Fatimah (centre) presenting the Platinum CSR Leadership award to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) represented by its Group CEO Datuk Sharbini Suhaili (second left) while (from left) SEB executive vice president for Corporate Services Aisah Eden, chairman of the Global CSR Summit and Awards 2019 Dr Martin Blake and SEB general manager for CSR and Sustainability Jiwari Abdullah look on. Photo: RAMIDI SUBARI

KUCHING: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer an option but a public expectation, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

According to her, CSR programmes and campaigns are often defined as voluntary initiatives that are central to the public relations efforts of companies. However, in recent years, the sustainability of CSR has made significant improvements in environmental and social performance.

“Particularly in 2018 and 2019, we have seen a greater push for gender diversity and equality in Sarawak which is a positive momentum towards women empowerment and community development but more improvement is needed,” she said.

“It is important for us to recognise the growing importance of adopting progressive workplace policies – for staff recruitment, talent retention and childcare facilities, amongst others,” she noted.

Fatimah (centre) presenting the Platinum CSR Leadership award to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) represented by its Group CEO Datuk Sharbini Suhaili (second left) while (from left) SEB executive vice president for Corporate Services Aisah Eden, chairman of the Global CSR Summit and Awards 2019 Dr Martin Blake and SEB general manager for CSR and Sustainability Jiwari Abdullah look on. Photo: RAMIDI SUBARI

“Therefore, government agencies, corporations and NGOs all have essential roles to play, in coming together for a common goal of women empowerment and community development – in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 5,” said Fatimah at the closing ceremony of the 11th annual Global CSR Summit and Awards 2019 at the Pullman Hotel here, yesterday.

She said her ministry is focusing on equal opportunities for women, in pre-school education, a caring society for the needy and elderly, as well as family unity as the core towards greater cohesiveness.

“Therefore, we welcome corporate bodies who are interested in collaborating with us so that we could continue our efforts to promote sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” she encouraged.

Fatimah (centre) with other officials in a photocall with the award recipients after the ceremony. Photo: RAMIDI SUBARI