Speech by Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh, Chairman of PETRONAS and Yayasan Petronas at the Official Launch of Yayasan PETRONAS

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh dan Salam Sejahtera
Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah binti Dr Wan Ismail
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin
President and Group Chief Executive Officer of PETRONAS
Yayasan PETRONAS’ Board of Trustees
Representatives from Non-Profit Organisations
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
A very warm welcome and a good morning.


First of all, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah Dr Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, for taking time off her busy schedule, to be with us today.

It is indeed a great privilege for me to be here to be part of an important milestone, after having seen, first-hand, many times how CSR initiatives by PETRONAS, have touched many people’s lives.

Now, please allow me to share the story of Sarel Marikau from Kota Marudu, Sabah. It is a story of sheer tenacity. The 10-year old would walk for three hours every day from his village to the classroom armed with a pencil and spirit as mighty as Mount Kinabalu,
determined to make it in life.

Sarel’s lease of hope came through PETRONAS’ Program Sentuhan Ilmu which gave him and other students the assistance they needed. Today, Sarel writes about his journeys, his friendships and ambitions. He would not trade the education tools he received
from PETRONAS for anything, he says. In fact, he has just completed his SPM with flying colours.

Closer to home, we’ve seen the transformation of a town. The modest and quiet Kerteh is now bustling with its own airport, schools, commercial and residential developments as well as its very own port for exporting crude and petrochemical products.

From the 1970s till today, PETRONAS has been supporting local communities through a variety of CSR programmes – from job seekers, young students, handicraft sellers to hard-hat technicians.

Whether a ten-year old kid or a thriving town, we’ve seen the transformative effect of community engagement, and we will continue to take both a long and short term view to translate our learnings and experience so that more Malaysians can share in this

Yayasan PETRONAS: Taking it Forward

Yayasan PETRONAS aims to effectively extend what PETRONAS has done for communities and the environment, spanning more than four decades, with greater social value and sustainable impact.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be announcing specific programmes under our three focus areas – Education, Community Wellbeing and Environment.

For Education, our pursuit is to spur greater interest among children in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This is in view of STEM’s importance in shaping the nation’s next phase of growth as well as to support the country’s objective of a 60:40 STEM enrolment in our education system. We believe that each child is uniquely gifted with potential for achievement that should be nurtured and developed with energy and enthusiasm.

In addressing issues related to Community Wellbeing, Yayasan PETRONAS aims to better the standards of living for underprivileged communities and youths by creating pathways for
sustainable livelihood. This can be in the form of increasing employability or supporting communities to be more self-reliant. It includes examining how they can grow their income levels through entrepreneurship programmes. We are looking at ways to improve access to opportunities and innovation as means to break the circle of poverty.

Meanwhile, our goal is to also to better the environment through biodiversity, conservation and carbon neutral programmes. We will complement the environmental sustainability works of PETRONAS in this sphere.

Our conservation effort is located in Sabah’s south-eastern region – Imbak Canyon – a treasure trove for bio-diversity. PETRONAS has already contributed 83 million ringgit towards the conservation of this forest reserve and the development of its studies centre, Imbak
Canyon Study Centre (ICSC). We will continue our conservation effort for Imbak Canyon under Yayasan PETRONAS, and through ICSC, we hope to spur the discovery of new species and uncover the medicinal properties of the flora and fauna there and hopefully make scientific breakthrough that can even change the face of modern medicine.

On similar note, Yayasan PETRONAS will continue to support a variety of environmental conservation programmes – from marine and mangrove to rivers and shores, to support the country’s sustainability agenda.

Where Good Flourishes

Ladies and gentlemen,

Through our work in these three focus areas, we aspire to create an environment ‘Where Good Flourishes’.

We believe that we hold the earth’s resources in trust and we share the accountability to ensure its wellbeing, while we harness its potential for the benefit of mankind.

Yayasan PETRONAS’ goal is to create spaces and pathways where we can nurture collaborations so that efforts to create good is a journey shared by everyone — corporations, institutions, organisations, communities, and the government. After all, we are working towards the collective good for all.

It is our hope that Yayasan PETRONAS will be successful in building bridges to ensure that good is spread further, by engaging a broader ecosystem in driving sustainable change. I look forward to the Foundation growing into a recognised and respected institution that delivers impact together with its partners.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Before I end my speech, I would like invite you to spend some time to visit our exhibition. What you will see behind these walls do not do justice to the huge effort taken to transform these lives, nor the hours of labour and sweat that have allowed the seedlings to sprout, but we hope that the glimpses that we’ve captured here will inspire us to continue doing good.

A very special thank you to the Yayasan PETRONAS team that has worked tirelessly, for many months, in not only ensuring a smooth launch, but also for bringing this purpose to life.

On behalf of Yayasan PETRONAS, I would like to express my gratitude to Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah for being with us today. It is an honour to have you with us – as we take cue from a leader who cares for the wellbeing of all Malaysians.

Thank you all for joining us in this momentous event.

Wabillahi Taufiq Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.