Tuesday, October 4

MoF confident GLCs will catalyse Malaysia’s sustainability goals, says Zafrul

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Tengku Zafrul speaks to the media at the Putrajaya Media Club’s Aidilfitri open house on June 8, 2022. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (June 10): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is confident that both the public and private sectors will play their respective roles and contribute to the success of Malaysia’s sustainability efforts and goals moving forward.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said it is encouraging to see government-linked companies (GLCs) embrace the sustainability agenda by incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into their core strategies and embedding it throughout their operations and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

“This is really walking the talk on leadership in ESG and sustainability. These GLCs contribute to the mainstreaming of ESG by serving as role models, catalysing change within their respective ecosystems, and encouraging the rest of Corporate Malaysia to consider how they behave and how their actions affect the communities and environment in which they operate.

“To other corporates out there, and as the chief executive officer (CEO) of a regional banking group before, I can assure you that these efforts will not only allow your companies to be more responsible, but will also protect your company’s interests in creating value by mitigating potential environmental and regulatory risks,” he said in his closing remarks at the launch of Khazanah Sustainability Framework and Targets here today.

Tengku Zafrul said the government’s position for 2023 remains firm in terms of enabling the implementation of ESG-focused development projects and programmes.

Tengku Zafrul said the ministry has outlined a few key priorities in the recently announced Budget 2023 Pre-Budget Statement, including Malaysia’s strategic transition from the current recovery phase to longer-term reforms.

These, he said, include facilitating better income opportunities and improved holistic wellbeing in order to achieve Keluarga Malaysia’s vision of a more inclusive and sustainable development.

“While these are promising foundations, it cannot be done in isolation. Lasting and sustainable reforms can only be achieved by uniting the entire nation behind a common sustainability vision, with participation from all parties, including the private sector,” he said.

To support longer-term ESG-based aspirations, Tengku Zafrul said the government has planned broad-based strategies and measures, including strengthening sustainability-related financing and investments, which complements the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by coordinating initiatives and programmes that incorporate ESG elements.

“The MoF’s second main strategy is to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area of ESG. Given the importance of the sector to the economy, developing the capacity of our SMEs is a key building block to achieving our ESG aspirations and our net-zero goal by 2050.

“The third main strategy is to institutionalise ESG measures. One notable example is the establishment of the Malaysia Sustainable Development Goals Trust Fund (MySDG Fund) earlier this year in collaboration with the United Nations,” he said.

With an initial contribution of RM20 million, he said this major funding collaboration demonstrates strong commitment to incorporating SDG principles into Malaysia’s national development plans and policies, while also being transparent on the fund’s utilisation. — Bernama