November 11, 2017
thoughts on

CIMB Foundation 10th Anniversary

November 11, 2017
Organized by:
CIMB Foundation
Featured on:
The Curve, Mutiara Damansara
featured on
The Curve, Mutiara Damansara
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We are committed to building exponentially on that success and I hope all of our staff, friends and partners will work with us to ensure even more communities are empowered and more lives changed.

Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, Chairman of CIMB Foundation My fellow trustees
Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, CEO of CIMB Group Dato’ Hamidah Naziadin, CEO of CIMB Foundation Foundation partners, beneficiaries and friends Distinguished guests 

Good afternoon.


CIMB Foundation turns 10 today. Thank you, everyone, for being here to celebrate a decade of CIMB empowering communities and changing lives. 

On this day, 10 years ago, CIMB Foundation was the first major corporate foundation to be set up after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. We started a new trend also with the scale of our financial commitment of RM100 million, as well as the way the Foundation’s activities were embedded into CIMB Group’s organisation and business. 


The Foundation’s CSR efforts have been centered on 3 pillars - Community Development, Education and Sports. 

Under the Community Development pillar, we have Community Link, our innovative flagship programme that won the Prime Minister’s CSR Award in 2009. Under the programme, CIMB Bank branches nationwide engage our customers to help identify projects and causes that we should support in the communities in which we conduct our business. CIMB Group staff commit to dedicating their own time and energy to each cause supported by the Foundation. Over the past 10 years, Community Link has supported 733 projects and causes nationwide, and touched the lives of over 650,000 Malaysians. 

Under the Sports pillar, we have nurtured talent in football, rugby and golf, amongst others. Our biggest impact has, undoubtedly, been on squash. Our CIMB Junior Squash Development Programme, which spots talent from the tender age of 8, has already spawned world junior champions and other exciting potentials. The future for Malaysian squash after Nicol David leaves the court has been secured. 

The Foundation also believes in nurturing differently-abled athletes, helping them to realise their sporting goals and ambitions. In the recent ASEAN Para Games, the Foundation supported 19 paralympic athletes, who competed and did Malaysia proud, notably the blind football and wheelchair basketball teams. 

Under our Education pillar, our focus has been on youth, the future of our country. Our flagship programme, Be$mart is about leveraging the financial expertise of CIMB’s staff - branch managers, credit managers, wealth managers and financial planners - to help equip young Malaysians with a holistic understanding of what it takes to be financially healthy. We note that of the 96,000 individual bankruptcies last year, 24% were youth under the age of 35 so there is a desperate need to help the young to manage their finances. Launched in December 2016, Be$mart has already reached out to more than 4,000 youths nationwide. 

Ladies and gentlemen


Since its inception, CIMB Foundation has contributed RM120 million to 962 projects, equivalent to 62% of CIMB Group’s total CSR spend of RM193 million in the past decade. CSR activities outside Malaysia and those that are not within the Foundation’s 3 pillars do not come under the ambit of the Foundation. 

CIMB is extremely proud of the Foundation’s activities and achievements, and would like to put on record its gratitude to those who have been involved in one way or other over these 10 years: Our first and second chairmen, Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob and Tan Sri Md Nor, fellow trustees, past and present CEOs, staff of CIMB Foundation and CIMB Group and, not least, all our partner organisations. Together we have made a huge impact. 

Ladies and gentlemen


When it comes to CSR, it is never enough and there is always so much more to do. A 10th anniversary is a great time to reflect and assess how one can do better, and we have done just that. After extensive deliberations at the Boards of CIMB Group and CIMB Foundation, we have decided to recalibrate CIMB’s CSR agenda for the future, based on the following 5 key thrusts: 

  1. Bigger spend – CIMB believes that corporates should commit more to CSR, especially in this age of rising inequality and uncertain, disruptive change. There are no hard and fast rules on how much a company should set aside for CSR, but, for the next 3 years, CIMB is committing to spend annually 1% of the Group’s profit before tax. This means that our estimated CSR spend in 2018 will be about RM65 million to RM75 million, compared with an estimated RM23 million in 2017. In other words, we are announcing here today that CIMB’s annual spend on CSR will triple in size. 
  2. More staff involvement, instilling a culture of giving back all across CIMB –Last week, we launched Flex4CSR, where staff can take up to 1 month of paid leave to work on Foundation’s CSR activities. In our experience, staff commitment and energy can more than double the impact of every dollar spent.
  3. More junior sports development – Since we have had excellent results from our long-term commitment to junior squash development, we believe that we can and should replicate that success in other sports, nurturing more sportsmen and sportswomen who can make Malaysia proud in the international arena. I am, therefore, pleased to announce that we have agreed to a long-term partnership with Junior Cycling Malaysia; details will be announced later this month.
  4. Regionalising Community Link and Be $mart–Our Community Development and Education pillars will continue to be expanded in Malaysia, but they will now also be replicated in other ASEAN countries where CIMB operates. I am pleased to announce that Community Link and Be$mart will be launched in Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia next year.
  5. ‘‘Diversity and Inclusion” is introduced as a new guiding principle that cuts across our 3 pillars, and, therefore, all our activities. From now on, all organisations and programmes that CIMB Foundation supports must adhere to key tenets that promote better communal relations, diversity and inclusion. In bringing this new guiding principle to life, we will launch a new flagship programme - the CIMB Mozek Camp. This new initiative is a direct outcome of the recent research on ethnic relations in Malaysia by Oxford University and Merdeka Center, funded by CIMB Foundation, which concluded that Malaysians live together, but are growing apart and more cross-communal interaction is needed, especially for our kids. The camps will be for children, who attend national or vocational schools, and whose parents feel they need more multicultural understanding and experiences. A pilot camp will be launched on 30 November in Pasir Gudang, Johor; more details about CIMB Mozek will be announced then.

Ladies and gentlemen


I believe that all companies must imbue CSR into their corporate value systems. In all the confusion about the future, capitalism, neo-populism, de-globalisation, Fourth Industrial Revolution and so on, what is certain is that businesses can no longer be just about profits and shareholders. The new-age corporation can continue to look forwards with competitive aggression, but it must, at the same time, look sideways with love and compassion. 

Over the next 10 years, CIMB’s CSR activities will grow in scale and impact not only in Malaysia, but also across ASEAN. We will not rest on our laurels from all that we have achieved in the Foundation’s first 10 years. We are committed to building exponentially on that success and I hope all of our staff, friends and partners will work with us to ensure even more communities are empowered and more lives changed by CIMB Foundation. 

Thank you. 

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