Hong Kong seeks Malaysian talent to diversify workforce

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Chris Sun, highlighted that Malaysia could serve as a crucial talent reservoir due to the multilingual abilities of many Malaysians, including proficiency in Cantonese, the local language of Hong Kong.

“Malaysians are fluent in English, and many also speak fluent Cantonese and Mandarin,” Sun said.

“There is a good talent pool (in Malaysia), and I think it’s worthwhile for us to give it a try,” he said, adding that the government also aimed to hire financial and technology talent from Europe.

Sun added that Malaysian talents would find it easy to blend in with the local community and assist Hong Kong in building relationships with the Southeast Asian market.

Since December 2022, mainland Chinese individuals have constituted over 90% of approximately 59,000 non-local
professionals admitted to the city under a Top Talent Pass Scheme.

Hong Kong government has not disclosed the number of visas granted to Malaysians.

According to the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, the scheme has already provided benefits to Malaysian professionals through its streamlined visa procedures.

“The government’s focus on talent recruitment in Malaysia reflects its commitment to fostering a diversified and skilled workforce,” the chamber told The Straits Times.

Yee Lisan, a 34-year-old Malaysian who moved to Hong Kong in April 2021 as a regional marketing manager at a music label, expressed her satisfaction with the quality of life in the city.

“My favourite thing about Hong Kong is the fact that I can head to the beach, hills or to the city all within 20 minutes,” she said.

“In Malaysia, I would have had to take a long stretch of leave just to spend a proper day at the beach. So, I appreciate the convenience of this compact city.”

Recently, Hong Kong lawmakers have expressed concerns over the lack of diversity in Hong Kong’s imported labour force.