‘Work hand-in-hand with Govt’

KUALA LUMPUR: There is a strong business case for private sector players to work with the Government to achieve the nation’s sustainable development goals, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Sustainable development opens up new opportunities and big efficiency gains, drives innovation and enhances reputations, he said in his keynote speech at the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) business summit at the Securities Commission Malaysia here yesterday.

He said this was why more than 9,000 companies around the world had adopted the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, a guide to sustainable business behaviour.

The SDG is a set of 17 goals adopted by UN member countries, including Malaysia, to address extreme poverty, inequality and environmental issues over the next 15 years.

Dr Wee said the nation was facing challenges driven by broad economic, social, technological, demographic and environmental megatrends.

He said Malaysians, while pursuing prosperity, should ensure that they leave the country in a better state than when they inherited it from the previous generation.

UN Malaysia resident coordinator Stefan Priesner said although it was the Government that made the pledge to the SDG, it would not be achievable without a buy-in from the private sector.

He called on the sector to ensure gender equality in the workplace, go beyond corporate social responsibility in its sustainability efforts, and make investment decisions in line with SDG principles.

Dr Wee, who is also MCA deputy president, also commented on the issue of rampant gambling dens, at a press conference later.

Gambling is not a part of Chinese culture, and it is a bad habit that needs to be stopped, he said, adding that the problem affected people of all races.

Citing Home Ministry statistics, he said the two states having the most illegal gambling dens with slot machines were Selangor and Penang.

Such dens had been in the spotlight recently, following the robbery-rape of an employee at an illegal gambling centre in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, and the MACC crackdown on senior Melaka police officers allegedly on the take from vice den operators.

Wee said the Cabinet had empowered Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani to take strict measures on the importing of slot machines, so that only those with the proper licences can bring them in.

Source: Malaysian Trades Union Congress