Datuk Paul Low: Malaysia, test bed for Corporate Social Responsibility in ASEAN

For immediate release

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 October 2015 –  YB Senator Datuk Paul Low, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said he was prepared to commit Malaysia to be a test bed for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Datuk Paul Low was the Guest-of-Honour and was speaking at the ASEAN Responsible Business Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today. The event is organised by the ASEAN CSR Network, Oxfam, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and the ASEAN Foundation.

Datuk Low shared various developments in CSR in Malaysia such as the Business Integrity Alliance, a pipeline project that will bring tools and best practices to the enterprise level. The Anti-corruption coalition for sectors has also been established. The coalition is currently working in the construction industry and is projected to expand into the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries and possibly the supply chain.

Malaysia is also committed to implementing the ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management System Standard when it is finalised. Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has developed a national action plan on human rights, which requires the participation of companies to implement it and for them to ensure their suppliers are also compliant.

Yanti Triwadiantini, Chair of ASEAN CSR Network said: “CSR, if implemented strategically and holistically, can help transform companies from profit-driven entities into agents of change for responsible and sustainable development.” She expressed her hope that during the course of the forum, the delegates representing different stakeholders can discuss how we can create an enabling environment in ASEAN for businesses to behave responsibly and ethically, thereby helping ensure what the ASEAN CSR Network envision i.e. a responsible business community that helps make ASEAN a better place to live for all.

Empowering women and agricultural development was also another key theme in the welcome remarks by Oxfam. Cherian Mathews, Regional Director, Oxfam Great Britain in Asia said: “Empowering women is key for fairness, sustainable development and food security. In fact, we can increase yields to reduce the number of hungry people by 100-150 million globally, if we can close the gender gap in agriculture”. Concrete steps by business, government and civil society is the only way to addressing such challenges. Oxfam wants to help bring together a broad range of voices, especially those of the poor and marginalised, in helping realise ASEAN Vision 2025.”

In their welcome remarks, the Ambassadors of Sweden, Canada, Japan and the UK expressed their commitment to supporting responsible businesses in ASEAN. They are also the funders of CSR and Responsible Business Conduct projects in the region.

The ASEAN Responsible Business Forum was attended by about 250 people from ASEAN. It is a regional conference designed to provide a platform for key stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and civil society to connect and advance responsible business practice and partnerships aligned with the dynamics of the ASEAN Economic Community. Beyond the enhanced role for the private sector, the Forum addresses sustainability and economic viability of the AEC through responsible business practice in agriculture, respect for human rights, assurance of decent workplace, and a path toward a corruption-free ASEAN business community.


Angela Tan  
Senior Manager, Communications & Partnerships
ASEAN CSR Network 
Email: angela@asean-csr-network.org
Skype: atan_fd
Office: +65 6827 6895

Mobile: +65 9834 2990

The Philippines
Dominic Ramirez
Communications & Support Learning Officer,
Economic Empowerment Team
Email: DRamirez@oxfam.org.uk
Skype: dom.ramirez
Office: +63 2 9294470 extension 128
Mobile: +63 9175091868

Florance Gabriel
Assistant Manager, Communications & Publications
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers
Email: florance@fmm.org.my

Office: +603-6286 7209

Diah Tantri Dwiandani (Dhanny)
Asia Economic Justice/GROW Campaign Officer Oxfam GB  Indonesia, Jakarta
Email: DDwiandani@oxfam.org.uk

Skype: dhanny.ardhanny 
Mobile: +62 185 9149 848

About ASEAN CSR Network

The ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) was established in 2011 to promote and enable responsible business conduct in ASEAN to achieve sustainable, equitable and inclusive social, environmental and economic development. Its vision is to encourage a responsible business community, making ASEAN a better place to live for ALL.

About Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in 97 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from injustice of poverty.