Najib Tun Razak first take on CSR

Much more can be done in Malaysia, in terms of CSR. It’s not a matter of going beyond compliance, it’s a matter of plain old compliance. With the new system of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for cabinet ministers implemented by Mr. Najib, it is hoped that the country’s businesses will be aslo steered towards performing well while doing good.


Newly minted Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mr. Najib Tun Razak, has asked employers to make full use of tax incentives at their office. Prime Minister Najib was reported to have said:

I would like to urge the private sector to fulfil their corporate social responsibility by providing childcare facilities at the workplace for their employees.

According to reports, employers who set up childcare centres were given 10% tax reduction per annum on the cost of setting them up for a period of 10 years. Meanwhile, government agencies offering childcare centres at the workplace would be given a RM80,000 grant to create the facility.


Mr. Najib's Website, "1 Malaysia"

Prime Minister Najib was said to have made these statements at the launch of the International Early Childcare and Education Conference. As a start, his statement is at least one step forward in enhancing more awareness in employers on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) towards their workers. However, in the wide sphere of CSR, this is just a baby step.

Since Mr. Najib begun his premiership, environmental issues has cropped up in East Malaysia. The approval of a 40MW coal-fired plant in Sipitang in Sabah was reported to have drawn the ire of green activists. The approval by the Department of the Environment (DOE) for the plant, which is said to be helmed by Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd  (SFI), is reported to have been done without any discussion with stakeholders. President of Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa), Wong Tack, disputes the DOE claim that there was NGO participation by way of the Environmental Action Committee (EAC). Furthermore, the EAC is apparently not a NGO, but an informal forum for the state Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and environmental NGOs to resolve related issues.


A photo from Mr. Najib's Flickr Photostream

In addition, the Sun newspaper has reported recently that effluent and sludge from a water treatment plant in Bukit Badong has been found in drains flowing directly into Sungai Selangor, the very river from which it draws water to be treated! Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB), the builder, operator and manager of the treatment plant, has been instructed by the DOE to stop the flow of sludge into the drains.

The sludge that PNSB allegedly emits is is categorised as scheduled waste SW204, waste which contains heavy metals and chemicals. SW205 waste must be disposed of in accordance with World Health Organisation and health standards. As far as CSR goes, PNSB certainly could do better. What is Mr. Najib’s stance on this?


Mr. Najib's YouTube Video page

Mr. Najib's YouTube Video page

Undoubtedly, the new Malaysian Prime Minister might have far more pressing political affairs to look into. However, CSR and businesses might need an encouraging and directional word now and then from the nation’s premier. For example, as a matter of media and CSR, Mr. Najib could do with perhaps some advice to a local newspaper on its headlines which potentially could lead to racial tension.