Wan Azizah: Malaysia's welfare policy to move away from mere handouts

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 19 Jul 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's approach towards social welfare programmes will change from merely giving handouts to creating opportunities for the needy to become self-reliant, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said her ministry's policy on welfare is guided by the notion of productive welfare.

"Rather than focusing on aid programmes, we are moving towards national policies that empower communities in need and provide the needy with tools to become valuable contributors to our nation and economy," she said.

"We help the needy to get on their feet, to stand on their own and become self-reliant," she said during her keynote speech at the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2018 here Thursday (July 19).

Dr Wan Azizah said corporations could play a big role and become agents of change in the new Malaysia.

"In this world of key performance index (KPI) and financial returns, we often create leaders who are myopic and short term. They become cold leaders who lack empathy and whose concerns is just about meeting next quarter's KPI," she said.

"We need leaders who participate in CSR because they believe in it – not because it is mandated by authorities," she said, adding that Bursa Malaysia requires all public listed companies and subsidiaries to disclose their CSR practices in their annual reports.

She said the ministry's women's leadership development initiative will aim to create leaders who lead with conscience and with CSR embedded in their business objectives.

Dr Wan Azizah also urged corporations to support young social entrepreneurs and create company policies that are friendly to families such as flexible working arrangements and childcare provisions.

A total of 34 Malaysian companies were honoured at the CSR Awards 2018 for going the extra mile to reach out to needy communities and engage in sustainability endeavours.

Meanwhile, The Star Media Group took home the 'Company of the Year Award' in the English language daily category for the second year in a row.

Star Foundation, the company's charitable arm, has embarked on a series of successful charity campaigns, including the wheelchair programme to donate wheelchairs to needy individuals, the medical fund programme, Sterling Service Award and Golden Hearts Awards.

Present to receive the award was Star Foundation trustee Datuk Dr Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Rouse.

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