Returning Expert Programme Helping Employers Attract Top Talent

Putrajaya, 27 February 2013 – To address talent needs arising from the economic transformation, the Government will strengthen collaborations with leading employers and this includes a new approach enabling companies to utilise the facilities under the Returning Expert Programme (REP) to attract top Malaysian talent, YB Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department announced today following a dialogue session with 20 corporate leaders who returned under the REP.

YB Dato’ Sri Idris who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) and on the board of directors of Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) engaged with the corporate leaders to explore areas for further collaboration and contribution towards driving Malaysia’s transformation agenda.

Demand driven, industry led

The REP, administered by TalentCorp since January 2011, facilitates the return of experienced Malaysian talent, particularly those with expertise in National Key Economic Areas of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Opportunities generated by the gaining momentum of the ETP has spurred more top Malaysian professionals to return, reflected by 923 approved under REP in 2012 compared to only 680 in 2011.

“We need to attract, nurture and retain our best talent to drive our transformation. The Government is committed to support the efforts by employers to meet their talent requirements. Employers can leverage on the REP to enhance their offer to potential returning talent,” explained YB Dato’ Sri Idris.

Shell Malaysia Chairman Iain Lo, who attended the dialogue, agreed saying, “The REP incentive is an important enabler for leading Malaysian employers to attract top talent.” Whereas previously, applications for REP were only made by the returning individual, the facilities under REP can now be applied by companies for the Malaysian professionals they target to recruit from abroad.

Attracting and facilitating global talent towards Vision 2020

Beyond quantity, the REP is focused on quality. The REP has facilitated the return of high-value, C-suite professionals and technical experts, mainly in Finance & Accounting, Engineering, Oil & Gas, Healthcare and ICT. Malaysian professionals have returned to assume leadership positions in both leading Malaysian organisations and multinationals, and thus are contributing to the success of the ETP.

“After many years abroad, I am glad to be a part of Malaysia’s transformation, particularly in being a part of corporate Malaysia embracing a global mindset,” said Zainal Abidin Jalil, CEO of Malakoff Berhad.

This view was also shared by Dushyanthan Vaithiyanathan, Head of Strategy and Transformation at Maxis. “I am really excited about returning home and contributing through a Malaysian company that is continually innovating and enriching Malaysian lives.”

As one of the major initiatives under TalentCorp’s second strategic thrust to Attract and Facilitate Global Talent, the REP is coordinated with International Outreach and Engagement sessions, targeted at Malaysian professionals overseas and aim to raise greater awareness of the richness and availability of career opportunities in Malaysia’s priority sectors. For more information on the REP or TalentCorp’s Outreach and Engagement programmes, please visit or



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