THE “marketability” of Malaysian graduates is generally low due to a lack of creative and critical thinking skills, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.
That was why foreign employers and organisations did not regard Malaysian graduates as their top choice, he said.
“This is a very disheartening fact,” he said when opening Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu Trophy Tamil Debate programme at Universiti Utara Malaysia on Thursday night.
To overcome such stigma, students should think creatively and critically as such ability would ensure they would succeed in whichever field they dabble in, he said.
“As future leaders, students should strive to be multi-talented and multi-skilled,” he said.
Subramaniam called on students to take full advantage of programmes initiated by the respective universities to sharpen thinking skills and take opportunities available to enhance leadership skills.
“Students should also sharpen their English language skills,” he said.
A total of 20 students from nine higher learning institutes participated in the debate.
UUM students representative council organised the two-day programme aimed at instilling debate culture and enhance critical and analytical thinking.
Participants touched on a host of issues such as education, culture and arts, economy and social development.
During the closing ceremony on Friday night, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said such programmes provided a platform for students to enhance their intellectual potential.
He called on university students to master public speaking skills.
“Employers will give priority to candidates who can communicate well and speak good English,’’ he said.
UUM team emerged champion in the debate competition for the second time in two years. They bagged home RM1,000.
Universiti Malaysia Pahang team and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) team won the second and third places respectively.