Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani.  

Shareen disclosed that the top six sectors that employ these scholars are Professional Services; Oil, Gas & Energy; Financial Services; Electrical & Electronics (E&E); Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) / Global Business Services (GBS); and Construction. 

The 14 JPA scholars currently work with leading employers such as Gamuda Berhad, IBM Malaysia, iflix, Lazada Malaysia, PETRONAS, PwC Malaysia, Plexus Manufacturing and Schlumberger Business Support as well as Government bodies such as Bank Negara Malaysia, Department of Statistics, Employees Provident Fund and Khazanah Nasional Berhad. 

In 2011, the Prime Minister launched two initiatives to enable scholars funded by JPA to play key roles in driving the nation’s transformation. In addition to the STAR initiative, JPA collaborated with the Razak School of Government (RSOG) on the Talent Acceleration in Public Service (TAPS) programme to nurture and attract the best and brightest amongst JPA scholars into the civil service. 

For more information on the STAR initiative, visit



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