Sunday 19 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 23): Mega First Corp Bhd was named The Edge Billion Ringgit Club (BRC) Company of the Year for 2023 at the 14th edition of the awards on Monday.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz graced the gala dinner and awards ceremony. A total of 41 companies were given 56 awards — including four coveted corporate responsibility awards.

The Edge Media Group publisher and group chief executive officer Datuk Ho Kay Tat in his welcome address said the BRC awards had always stressed the importance of corporate responsibility since its inception 13 years ago — prior to "ESG" (environmental, social and governance) becoming a buzzword.

“Malaysia and the world have gone through a lot these past few years. Many challenges remain — and new ones have emerged — as we can see in the news every day,” Ho said.

“If fire is the test of gold and adversity of strong men — or in our case, corporations — then many BRC winners have proven their worth, with not just resilient financial performance, but also commitment towards sustainable practices and building value that last beyond quarterly and annual performances,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul (Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam)

Echoing the need for further corporate responsibility, Tengku Zafrul noted that the pursuit and management of ESG issues are not even close to achieving the targets set, for example under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The annual funding required to achieve the SDGs has an estimated US$4.2 trillion (RM20.02 trillion) gap. This funding gap will exacerbate risks of rising wealth gaps, climate change, increasing digital gaps, and cybersecurity, to name a few.

“These must be addressed quickly if we want to ensure a more sustainable foundation for our future growth,” Tengku Zafrul said.

On being named BRC Company of the Year for 2023, Mega First executive chairman Goh Nan Kioh dedicated the coveted award to his team and their continuous efforts towards the success of the company.

“The company’s trajectory is on the ascent. We have a plan and a strategy. But it takes a team — without a team implementing and executing the plan, nothing works,” Goh said.

There are 181 The Edge BRC members this year, above 178 last year, but below the all-time high of 186 in 2021.

This year’s 181 BRC members command a market cap of RM1.49 trillion or 90.4% of the combined market cap of all Bursa Malaysia-listed companies as at March 31, 2023. Last year’s 178 BRC members’ combined market cap was RM1.58 trillion or 88% of the combined market cap of all Bursa-listed companies as at March 31, 2022.

Collectively, this year’s 181 BRC members made about RM145 billion and continued to be major taxpayers, paying an estimated RM42 billion in taxes for financial year 2022 (FY2022), up from RM36 billion in taxes for FY2021.

In its 14th instalment this year, the awards honouring Corporate Malaysia’s best performing and top responsible organisations aims to spur Malaysian companies to be even better at what they do — not just financially but also as a corporate citizen.

At the 14th edition of the BRC awards, 41 companies were awarded 56 awards. (Photo by Low Yen Yeing/The Edge)

Bursa-listed companies with at least RM1 billion in market capitalisation as at March 31 each year are added to the annual The Edge BRC membership list automatically, and are evaluated on growth in profit, returns to shareholders and corporate responsibility commitments, among others. The billion-ringgit cut-off serves as an aspirational target for dynamic smaller companies. Results are audited by Deloitte Malaysia.

OCBC Bank Malaysia, a key partner since the awards' inauguration in 2010, is the main sponsor for the 14th year this year. Also returning as a sponsor for the ninth year is Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, the awards' official car. Cartier by Cortina Watch Malaysia, which supported the awards in 2020, is officially a supporting sponsor for a third year this year.

“I thank our distinguished partners for their steadfast support in celebrating Corporate Malaysia’s continued excellence. The success of the BRC as Corporate Malaysia’s benchmark awards would not be possible without their fervent support,” said Ho.

Congratulating this year’s winners, OCBC Bank Malaysia CEO Tan Chor Sen said: “Kudos to all the winners on your outstanding achievements. Your dedication and hard work deserve every bit of recognition received. As award winners, you’ve not only reached significant milestones but will serve to inspire others to reach for greatness. May your journey of success help you outdo yourself each step of the way. For those who did not win this year, I hope the experience offers valuable insights for improvement. Keep pushing the boundaries, for it’s the pursuit of excellence that leads to remarkable achievement.”

Amanda Zhang, the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and head of region for South East Asia II, lauded sustainable excellence, telling the BRC members: “Your commitment to excellence and responsible business practices is truly commendable, serving as an example for the corporate community in Malaysia. It is important to remember that recognition is just one step in your sustainability journey, not the final destination. Stay resolute in your dedication towards shaping a brighter and more sustainable future.”

Tay Liam Khoon, the managing director of Cortina Watch Malaysia, urged BRC members to strive on: “Your hard work and success deserve to be celebrated. And to the other Billion Ringgit Club members who did not win this year, remember that success is not defined by awards alone. Keep striving for excellence and never lose sight of your goals. Your achievements and contributions are still valuable and important.”

Last year, Frontken Corp Bhd was Company of the Year. Other past winners were ViTrox Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, Nestlé (M) Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, DiGi.Com Bhd, Genting Bhd, QL Resources Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd.

The Value Creator: Malaysia’s Outstanding CEO award was not given out this year, just as it was not in 2011, 2015 and 2020.

Past winners of the Value Creator: Malaysia’s Outstanding CEO award were the late Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, the chairman of Public Bank Group; former CIMB Group chairman Tan Sri Nazir Razak; former AMMB Holdings Bhd chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim; AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes; former S P Setia Bhd president and CEO Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin; former Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) president and CEO Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar; Axiata Group Bhd president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim; Sunway Group chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah; former Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar; the late Tan Sri G Gnanalingam, Westports Holdings Bhd's executive chairman; Dialog Group Bhd executive chairman and co-founder Tan Sri Ngau Boon Keat; QL Resources Bhd executive chairman Chia Song Kun; former Maybank president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Farid Alias; as well as Batu Kawan Bhd chairman and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd CEO Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian.

Details of The Edge BRC members and award winners will be published in a special supplement in the Nov 13 issue of The Edge Malaysia weekly.

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Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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