Sarawak Energy Wins Social Empowerment Award at International CSR Summit, Thailand

KUCHING, 9th JUNE, 2017, FRIDAY:  State owned power utility and energy development corporation Sarawak Energy’s social investment initiatives focus on improving livelihood and development opportunities of project affected communities in a sustainable manner.

This has gained the corporation international recognition with a recent award, the “Social Empowerment Award” at the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) ceremony held in conjunction with the International CSR Summit (ICS) in Bangkok, Thailand last week.

Sarawak Energy won for its flagship corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme "Sarawak Energy's CSR Journey for the Penan Community in Murum", which documents the combined efforts of the corporation and the resettled communities in forming a long term sustainable partnership to address the communities’ real needs.

AREA recognises and honours Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship. The award places importance on sustainability, impact, innovation, solution-oriented and integration which are the judging criteria to determine the recipients for the Award.

Representing Sarawak Energy to receive the award were Jiwari Abdullah, Assistant General Manager of CSR, Joanne Tan (陈楚燕), Senior Manager of Social Investment and Community Development and Bit Surang, Executive Community Relations.

Aisah Eden, Executive Vice President of Corporate Services said this was validation of Sarawak Energy’s commitment to help uplift the standard of living of the communities affected and resettled by the construction of the Murum Hydroelectric Plant.

“Most of the resettled villagers comprise semi-nomadic Penans. We established contact and worked closely with them prior to actual resettlement. This allowed us to understand their real needs and map out programmes to benefit them for the long term.

“From the beginning we recognised the importance of education in advancing social and economic development which is why one of the key focus areas was enhancing the level of education and literacy, aside from helping them enhance their skills towards entrepreneurial development for a sustainable livelihood and the preservation of the communities’ culture and heritage among others.

Adding on, Jiwari said; “We continue to work closely with the villagers to provide the support they need and we are pleased that our effort is being acknowledged globally. While there is still more to be done, winning this award goes to show that we are on the right track in terms of our work in CSR.”  

Among the efforts carried out at  Murum resettlement - Tegulang and Metalun- includes contributing to the Bakun Charitable Trust Fund to encourage education among the Penan communities of Belaga, helping set up  two primary schools and carrying out the Murum Penan Literacy Programme which is specifically tailored to close the literacy gap among the Penan adults. Around 400 adults can now read, write and count following the success of the literacy programme.

The resettled communities have also greatly benefited in terms of modern housing, healthcare and basic amenities comprising clean water and electricity supply. Sarawak Energy also assisted to help obtain MyKads and birth certificates for the Penans in Murum.

Prior to this, Sarawak Energy’s CSR efforts were also recognised at the Annual Global CSR Summit & Awards for ‘Excellence in Provision of Literacy and Education Award’ in 2015 and 2016.  In addition, Sarawak Energy also received the CSR Excellence Award at the Sin Chew Sin Chew Business Excellence Awards 2016.-This year the team was awarded Gold in the “Best Community Programme” category at the 9th Annual Global CSR Summit & Awards for its efforts in Batang Ai.

One for the album: From left, Joanne Tan, Sarawak Energy’s Senior Manager of Social Investment and Community Development, Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, Chairman of Enterprise Asia who is also former Minister of Human Resources and former Deputy Minister of Education, Jiwari Abdullah, Sarawak Energy’s Assistant General Manager for CSR and Bit Surang, Sarawak Energy’s Community Relations Executive.