Speech by
YBhg Dato’ Sri Zarinah Anwar
Chairman, Securities Commission
Launch of the SC Executive Enhancement and Development (SEED) Programme

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah
Minister of Finance II

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Chor Chee Heung
Deputy Minister of Finance I

Yang Berhormat Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin
Deputy Minister of Finance II

Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Yusli Mohamed Yusoff
Chief Executive Officer of Bursa Malaysia

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

Good morning

1. Thank you for making the time to attend the launch of the SC Executive Enhancement and Development (SEED) programme this morning. We’re very honoured to have Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah with us today, together with Yang Berhormat Dato’ Chor Chee Heung and Yang Berhormat Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin. It is indeed a great and singular honour to have all three Yang Berhormats here with us this morning. Thank you for accepting our invitation, and welcome to the Securities Commission.
2. Today’s launch of the SEED programme is one that is especially significant as it represents a triple “win-win” outcome. It is good for Malaysia; it is good for the capital market; and it is good for young graduates who are looking for opportunities in this challenging times.
3. I believe it is good for Malaysia because we are short of key skills as a country – skills which are essential if we are to continue moving up the value chain so that we can achieve our goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020 where a higher standard of living can be enjoyed by all Malaysians.
4. I believe it is good for the capital market because historically we have had too few young people interested in making a career in the capital market. This is reflected in the growing disparity in the age of intermediaries in the market when compared to the average age of Malaysians. As a country, we are young, and yet many of the capital market players, the dealer representatives, in particular, are either Baby Boomers or Generation X, often unable to connect effectively with Generation Y, the future investors. This programme is the first step in addressing this mismatch.

I believe it is good for young graduates who are about to start their careers in potentially challenging times.

6. So we are here to witness the launch of a programme which has its own version of the “triple bottom line”: good for the country; good for the industry and good for the graduates.

Challenging environment demands a different apporach

Ladies and gentlemen,

7. The current economic climate requires us to think differently.
8. According to the International Labour Office, in its Global Employment Trends 2009 report, the global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of young people joining the ranks of the unemployed, with unemployment around the world projected to rise to 6.1 percent in 2009, compared to 5.7 percent in 2007 and 6 percent in 2008. Worldwide 18 million more people will be out of jobs this year compared with 2007.
9. Unfortunately Malaysia is unlikely to be spared, and so our unemployment rate is projected to rise to 4.5 percent for this year, up from 3.7 percent last year, as a result of circumstances mainly outside our control. This is where the foresight and vision of the government is so important, and so, like many other governments in the world, Malaysia is taking decisive and coordinated efforts to avert a social recession. The Second Stimulus Package, announced by Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak on 10 March 2009, outlined measures that not only focused on stimulating the economy in the short-term but also on building long-term capacity.
10. One of the thrusts in the stimulus package is to reduce unemployment and increase employment opportunities for Malaysians. Under this, the government earmarked the introduction of a new initiative that offers on-the-job training for graduates in the financial sector. The SC is honoured to have been entrusted to develop and implement this new initiative, which will provide training and on-the-job attachment for 500 graduates over the next two years through a programme specifically designed to enhance their employability and career mobility in the capital market.

SC’s holistic efforts in growing Malaysia’s talent pool

Ladies and gentlemen,

11. Malaysia has always needed talent to realize our vision, and never more so than today; for it is the talent we develop that will help us through these challenging times. At the SC, we have worked hard to hone our ability to develop and retain talent and drive high performance, supported by a comprehensive integrated range of programmes and initiatives. Our initiatives target the best and brightest to build careers in the capital market, working in a dynamic environment that promotes swift learning and practical skills development in an enriching manner. I would like to highlight just a few of these key programmes:
12. The SC Scholarship Programme, which offers scholarships to the best and brightest young Malaysians who then return to careers at the SC, is now in its fourteenth year. It is an integral component of the SC talent pipeline, and many scholars have been successfully brought into our talent pipeline to become valued executives throughout our organisation.

The SC Internship Programme, now in its third year. This complements our university milkrounds and young graduate engagements, and has also been very successful. The first four batches of short placements have seen nearly 60 very dedicated and energetic Malaysian undergraduates from local and foreign universities take on challenging roles in the SC during their study breaks. They have gained direct exposure to the Malaysian capital markets and now have a deeper appreciation of regulatory matters as a result.

14. The SC Capital Market Placement Programme is our latest initiative in support of the Ministry of Higher Education, local universities, and Malaysian undergraduates and post-graduates the world over. This programme offers exposure to Malaysian regulatory work as part of formal course requirements and qualifications, and many candidates have applied to join this programme.
15. We have also continued to recruit fresh graduates with strong academic qualifications as Graduate Management Executives (GMEs), who are rotated through key departments within the SC to gain exposure to different regulatory functions before assuming specific positions within the SC. The GME Programme has produced excellent results with fresh graduates being recruited and trained in preparation for their role as first level executives within the SC. Since the programme’s launch in October 2004, more than 100 graduates have been recruited.
16. This is however just a mere drop in the ocean. Every year, some 400,000 fifth and sixth-formers and graduates join the labour market1. Given the very large pool of graduates, the launch of the SEED programme today by Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni significantly complements the other initiatives undertaken by the government to enhance the employability of new graduates and ensure Malaysia remains resilient in facing the current economic challenges.

SC Executive Enhance and Development (SEED) Programme

Ladies and gentlemen,

17. To further facilitate the growth of the capital market as an engine for national development through the supply of skilled human capital, the SEED programme offers a truly unique opportunity to train and develop graduates with a long-term perspective of capacity building to ensure that the capital market talent pipeline is filled continuously with skilled and knowledgeable employees.
18. Indeed I am grateful that the SEED programme will be partly funded by the Capital Market Development Fund as it offers a ‘win-win’ value for both graduates and the industry, in line with the objective of the Fund to develop and upgrade skills and expertise required by the Malaysian capital market.
19. As such, over the next two years, the SC is committed to training 500 graduates through three training schemes :
  i. The Graduate Executive Training (GET) which is targeted at preparing 120 graduates as executives to be absorbed for various functions within the SC and Bursa Malaysia;
  ii. The Islamic Capital Market Graduate Training Scheme (ICMGTS) which will develop 200 entry level professionals for the domestic Islamic capital market; and
  iii. The Graduate Development Programme (GDP) which will provide training and on-the-job attachment for 180 graduates to prepare them as entry-level capital market professionals.
20. The three training schemes, which will employ a multi-modal approach of structured learning for knowledge acquisition and experiential learning for skills acquisition, will also include on-the-job attachments within the capital market industry for a period ranging from 11 to 22 months, depending on the type of scheme.
21. In addition, graduates will be given the opportunity to sit for the SC’s licensing examinations to further increase their employability within the capital market. This will also help reduce training and development costs of new entrants for the intermediaries and provide a ready pool of ‘fit-for-purpose’ graduates for employment in the capital market.


Ladies and gentlemen,

22. I am reminded of a Chinese proverb that goes as follows: “If you are planning for a year, then you sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, then you plant a tree; but if you are planning for a lifetime, then you educate people!”.
23. This initiative will require the concerted effort from all capital market intermediaries, especially to provide placements and on-the-job training for the graduates who are going to enter this programme. In these difficult times, it becomes even more imperative for employers and enterprises, like most of us here in this hall, to nurture our own talent and give them that opportunity to grow so that they can take over the mantle from us in the future.
24. On that note, ladies and gentlemen of the industry, I look forward to your continued support for this programme. Thank you once again to Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni for graciously agreeing to launch the programme and to Yang Berhormat Dato’ Chor and Yang Berhormat Datuk Dr Awang Adek for their support.
25. It is my now pleasure to invite Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni to deliver his speech and launch the SC Executive Enhancement and Development programme.
Thank you.

1 Source: Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF)