Congratulations Maisoon

My student had successfully defended her PhD thesis yesterday. Her research is on crisis management in the hotel industry. My first full supervision.

To maintain the flow and readability of a 80k-word long academic thesis is a challenge especially for new researchers. Therefore when the external examiner kept commending her writing, I couldn’t help myself sharing the pride.

Our greatest appreciation and thanks to both examiners. External examiner – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdullah Hemdi, the Dean of Faculty of Hotel Management and Tourism, UiTM. Internal examiner – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rosmini Omar. Both had given very useful feedback to further strengthen the thesis. Thanks to the Chairman Tan Sri Zulkifli, and assistant chairman Dr. Sofia.

Well done Dr. Maisoon! It was an honor to be part of your journey.

Youth Unemployment in Malaysia – Research Report

cover iyres

My colleague and I had just finished the above report based on Malaysian youth unemployment in December 2016. The research was commissioned by the Youth Research Institute (IYRES)the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and had received grants from IYRES and UTM. We are in the process of publishing the findings, disseminating them to interested parties. Here’s the summary.

At a Glance - Our youths today are living at the time of crisis. Youth unemployment is a recognized global and local concern. Skills deficit is often blamed for why they failed to secure jobs. Our generation Y-ouths is also a new specimen that the world is trying to understand. They carry values and attitudes so different which have made them the most misunderstood generation. This report presents findings of a study conducted on unemployed youths in Malaysian. The study sought to answer several questions: what are their profiles, job seeking strategies, desired work attributes, and most importantly, their employability competencies. The study also explored the youths’ willingness towards the 3D (difficult, dangerous, dirty) sector. A total of 1,008 questionnaires were distributed to unemployed youths across Malaysia within the age of 15 to 30 years old. 970 (96.2%) were returned and further 844 questionnaires are considered usable. Statistical analysis using the SPSS software was performed on the data. In summary, the findings show that the unemployed youths possess similar characteristics and have reasonable expectations towards jobs. They have pursued various strategies to find employment but without success. The findings also show that the respondents believed that they had the required competencies to make them employable.  In terms of the 3D work, their responses are nothing surprising. These pieces of evidence are discussed to answer the research questions. Several recommendations are provided especially for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and other stakeholders.  It is hoped that the study provides insights to further assist policies and initiatives towards the creation of quality, inclusive and sustainable employment of the young generation.

Happy New Year 2017


It is not too late to wish. Pejam celik we are already into the third week of 2017. My change of year has been crazy, moving with a blink of an eye. Chasing deadlines. Busy is good.

May this year brings us more BLESSINGS, LOVES, SUCCESS, HEALTH AND MONEY :).


p/s: I missed the one-of-a-kind fireworks display on the tallest building on earth by a day. maybe next time.



Emerging Malaysia: Industrial and Organizational Challenges

Our new publication! I was the co-editor and contributors to several chapters. The book has 9 chapters.


Being stuck in the middle between the finest nations and the hardly surviving ones is not easy. Hence, the next step forward is to move ahead and fly even higher rather than to be trapped forever or slipping backward into the past. Yet the greatest challenge of an emerging economy in this twenty-first century is to create, and then maintain, that critical leap to a world-class economy.

This book discusses such a stage of consistent struggle through a focus toward sustainable development. Numerous books delved into emerging economies, yet none concentrates on Malaysia. This particular nation provides a unique trajectory for growth that calls for comparison and contrast with other nations that experience growth. Each chapter of the book offers grounds to the development of a framework for progress and sustainability. This book drops the complacency of past wins of the nation and openly addresses the critical issues surrounding the emphasis for growth from different industry contexts.

As the book is fundamentally based on theory and research, it practically lends a resourceful ground for academia as well as postgraduate students who are searching for current and relevant literature on development studies, emerging economies, and management of organizations.


The book can be purchased here:

Job fair for PWDs in Malaysia


I am so happy to find that such job fair exists! Kudos to JobsMalaysia. This should be a good platform for 531,962 registered PWDs in Malaysia* to find suitable employment. Here’s the full advert (copied from 

Pihak JobsMalaysia Centre Kuala Lumpur ingin menjemput majikan/syarikat yang berminat menyertai ‘KARNIVAL KERJAYA OKU PERINGKAT KEBANGSAAN 2016’. Butir-butir program adalah seperti berikut:
Tarikh : 25 November 2016 (Sabtu)
Tempat : Hotel Aloft, Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Masa : 9.00 pagi hingga 4.30 petang.
Terma & Syarat:
i. Majikan perlu menjalankan temuduga / screening pada setiap calon sepanjang program dijalankan.
ii. Penyertaan adalah ‘PERCUMA’
iii. Penyertaan ini berdasarkan ‘first come-first served’ dan majikan yang terpilih sahaja akan dihubungi.
Untuk keterangan lanjut sila hubungi JobsMalaysia Centre Kuala Lumpur di talian 03-2026 2058 atau emelkan kepada

*Statistics from the Statistics Department of Social Welfare, 2014 Registration as PWD is voluntary rather than compulsory. Hence, there is no record to state the actual number of PWDs within the working age.

Reruitment discrimination in Malaysia


This is an old article. But very relevant. It may help with my current research on youth unemployment in Malaysia.

Sad but true.. Malays are being discriminated. This perception has been a common knowledge for long. But now we have an empirical research to prove it.

It is employers’ discretion about whom they want to hire. No doubt about that. But doing it deliberately is just unfair. However, I would like to take the commentator’s approach – don’t whine, find the solution. I agree about the critical need for candidates to take up Mandarin to improve their job chances. Government should have introduced Mandarin in our school curriculum. I am sure smart people, if any, in the administration have thought about this. I am not surprise if it wasn’t considered due to our complicated political landscape.

My daughter used to take a Mandarin class for a couple of years in her kindy and school. She wasn’t interested to continue. She gave the excuse that ‘her hands hurt’ (due to the repetitive writing of the characters). Being a half-Chinese herself doesn’t really help. The father does not even speak the mother tongue!

Tips to write not-so-kind emails

Image from:

This article about Elon Musk’s email to his staff caught my attention. How to deliver a ‘nasty’ message in a ‘kind’ email. We all need tips on how to do this. This article from ( underlined the following strategies.

(The following tips are copied from the site. Full copyright belongs to


  1. He starts by acknowledging the good work they are doing. Good leaders acknowledge achievements, keep morale up, and soften criticism with compliments.
  2. Next, he explains the situation using clear language and concrete examples. I respect this. Not only is he giving them the benefit of the doubt (hey, maybe you weren’t sure about the details), but he is also making sure that if it happens again, nobody can use the excuse that they didn’t understand the policy.
  3. Notice that he repeats and underlines the word never. Can you imagine employees now arguing that they weren’t sure if he really meant it, or they thought there was some leeway available? Not likely.
  4. He’s also not going on a rant about every little problem the company’s been having. He is focused on one problem and explaining it clearly. His message won’t get lost in a long list of complaints and problems.
  5. He goes on to describe new processes that he hopes will fix the problem. It shows that he is taking responsibility as well, that as the leader, he will also make changes and try to improve how things are done. He’s not only focused on problems, he’s thinking solutions as well. Brilliant.
  6. Notice while he doesn’t engage in outright threats, he does say that he will be personally reviewing the transaction for any car sold for less than list price. If I were a salesperson at Tesla, you can be sure the car would not be discounted.
  7. Finally, he ends on a personal note, reminding them how grateful he is for their work and making a strong appeal to their sense of morality and integrity.