“Everyone has a heart of compassion…The heart of compassion means benevolence…The act of benevolence starts from the heart of compassion.”
Good evening, DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Distinguished guests,
On behalf of Members of Corporate Citizen Foundation, Teng Soo Hai, Charles Quek, Wong Chin Sing, Lau Er Huat, I would like to express my heart-felt appreciation to all of you for gracing this occasion. We like to thank the esteemed religious leaders for leading the prayer for the success of the foundation and the safety of members and partners in future good work. We would also like to thank HSL, not just hosting this event, also secondment of an experience staff to the foundation, administrative and secretariat support and complimentary office space for the initial incubating years.
Corporate Citizen Foundation is an independent non-profit organization to do good work. Some of you may be wondering what is Corporate Citizen Foundation? Why are we doing this? And what has this Foundation got to do with private corporations? I will spend the next few minutes sharing about Corporate Citizen Foundation, in short known as CCF. What is our CORE, our COMMITMENT, and how are we going to move FORWARD?
We believed that Where Good Work Yields Goodwill. This is a virtuous cycle that reinforces each other. CCF’s vision is to be a catalyst that triggers corporate collaboration towards a better, safer and friendlier Asia.
As mentioned by our DPM, we believed that the private corporations have much to offer beyond just donations. The private corporation value propositions are our respective core business expertise, business network and most importantly our operational efficiency and productivity. Therefore, the foundation’s mission is to improve capacity and resilience of vulnerable regional communities through collective and constructive corporate collaborations.
The Foundation is committed to bring together like-spirited corporations to engage the vulnerable regional communities. The Foundation is committed to support the vulnerable communities in addressing their social-economic challenges. And we want to help establish reliable disaster management mechanisms in a timely and appropriate intervention so that they can get out of the disaster and recovery vicious cycle. These are our priorities.
Therefore moving Forward, our focus lies in Sustainable Development for the vulnerable communities. We see sustainable livelihood as the fundamental lever to empower the communities to alleviate economical disadvantages. Through skill development, education, livelihood enhancement and Water-Sanitation development, the Foundation can make a positive impact on the communities.
Just to cite an example, some of you may hear about the overgrown Water Hyacinth that choked the rivers in the Philippines. The rapid and aggressive reproduction of water hyacinth had posed several problems to the communities. It hindered the water transportation, it clogged intakes of irrigation and water-supply system, it caused water-borne diseases, it deprived fishing opportunities as a livelihood and during raining season, it aggravated the flooding situation.
The simplistic solution to the issue is to regularly clear the Hyacinth and dispose them as a waste. It is costly to do that. Putting on the thinking hat of a businessman with a social cause, we can find efficient ways to clear the Hyacinth waste, turn the waste into useful resources or products, brand it, market it and generate income for the communities, thus it motivates and empowers them to own the programme.
We can bring onboard Engineering and Waste Management company to develop a process of harvesting the water hyacinth, an Art Design Firm or School to design and train the local in turning the fibre of water hyacinth into designer sandals, a Branding and Marketing firm to help open and penetrate into large potential markets in Europe, America and Asia.
Engage an accounting firm or school to educate the communities on financial management and also engage our network of private corporations to buy these products as corporate gifts with a CSR story behind every gift. Now banding together several private corporations, we have a sustainable development that is enhancing livelihood, prevent flood and mitigate the risk of diseases!
CCF is not a fair-weather foundation; CCF is also prepared to provide timely and appropriate intervention during the time of crisis. CCF is partnering some of the great corporations to establish a Swift Emergency Evaluation Deployment (SEED) team to provide immediate need assessment and bridge the first mile during the disaster. I like to take this opportunity to thank our pioneering SEED partners, Golden Season, HSL, Media Corporation, Pacific Flight Services and Thomson Medical. We need maverick like you to trail blaze this new journey!
Finally, I love the wisdom and art of the Chinese culture. The word “仁” consists of 2 parts that are “人” human or people and “二” the number two. Two people coming together connote connectivity, relationship and mutual support. It is about helping each other. Going deeper into the meaning, it means benevolence, humaneness and kindness.
This is the very spirit that we mooted the idea of CCF. We believe that good work yields goodwill, goodwill begets good work and the virtuous cycle gains momentum. This will makes a better, safer and friendlier Asia!
Mr Lim Choo Leng
Corporate Citizen Foundation