WHILE helping clients in the day-to-day marketing and promotion of their products and services, M&C Saatchi Malaysia is stepping up its initiatives that will contribute to the masses.
As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), the ad agency will be launching a book from various contributors on the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in conjunction with the upcoming 60th Merdeka anniversary.
M&C Saatchi Malaysia managing director and CEO Datin Sharifah Menyalara Hussein (pic) says in contrast to other books on Tunku which are historical or biographical in nature, the new book seeks to emphasise his enduring values and relevance on a wide variety of subjects.
“The book has a series of more than 20 essay contributors as well as numerous contributions from various strata of Malaysian society. We were fortunate to have partners work with us and everyone played a role in the publication of the book. Contributors range from students, designers, actors, politicians, sports legends and creative people from the agency,” she says.
Sharifah adds that the intention of the new book is not merely to offer history or analysis but above all, inspiration for all Malaysians. The title itself indicates that it should create a conversation – about how the founding ideals of our nation are faring as we enter our sixth decade of freedom, she says.
“Far more than just the cry of ‘Merdeka’, Tunku had a great deal to say about almost every aspect of the Malaysian national fabric – whether on unity, ethics, religion, law, civil liberties and more. We hope the book sparks a vibrant dialogue around Tunku’s timeless values.”
The book entitled “Dialog: Thoughts on Tunku’s Timeless Thinking” would be launched on May 24 at Bangsar Village II. Among the other organisations which participated in the creation of the book are Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, The One Academy (a leading art and design college), Projek 57 (a social enterprise dedicated to keeping Tunku’s values alive) and The Rojak Projek (which created a spice portrait of Tunku made up of spices from all of Malaysia’s major races).
Elaborating on the book, Sharifah says it showcases a wide cross-section of Malaysia’s unique diversity, just as Tunku would have wanted. “By inviting art students from the One Academy to fill the pages with colourful illustrations, we are hoping that a younger generation also stays in touch with the vision and ideals of ‘Bapa Malaysia’. Importantly, the book also features the views of the ordinary rakyat – as befits a man who saw himself as a leader for all Malaysians.”
As for its CSR programme, she says it is a core part of the agency’s initiatives, adding that M&C Saatchi takes part in such activities that contribute to associations that it feel play a big role in developing communities and helping those in need.
For example, the agency took an active role with association for the blind through a programme called “Simply See” and developing programmes for those who needed special attention, she explains.