Petaling Jaya, 12 December 2023 – Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) took a bold stance at the forefront of advocating for inclusivity during its annual celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Held at the Sime Darby Plantation Auditorium, the event that was graced by YSD Chairman Y.A.M. Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar, OKU Sentral President Datuk (Dr) Ras Adiba Radzi, and YSD CEO Dr Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin along with the senior management representatives of Sime Darby Plantation, Sime Darby Berhad, and Sime Darby Property, gathered key advocates for the community of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), YSD Special Needs scholars, and Sime Darby’s very own employees.

Being much more than a celebration, the event served as a platform to amplify the exceptional talents and achievements of PWDs supported by the foundation and those working in the Sime Darby companies. YSD echoed the powerful sentiment of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much,” in emphasising that collaborations are crucial in their dedication to fostering environments where every member of the community can flourish.

Under the theme Advancing Inclusion: Empowerment of PWDs in the Workplace, the event set the stage for inspiring conversations with PWD advocates. A sharing session by two inspiring Sime Darby employees with disabilities illuminated the challenges faced and triumphs that they had personally achieved in the workplace, serving as proof of the Sime Darby commitment towards creating an inclusive professional landscape.

The celebration spotlighted YSD’s ongoing efforts in creating an inclusive society. From scholarships to impactful partnerships with organisations such as IDEAS Autism Centre, Yayasan Orang Kurang Upaya Kelantan (YOKUK), and the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf (MFD), the foundation remains steadfast in driving positive change for the country.

“Today’s celebration is our collective call to action, challenging us to redefine perspectives and pave the way for a Malaysia that thrives on inclusivity. At YSD, we believe in supporting underserved communities where our multi-pronged approach aims not just to assist and support, but to create long term positive contributions for the nation. In collaboration with our generous donors and other likeminded organisations, we aspire to move closer to producing solutions and implementing improvements towards equity for PWDs,” said Tunku Imran.

In advocating the right for work and social inclusivity in the workplace, a panel discussion moderated by AKRAB Resources Co-founder and Yayasan Tabung Haji Board of Trustees Y.M. Raja Azura Raja Mahayuddin featured esteemed panellists from Accenture, Majlis Belia OKU Malaysia, MFD, and the Social Security Organisation or PERKESO.

Since 2010, YSD, committed to providing quality education for all, has invested over RM7 million in scholarships and bursaries to empower 201 students with disabilities to pursue their studies in certificate, diploma and degree programmes. Beyond financial assistance, YSD’s support serves as a catalyst for an environment where individuals with disabilities can thrive academically while building their life skills by being immersed in YSD THRIVE, YSD’s scholar development programme.

The event also witnessed a presentation of certificates to the 4 YSD THRIVE PWD mentors Faiz Shuhaimi, Muhammad Firdaus Abu Hassan, Ang Shin Yee, and Ainaa Farhanah for their commitment in giving back to the current YSD scholars. Beginning January 2024, these mentors will engage with PWD scholars and share their experiences and insights to inspire future talents to effectively contribute to building a better Malaysia.

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Last Updated:
24 Jan 2024
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