ON Sept 25, 2015, 193 countries in the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda on Sustainable Development, in an urgent decision to address the planet’s ills.
These 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) range from addressing climate change to making education more accessible, ending poverty, enhancing gender equality and more. The 17 SDGs are a holistic approach for creating a better tomorrow for future generations.
In Malaysia, Sunway Group, with its 12 business divisions, is committed to advancing the SDGs.
The group believes in doing well by doing good, and strives to establish a positive, far-reaching impact for the people, planet, and prosperity. “I discovered that philanthropy stems from the inner conviction that we, who have prospered from the resources provided by Mother Earth, have a duty to give back to society,” said Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah.
The group strives to establish a positive, far-reaching impact on the nation and humankind by focusing on the B40 community, which is the most economically disadvantaged and are highly dependent on government assistance. About two-thirds depend on a single source of income, making them vulnerable to disasters and economic shocks. These Malaysians are highly affected by inflation and the rising cost of living, while some may not have benefited from social safety nets. The B40 community is a priority in the pursuit of development that is more inclusive.
First to install ATM Beras
As part of its initiative to eradicate hunger, especially for the asnaf and B40 community, Sunway became the first corporation in Malaysia to donate using ATM Beras. Sunway deputy executive chairman Tan Sri Razman Hashim said, “Most mosques receive rice donations on a monthly basis, but have issues with distributing them in a fair manner.
“With the ATM Beras, the distribution of rice is made easier as beneficiaries can come for collection on a weekly basis. This is also sustainable for the mosque as it reduces the need for additional manpower.”
The ATM Beras functions by giving out rice supply in the desired quantities and receiving cash funds from the public as donations. Funds are used to purchase more rice for the needy.
Identified beneficiaries are given an RFID card, allowing them to use the Beras ATM to collect 1kg to 2kg of rice on a weekly basis. The group installed a total of eight ATM Beras units and donated more than 8,000kg of rice nationwide.
Machines were installed in Masjid Al-Husna, Bandar Sunway and Masjid Abu Ubaidah in the Klang Valley; Masjid Daerah Seberang Perai Tengah, Bandar Perda and Markas MPKK Kampung Pertama, Permatang Pauh in Penang; Masjid Al-Hashimiah Kg Talang, Kuala Kangsar and Masjid Daerah Tapah in Perak; as well as Masjid India and Masjid Nurul Muttaqin in Johor.
Rise against hunger
To combat hunger, Sunway Group embarked on a nationwide “Rise Against Hunger” programme of packing meals to feed underprivileged and impoverished communities. Sunway started this
programme in 2014 and successfully packed a total of one million meals for the undernourished last year.
The campaign was participated by Sunway volunteers from Ipoh, Penang, the Klang Valley, and benefited 500,000 beneficiaries.
It was considered as Malaysia’s largest corporate meal-packing effort that year to feed the hungry in Malaysia.
The meals were delivered through six NGOs, namely the Rotary Centennial Club, Johor; Sahabat Orang Asli; Rotary Club KK South, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Rotary Club Kuching, Sarawak; Salesians Mission for Timor Leste and One2One Cambodia.
Sunway Group started its “Back-to-School” programme back in 2017 and it has been running for two consecutive years. The programme offers aid to deserving B40-family students for their basic necessities; school uniforms, school bags, water bottles, track bottoms and workbooks. The entire contribution for Sunway Group’s Back-to-School Programme for the two years totalled more than RM750,000, benefiting
more than 4,500 students from
11 schools in Johor, seven in Penang, five in Selangor and 38 in Ipoh.
In 2010, Cheah donated all of his equity in the Sunway Education Group to the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF). The foundation has since awarded more than RM400mil in the form of scholarship and grants to help deserving students. “I hope our commitment will inspire other corporations in this part of the world to recognise that sustainability and profitability can go hand-in-hand – and that we can do well by doing good,” Cheah shared.