Career Guide

Growing Malaysia's human capital for the tourism industry and attracting top talent

Growing the human capital for the hospitality sector will be critical to the success of Malaysia’s tourism industry. As a service industry, tourism is heavily dependent on the quality of its human resources.

Often the key challenges faced include the difficulty in attracting and retaining top class staff, particularly in the hotel sector.

Many perceive jobs in tourism as short-term jobs, and only a few sees them as long-term prospects. Moving forward, significant improvements will be needed in the size and nature of the local talent pool in order to deliver the required GNI growth for the tourism industry.

This includes building human resources across a wide range of qualifications — from unskilled labour to vocational certificates and diploma holders to professional graduates.

Atttracting top talent

TalentCorp builds partnerships with leading employers in key sectors to engage top talents, including experienced professionals. Through the Returning Expert and the Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) programmes, TalentCorp has facilitated the return of Malaysian talents abroad and leveraged on top foreign talent to address some of the critical skills gap of the hospitality sector.

Steven Ang Si Eeng, corporate strategy senior vice president, Destination Resorts and Hotels

Steven Ang Si Eeng is the corporate strategy senior vice president of Destination Resorts and Hotels (DRH), a subsidiary of Khazanah. Ang holds a MBA in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. He is also a member of the CPA Australia and the Malaysia Institute of Accountants.

”I was taking part in the growth of the foreign countries, why should I not come back and take part in the growth of my own motherland? I have asked myself this question many times while I was abroad. I am very blessed that I am here now and contributing to the country and hope many will follow,” he says.

Ang is a returning Malaysian under TalentCorp’s Returning Expert Programme (REP). Prior to his current role at DRH, Ang spent a number of years in the Middle East working with Msheireb in Qatar, a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation, and Nakheel in Dubai, a subsidiary of Dubai World. There, he played a key role in investments, fund management and major corporate exercises.

Phil Riley, general manager, Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

Phil Riley joined the team at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur in July 2011 as general manager, bringing more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality management industry.

Prior to this, Riley was the general manager at the InterContinental Bali Resort, as well as the regional general manager for InterContinental Hotels Group in the Indonesia market with regional responsibilities for five properties across Indonesia and another three in the development phase.

A Residence Pass-Talent holder since January 2013, the Australian born currently resides in Kuala Lumpur with his wife Wendy.

“I had a few Malaysian friends when studying in Melbourne and I was exposed to the culture of the country from my younger days. Malaysia offers a good lifestyle and ease of doing business, it serves as a good hub to travel across Asia,” he says.