Income Tax Reliefs You Can Claim In 2023

Income Tax Malaysia

What is the meaning of tax relief?

‘Tax relief’ means that you either: pay less tax to take account of money you’ve spent on specific things, like business expenses if you’re self-employed. get tax back or get it repaid in another way, like into a personal pension.

Come tax time, it can be a struggle trying to determine which expenses are claimable for tax relief that will allow you to reduce your taxes.

In Malaysia, personal deductions and reliefs can help reduce your chargeable income, and thus your taxes. If planned properly, you can save a significant amount of taxes. There are personal reliefs that every taxpayer in Malaysia can deduct once their income reaches the chargeable income level. It is important to note that manual BE forms need to be filed by 30th April 2023 and online e-BE forms need to be filed by 15th May 2023.

Malaysian Income Tax Relief 2023

Below are some reliefs to allow you better tax efficiency:

  1. Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has announced that under Budget 2023, the government will reduce the tax rates for taxable income ranging between RM50,001 to RM70,000, and RM70,001 to RM100,000 by 2%. This will be beneficial to middle income earners allowing them higher future returns.
  2. Women planning to return to work after a career break will be entitled to income tax exemptions for five consecutive years of assessment from 2023 to 2028. This move is to encourage women back into the workforce. As of October 2022, women constituted 29 per cent of the composition of the BOD for 100 major public-listed companies.
  3. Dental treatment limited to tooth extraction, filling, scaling and cleaning but excluding cosmetic dental treatment expenses such as teeth restoration and replacement involving crowning, root canal and dentures.
  4. To encourage debtors to pay off their loans and promote saving habits, Budget 2023 provides income tax relief up to RM8,000 until YA 2024 for net annual savings in SSPN. This also includes 20% off outstanding PTPTN loan balance upon full settlement between 1 November 2022 to 30 April 2023 & 15% discount off outstanding PTPTN loan balance for debtors who pay off at least 50% of their remaining debt in a single payment or opt for salary deduction or scheduled direct debit between 1 November 2022 to 30 April 2023.
  5. Parents are entitled to an extension of tax relief for payment of nursery and kindergarten fees until YA 2024. This is to enable a support system for working parents. Parents could receive up to RM3,000 of tax relief for nursery and kindergarten fees for children aged 6 years and below. Please note that this is only applicable if the child is in a registered childcare facility.

HR is most often starring into the pinnacle of daunting tasks on a daily basis. Tasks that have become more challenging with the recent global pandemic.

At CXL Group, we are on hand to help you streamline your day-to-day HR processes. Don’t let things like paperwork, privacy concerns, time-tracking, or onboarding challenges get in your way. We got you!!!

Speak to one of our HR experts today.


CXL Wins SME100 Award

Contingent Workforce Office

In December 2022, CXL won the SME100 Awards for our Contingent Workforce services, to cap off a year of returning to momentum after the unexpected upheavals induced by the pandemic.

The conferment of this coveted title would not have been possible without the support and opportunity from our clients, some of whom were with us from day one. The encouragement personified through the long standing relationship with us represents their confidence in our service and our commitment as a trusted partner to contribute to their corporate goals. This stacks on our belief throughout the years that saw us growing together with our clients. 

Erin Sequerah, Head of Business for CXL’s Contingent Workforce leads our team with unwavering dedication and experience. Daily and in fact throughout the project duration, she ensures her recruiters and HR Business Partners (HRBP) would fully understand what is required from the job orders and formulate the best way forward to complete the projects. HRBP are in fact crucial in bridging the communication gap and resolving issues that might arise between the clients and CXL.

SME 100

From left to right: Dhiva Khartik (Managing Consultant of Executive Search Division), Erin Sequersionah (Head, Contingent Workforce Division), Fariz Abdullah (Chief Executive Offiver), Tengku Murni (Head of Business Development), Stephen Lee (Chief Financial Officer)

The combination of hard work, determination and the right hiring strategies supplemented by the business unit’s impeccable service elevates the experiential factor for our clients. This is where beyond just “presentation promises”, the meticulous delivery reflects CXL’s professionalism; it’s a form of saying, “We walk the talk.”

As an HR company, we know how vital it is for fellow practitioners to put on their strategic thinking hats. In more ways than one, when a HR professional collaborates strategically with the top brass of the company, it is a potent force that can navigate the business towards its goals successfully. It is with such a foundational understanding of the business that we have created the smooth and seamless staffing solutions to alleviate the burdensome HR work (from recruitment to payroll) of our clients so they can focus on what’s most important.

About Contingent Workforce

The Contingent Workforce discipline is one that relates to engagement on a provisional basis. In the larger scheme of things, it covers administrative roles to the highly skilled positions and as such would see contractors, consultants, freelancers and temporary staff hired as part of a Contingent Workforce to fulfil a contractual need over a certain period of time and comes with some form of benefits.

“Contingent Workforce is also sometimes referred to as “Employee Leasing” or “Contract Labour””

Contingent Workforce Office

To ease the comprehension, think of Contingent Workforce like a no frills budget airline. It is simple, gets the job done and yields little risk for everyone. The only time it gets complicated is during the peak season when there could be more demand than supply. This is where hiring through CXL becomes the differentiating factor.

In terms of the kind of roles we have been hiring for our clients, it includes Customer Service, Telemarketing/Tele-collection, Account/Finance Executive, Office Support and Warehouse/Retail Assistant, Data Entry and Receptionist. See our blog, The Contingent Workforce: What You Need To Know About This Growing Labour Pool, for more information. 

There are however some emerging roles that are rarely talked about in the Contingent Workforce and they are categorically placed within Contract For Service, which includes positions for the Technical Professionals, Professional Consultants and jobs in the IT sector.

It goes without saying that positions such as these have in recent times been grabbing headlines around the world with mass layoffs announced by the tech sector. Although no data is readily available yet to gauge where the retrenched are headed to, it is likely some will opt for casual or temporary work while a segment will prefer the remote working arrangements. 

According to Erin, this is somewhat good news for Contingent Workforce because these permutations of employment are all a subset of this practice. By having them re-entering the job market in this manner enlarges the pool of available candidates to serve the market. This in turn opens up more options for both the employers and the talents out there, not forgetting the different industries that they can get into as well. It’s like a budget airline added with more planes in its fleet, giving the market more options in terms of destinations, price, departure & arrival times, comfort and even the type of plane one can choose to fly with.

Perfecting The Score

This could also be the new season (again) for companies to sample contingent hiring if one is concerned about the impending global recession in 2023 as predicted by some leading economists. To begin with, if companies are heavily invested in their business and would not trade their future bright prospects with the potentially unbearable risks in an economic downturn, then employing through CXL’s Contingent Workforce may be the ideal solution. 

Through us, the hiring process affords companies with better decision making authority to engage and disengage a worker from their team in a greater autonomy than they could a permanent or a contract hire when they do it all on their own. Through CXL, it also alleviates the company from the tricky hiring process and the laborious administrative tasks like record keeping and payroll where the latter gets more challenging with fixed and part-time payouts. The risk is substantially mitigated as such, including shaving off the engagement costs such as salaries and benefits.

Contingent Workforce Office

Contingent Workforce in this regard may be a double edged sword during the lean period because it allows the supervising superiors at the companies to assess talents in real time and subsequently identify which among the new crop of hires are suitable to be part of the company in the future. It’s akin to having the perfect planes readily tuned for the take-off, hiring on demand as such empowers employers with a sense of leverage when the sky finally brightens

Winning the SME100 Awards has certainly placed CXL Group in a perfect position to start 2023 with. It reinforces our quality, professionalism and branding. Although it is still early in the year, this award has already set our sights further than just the domestic shores, beginning first by taking off to the Asean region and intersperse concurrently by rolling out more services to the market. 

Insights into Malaysia’s Pulsating Job Market

Hot jobs in hot cities in Malaysia

We speak to Dhiva Karthik, Managing Consultant of CXL Executive Search Division, to tap the pulse of the job market and identify what’s trending in the labour market.

According to Dhiva, an anomaly has occurred where there is a record breaking number of job openings in the market per candidate yet the unemployment rate is low at 3.7% as of 3Q 2022 and down to 3.6% in October (source: Department of Statistics Malaysia). In terms of job openings, 3Q 2022 also saw a 9.9% surge compared to the previous quarter, registering its highest growth since 4Q 2021. Based on this, candidates in Malaysia are actually spoilt for choice, what more when they can choose from permanent, contractual, part-time, freelance to the casual assignments in the gig economy.

To decipher the demand and supply issue, it’s dependent on where you’re looking from because gone are the days when employees are content with just a paycheck. Among others, they now put an employer’s offer letter under the microscope and scrutinise attributes such as the company’s vision, the job’s purpose, potential exposure and work-life balance. Just on the latter alone, it is also worth noting that the talent market has just begun prioritising it in a much larger way, right after the endemic phase began.

The “Balanced” Variant of the 21st Century

The bold demand for a “balanced lifestyle” has in fact become a double edged sword for some smaller companies because the quest for “freedom” somewhat levelled the playing field these SMEs too can vie for the best candidates. Like the paycheck consideration, gone are also the days when everyone will flock to the big boys and sacrifice their waking hours to work around the clock and toil over the weekends just to be part of a large or international company. These days, talents have an affinity for close knitted companies where freedom and respect are the inseparable twins at the workplace, particularly so for SME service providers in Penang.

In terms of job openings, we now see a sudden rise in demand for talents in the Finance, Key Account, Customer Service, Supply Chain and the IT industries. These are mainly a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic which led to a mass drive for digitalisation.

As for the hot jobs in the big cities like Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru, they are:

  • Revenue or Treasury-related – to cope with the high interest rate environment, manage a company’s cash flows;
  • HR – in particular tech companies to restructure and redesign their organizations to meet changing business environment;
  • Supply Chain – impacted by global supply chain issues and shortages of key components;
  • Customer Service – a result of digitalisation & business process simplications;;
  • Tech or IT – evergreen, highest in demand now; and
  • Communications – PR, corporate communications, government liaisons as a reactive measure to the change in government.
Executive Search Solutions in Malaysia

Whether employers in these cities are able to find suitable candidates quick enough to fill the vacancies, it is up to how nimble the hiring managers are in looking in the right direction. It’s no rocket science here but the magic rests on where these talents are usually located, like a symbiotic relationship along the food chain.

For example, IT talents are mostly located around Klang Valley and employers from other states will inevitably have to come to the city to search for them. For the engineers, Mechanical Engineers, which by the way is the most popular type of engineering variant in Malaysia, are generally in Johor, Perak, Terengganu, Pahang etc.

Electronics & Electrical Engineers have a higher presence in Penang, attracted by the industrial, electronics and advanced manufacturing ecosystem there. Chemicals-related professionals on the other hand like the Chemical Engineers are mostly found in Terengganu and Pahang due to the presence of raw materials, more relaxed emission control regulations and proximity to maritime terminals for export.

If we hear you right, it sounds like some roles might be more difficult to fill in certain cities than they are in others, is that right?

Yes because like in Penang, which is currently experiencing the fastest growth because of the new opportunities over at the mainland in Batu Kawan and also influenced by Kulim’s growing market in Kedah, it is short of talents for roles such as the customer-facing Technical Engineers, Key Account Managers, Application Engineers, Service Engineers and Supply Chain talents.

Over in Johor Bahru, the single biggest challenge to retain talent is the Singapore-factor, and this is an across-the-board issue plaguing all industries. As such, companies in the southern capital are encouraged to be more innovative and competitive so they stand a better chance against the Republic’s offerings.

For the tech roles, and as already indicated above, every state in the country faces a shortage and they have little choice but to source for them in Klang Valley. Sharing the same concentration area is also the shared services sector like finance, banking, HR, marketing (and digital marketing) and customer service.

Then for companies looking to hire the very senior executives for the strategic and visionary roles, it can be a daunting task to persuade them to relocate due to the risks associated with leaving a steady career which are sometimes complete with cushy retirement plans already well in place. A change to an uncharted territory can be quite nerve wrecking.

The rationale behind these nucleuses of talents can be traced to how government and industry agencies are at work. Like in Kuala Lumpur for instance, the stricter emission control regulations in the metropolis has driven the manufacturing sectors somewhere else and with that, the talents suited for the jobs have also followed suit. But because KL has traditionally been the country’s financial centre, this has motivated education institutions to offer courses related to such disciplines so graduating students can immediately plug in to the hiring companies.

Along the same vein, agencies like Invest Selangor (Invest Selangor Bhd), InvestPenang (Invest-in-Penang Bhd), JCorp (Johor Corporation), just to name a few, have also propped up incentives, economic thrusts and re-drafting policies to convince companies to set up shops and offer up jobs to talents in their respective states. But the billion Ringgit question is this, will the jobs and talents find each other?

In the next and concluding part of this 2-part series, we’ll take a look at the pivotal factors companies and candidates ought to factor into their hiring formulas and resumes to facilitate a better match between man and job.

How Far Has Tech Gone In HR & Payroll

How Far Has Tech Gone In HR And Payroll

Strategically, HR is an all encompassing infantry unit catering to every productivity goal of the company. From sourcing, selecting, negotiating, hiring, training, retaining and paying the onboarded talent, the job of HR is in fact as vital as the year-end’s profitability. But HR tech hasn’t always been in the limelight and it is why the industry only started making some headway around about the 1990’s.

But as far as tech adoption goes, the HR load is light if it was a 2 to 5-men enterprise but when a corporation employs 30, 50, 100, 500 and employees numbered into the thousands, it calls for a comprehensive solution to store and process staff records as well as generating everything from a payslip to statutory reports.

Further, companies that opt to process HR matters in-house should also be mindful if the hired HR team is well versed enough to execute according to the domestic legislations. Falling short in this area may attract unwanted consequences such as fines from the government departments. As such, practising HR and adopting HR tech to supplement the tasks at hand requires depth and experience to do the job well.

Evolution of HR Tech

A quick look at how far technology has come to support the HR practice will inform us that perhaps now is the time to really look at what technology can offer to our workplace.

  • 1979 – the launch of SAP R/2, integrating HR functionality together in the same ERP database with production planning, materials management and financials; not a standalone module.
  • 1987 – establishment of Peoplesoft, the first HR Management System (HRMS) in the world.
  • Early 1990s – The HRMS market emerging with ERP vendors like Oracle and JD Edwards introducing HR ERPs covering all functions like core HR, recruiting, learning, US payroll, and reporting. Smaller ERP vendors followed suit globally with customisation for specific markets.
  • 1994 – Monster launched the first-ever online recruitment website.
  • Rest of 1990s – moving from client-server technology to the web and opened up HRMS to users outside of HR (or HRMS employee self-service) where HR systems became more specialised eg. recruitment-only.
  • 2000 – 15% of organisations have adopted employee self-service HR technology with early adopters like Pfizer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
  • 2003 – LinkedIn is founded, the first professional social media site.
  • 2005 – 50% of organisations have adopted employee self-service HR technology.
  • 2015 – 90% of organisations have adopted employee self-service HR technology.
  • 2018 – 85% of job applications were made via job boards.
  • 2019 – 92% of HR leaders believe the future of providing excellent employee service has to include chatbots.


With HR Tech going through rapid adoption especially in the last decade, it beckons for those in the practice to sit up and listen because the time is now ripe. By that it means Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has just entered the fray and if one is not paying attention to this development, competitors may surge ahead leaving conventional teams myopic with merely processing macros in a spreadsheet like it was 1999.

This is inline with a Forbes article published in September this year which mentioned that “as HR technology becomes increasingly integrated, I predict companies will look for more automation capabilities, and those who succeed in creating technology for this sector will find ways to create efficiencies for HR professionals through automating workloads while also improving the employee experience.”

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), HR's Turbo Boost

Automation or RPA is in fact the new kid on the HR-block. What it can do while the HR Manager is cosying up to dinner and the World Cup fever after hours will quite literally blow one’s mind away.

Take for example payroll processing, RPA, when programmed to its intended scope, will perform like the payroll processing department in the office without the need of any human supervision and much less human labour.

From matching names, tallying salaries, calculating claims, emailing designated “managers” to verify pay raises, reading responded emails and finally executing the “pay” command, all these can be done with zero human intervention.

Although this may sound far-fetched just 20 years ago, it is not entirely so in 2022 because even instant messengers of the chatbots have made their presence felt in this era. Case in point, the implementation of an AI-driven chatbot in a particular company has reduced inbound HR enquiry emails by 43% from about 100 emails per week, offloading the unproductive menial work of answering leave balance, procedure to submit claims etc from the HR officers (Director, VP, Managers etc) that serves 100,000 employees across 75 countries (source: 

Not to be mistaken, by removing the “human” element from the HR process is in no way negating the HR professionals from their responsibilities but instead, liberating and empowering them to be even more autonomous and strategic in carrying out HR practices.

With more time in hand, HR practitioners can focus on formulating dynamic strategies so corporate goals like annual targets and quarterly performance can all be levelled up. To that end and according to, “Recognition, Health & Wellness, Learning and Development – these are a few of the emerging areas of HR technology that have become crucial to engaging and retaining top talent”.  When these are technologically-enabled, it will extend yet another dimension to the equation – data.

HR's Big Data In The Making

HR's Big Data In The Making

Employers armed with such data possess a high level of knowledge about the performance of the company because the metrics provided from here will go on to prompt about the next steps eg. how to re-engage before a top performer exits for another opportunity. Retention hence becomes an area that was once run by interaction and intuition but now substantiated through data analytics. The same Forbes article mentioned earlier also concurs to such an all encompassing expansion of the HR Tech industry where it suggests the next phase of this space would require “analytics, AI, integration with a suite of HRIS and HRM solutions and an employee-first mindset—the keys to truly complete workforce management.”

Where will HR Tech go from here? According to, “the best platforms are about modernising the employee experience. Even small companies use HR software now to up their employee experience strategy, and price is no deterrent (given the heavy competition in the market). HR software will easily be a $43 billion industry by 2026.”

If you haven’t already, now is the time for your HR department to up their game and play ball!


The Contingent Workforce: What You Need To Know About This Growing Labour Pool

The Contingent Workforce

With the rise of the contingent workforce today, organisations are able to widen the talent pool they access. In this article, Fariz Abdullah shares some key considerations for those considering employing a contingent workforce.

What is an example of a contingent worker and how does this differ from other types of workers?

Fariz: As the name suggests, a contingent worker is someone whose position within the organisation is temporary. Typically, such an individual is not an employee of the organisation and therefore, not a permanent hire.

Organisations employ these workers to fill gaps within their business. These can range from highly skilled positions (such as a finance manager) all the way through to administrative ones (such as a marketing executive or warehouse assistant). These can occur across a range of business domains including customer service, tele-marketing, service desk support, finance, operations and more.

When an organisation chooses to contract such a worker, they may employ an HR outsourcing firm to do so. In such a case, the worker remains on the firm’s payroll but their job scope is determined according to their client’s (the organisation concerned) requirements.

When would an organisation typically consider the need for a contingent workforce?

Fariz: Generally, there are two reasons why an organisation may consider a contingent workforce:

The organisation does not want any administrative hassles
Managing employees involves time-consuming activities and processes throughout the employee lifecycle (that is attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention and separation). With a contingent workforce, organisations bypass some of these processes and can fill positions promptly even when faced with sudden resignations. They are able to do so because the HR outsourcing firm has a ready talent pool available.

The organisation is addressing a sudden need 
Organisations are increasingly facing a disruptive, agile business environment. As such, they  often are required to act quickly in response to changing business circumstances or to take advantage of opportunities presented quickly. A contingent workforce enables an organisation to respond appropriately as the need arises.

What are a few hiring options available alongside contingent workers and what are some of the benefits of each of these options?

Fariz: We recommend two options.

Fixed-term contract (Contract Workforce): This enables the organisation to bring in workers strictly for fixed term projects/assignments (ranging from 1 – 24 months). There would be flexibility to ramp-up/down based on project/assignment needs. This, in turn, reduces an organisation’s liability and cost as contract staff work on a full-time basis yet are not entitled to the full benefits accorded to full-time employees. Additionally, contract staff transition seamlessly at the end of the contract without any administrative burden to the employer.

Part-time contract (Temporary Workforce): This helps fill short employment gaps that organisations face due to seasonal recruitment needs or a sudden need for a particular skill set. This could include replacement staff for employees who have taken leave. Roles could range from data entry and front desk/reception to product/service launches or sales. It can also assist with managing the temporary increase in production targets or higher call volume.

As these roles are flexible and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, they present distinct advantages to the organisation in need i.e. pay for actual work done (based on hours or days) without the need to provide benefits such as annual or medical leave. As a result, organisations can widen their pool of skilled workers to include retirees and/or stay at home professionals who cannot commit to long/fixed term employment.

The Contingent Workforce: What You Need To Know About This Growing Labour Pool

What have you seen in terms of recent hiring trends, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are some of the benefits of employing a contingent workforce?

Fariz: I’d highlight, in particular, that a boom especially within the e-commerce industry translates to higher demand for the contingent worker. Additionally, as a result of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, we have seen many other industries resorting to contingent workers, especially for short-term projects.

For local businesses, what is the impact of hiring local contingent workers?

Fariz: One of the most relevant aspects of hiring local contingent workers is that organisations need not worry about the HR aspects to hiring (such as recruitment and payroll issues). But like any other decision, the organisation must start by getting clear about the objectives of hiring for a given position and the particular skill gaps that they seek to address.

In your experience, are there particular industries or types of businesses that have embarked on contingent workers in a big way? If so, why?

Fariz: It’s been reported that 80 percent of large US corporations plan to increase the use of a flexible workforce in coming years, with contingent workers making up over 40 percent of the total workforce. In my experience, I see the e-commerce industry as one of the biggest supporters of this trend particularly as many manage load increases in warehouse staffing and seek to address seasonal needs (for example, during large and annualised sales campaigns).

Are there particular issues that an organisation, considering a contingent workforce, should be aware of?

Fariz: There are two issues, in particular, I would highlight. First, consider the project duration. For example, should a contingent worker be hired for over two years continuously, he/she would be considered a “contractually permanent” employee. For this reason, it is important that organisations clearly identify their skill gap and requirements for contingent workers as compared to their existing workforce to ensure internal equity.

Second, pay attention to the market rate for compensation. Organisations should review the kind of benefits provided and how the contingent worker could be compensated based on how they complete the project and other factors.

In your experience, what are common mistakes organisations make when hiring a contingent workforce?

Fariz: There are a number of common mistakes organisations make:

  • Not ensuring that the compensation package is commensurate with the value derived from the contingent worker
  • Not addressing clearly the primary reasons for embarking on a strategy that utilises a contingent workforce
  • Leaving communication gaps with such workers or not providing sufficient direction, thus preventing such workers from meeting performance targets and the like
  • Not developing clear plans for a long term contingent workforce to be retained or absorbed as full-time employees which, in turn, can lead to higher attrition rates of experienced workers.

What do you believe are some of the best ways to manage contractor or contingent worker processes including from a tech perspective?

Fariz: One of the most important aspects to managing such contractors is to ensure seamless automation across recruitment to payroll processing. There are quite a few tedious processes such as timesheet collection and processing. Automation simplifies this. Additionally, elements like geo-location help provide assurance to clients that staff are checking in as and when required.

In conclusion, the contingent workforce has been growing and this is expected to continue. Integrating such a workforce in the organisation will, however, require assessment of appropriate tools and strategies for successful management.

Author Bio

Fariz Abdullah is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CXL Group. The organisation consists of two divisions— Contingent Workforce and Payroll & HR Outsourcing. Under his purview, Fariz has transformed CXL Group into an HR organisation that believes in the importance of advancing through technology but with a deep focus on the human touch in an increasingly digital era.

Does Diversity at the Workplace Matter?

Diversity can strengthen teams at the workplace

As Malaysians, we’re blessed to be a part of a country rich with resources, beautiful flora and fauna, and a melting pot of cultures.  Talk of diversity and inclusion has been a hot topic with some companies taking bold steps to ensure their employees are not just the industry’s crème of the crop but that they are part of an inclusive and accepting workforce. Today, diversity ranges from age, gender, ethnicity, religion, culture, education, physical capabilities and more.

A survey by McKinsey & Company has shown that diversity closely correlates to the company’s financial performance.  In the article that sums up the survey, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Although this research was conducted amongst a variety of industries in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States, similar sentiments are surely shared in many other parts of the world, including ours.

As this is the season to ignite our inner patriotism, with our country celebrating its 64th National Day a few weeks ago and Malaysia Day in just a few days, we thought to share some ideas on how companies can promote diversity in all forms, and leverage on its benefits.

Acknowledge the Need for Diversity

All efforts to promote diversity within a company will be meaningless if the key stakeholders do not acknowledge that there is a need for change. Surely easier said than done, but small steps to make a big impact often start with a single step forward. Take a good look at the company’s workforce, culture and processes that need to change to create a more inclusive working environment.  This will allow decision-makers to understand the gaps that are present in the current workforce and ways to move forward with new initiatives to drive inclusivity within a company.

Glassdoor also suggests for companies to communicate any initiatives clearly with employees. After all, who is better than your existing workforce to help hire and recruit new talents. However, be warned that although steps are taken to recruit diverse new hires, it is ultimately the company’s culture that will set the tone and increase the success rate of these initiatives in the long run.

Incorporate Diversity At Every Step of the Way

From early steps such as unbiased recruitment to creating groups for team-building activities, be sure that inclusivity is injected into everything the company does moving forward. If possible, take bolder steps and revise company policies, incorporate them into performance reviews and add on a diversity-friendly component to the company’s mission statement.

Training your HR staff to implement inclusivity, recognise potential biases and ways to deal with them within your organisation would certainly help to ensure proper steps are taken. Creating a council or panel consisting of diverse members will also allow employees to be more engaged with your initiatives while providing a judgement-free platform of idea-sharing with different perceptions. These are crucial in successfully creating an inclusive and diverse workforce.


Diversity at the workplace

Celebrate Diversity

One of the best things about being Malaysian is our celebrations— from Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Gawai to Christmas, we are spoilt with public holidays and a plethora of cultural activities as well as cuisine. Many companies opt to have celebrations for each festivity done company-wide, which is an excellent effort! But few celebrate Merdeka Day or Malaysia Day with the same amount of gusto.  Perhaps, this is something to consider celebrating for the coming years. It is the perfect opportunity to plan activities that make us Malaysian first! Decorate workspaces with our Jalur Gemilang and sing the national anthem together.  This creates closer-knit employee relations and possibly cross boundaries that we may not have even realised existed.

Similarly, as the world celebrates International Women’s Day, don’t forget to pay the same amount of importance to International Men’s Day!

Having a hiring drought? Consider hiring retirees that could impart some valuable life lessons and work skills to the younger generation. Many opt to continue working despite their age but lack the opportunity.



Having a diverse and inclusive workforce does not just benefit a company but as humans, it opens minds, gives perspective and creates an overall positive work environment. Indirectly, it helps improve productivity, teamwork and cultivate creativity. While this may be challenging but it is definitely worth a try. After all, in the challenging times we live in now, humanity could use a stronger sense of togetherness at home with their own families, and with their work family.