Rallying to the Cause
Property developers shore up their relief efforts to battle the Covid-19 contagion
By Joseph Wong firstname.lastname@example.org
The movement control order (MCO) has been pushed back to April 28 to date as the nation continues its effort to eradicate the spread of Covid-19. While the spread of the virus has slowed, its impact on the property industry has been negatively felt. But that has not stopped many developers from playing their part in combating the contagion.
Many have been quietly supporting and providing relief efforts to the frontliners, amounting to millions to ringgit, as part of their community social responsibility (CSR) endeavours. Among them are Sunway Group (Sunway), Mah Sing Group Bhd (Mah Sing), JL99 Group (JL99), SP Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd and LBS Bina Group (LBS).
To date, master community builder Sunway has pledged one of the most significant amounts at RM34mil, which is set to benefit at least 40,000 people across the nation. “We know the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the nation and its people financially, socially and emotionally. We would like to do what we can, as a conglomerate with businesses across the country, to provide support and relief efforts for our communities,” said Sunway founder and chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah.
The contributions include up to RM12mil from Sunway’s healthcare division to cover the cost of subsidising treatment for public patients from government hospitals. Its other business units like Sunway Property, Sunway Malls and Sunway Hotels also donated medical and hygiene supplies such as electronic infrared thermometers, face masks, sanitisers, blankets, shower gel, shampoo and dental kits, as well as packed food and groceries to local councils, hospitals and various organisations.
Mah Sing also did their part, committing RM4.1mil of support via its corporate responsibility arm, Mah Sing Foundation (MSF) in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Included in the pledge was 20 units of the much-needed heavy-duty critical-care ventilators worth RM3.9mil, which will be distributed to front line hospitals.
Mah Sing founder and group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said about 100,000 face masks were deployed to keep the frontliners safe. And RM50,000 was donated to the Tabung Bencana Negeri Johor for the purchase of protective equipment for the healthcare front liners. Sime Darby Property, through Yayasan Sime Darby, has collectively spent almost RM5.5mil to support Covid-19 related humanitarian efforts to date.
Of that sum, RM4mil was contributed to the national GLC and GLIC Disaster Response Network to provide streamlined support for medical supplies, personal protective equipment and ventilators to hospitals, district health clinics and frontliners with the support of the Ministry of Health and Pharmaniaga Bhd. The funds were also used to assist the B40 community and aid Mercy Malaysia.
While JL99 Group’s donation may not be as big, the RM680,000 worth of donations is no laughing matter either. In addition, its executive chairman Datuk Seri Jeff BK Lee was hands-on when it came to planning, ordering, packing and delivering of the donated items. Together with his team, they delivered and handed over the much-needed supplies to recipients including the Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Selayang Hospital and Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
While both SP Setia and UEM Sunrise have been donating sums of money to the Covid-19 cause, they also turn their attention to relief support in terms of food supplies to foreign workers and families that are affected by the extended MCO. LBS, via its foundation arm, also did its part in contributing to the cause.
All these concerted efforts towards addressing the Covid-19 pandemic is in line with the government’s call for more corporations to play an active role in limiting the spread and impact of the virus. Even as the pandemic continues to disrupt the property market, these developers have remained positive and continue in their quiet way of fighting the virus, waiting for the day when the circumstances shift back to normal, and businesses thrive again.