National telecommunications company Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), joint winner in The Edge Billion Ringgit Club’s Best CR Initiatives award among Big Cap Companies — RM10 billion to RM40 billion market cap, is committed to helping communities thrive in a digital Malaysia, with a focus on creating invaluable, long-term benefits for the nation’s communities.

It operates on the principle of creating value by putting people first and does so via three key thrusts: education, entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Through its foundation, Yayasan TM (YTM), the company has since 1994 aided many youths by providing them with scholarships. It has disbursed RM561 million worth of scholarships to develop over 15,000 scholars into dynamic digital leaders.

In 2020 alone, YTM supported 106 students, empowering them to study in well-established institutions in Malaysia and abroad. In the same year, it provided structured development programmes designed to nurture digital leaders. These included webinar sessions with YTM’s board of trustees, online engagement sessions with scholars and an induction programme for a new scholarship intake.

“YTM also collaborated with the Ministry of Education to raise awareness of scholarships and career opportunities for Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBP). Some 69 SBPs from seven regions participated in this programme, reaching 1,154 students,” TM said in its Annual Report 2020.

Likewise, entrepreneurship is an important target area for the group owing to its potential to drive innovation, spur economic growth and promote social change.

“At TM, we actively support entrepreneurship development. We understand the role that [entrepreneurs] play in socio-economic growth. Therefore, we deliver training opportunities to equip budding entrepreneurs with essential digital and future-ready skills. We also provide funding for B40 communities to help grow their business for greater income opportunities,” TM said.

It also implemented programmes such as the TM-GIATMARA TVET Start-Up Programme in 2020, which digitally empowered technical and vocational education and training (TVET) graduates and entrepreneurs from GIATMARA, and the TM Koperasi Programme, which enhanced the socioeconomic status of rural communities through cooperative entrepreneurship development and business coaching.

Meanwhile, as Covid-19 wreaked havoc across Malaysia and the world, TM took on a proactive role in addressing the social issues communities faced due to the pandemic.

“We established an internal fundraising campaign to help mitigate the Covid-19 impact. Our volunteers, TM ROVers (Reaching Out Volunteers), helped distribute care packages, consisting of cash, dry food and other essential items, to communities affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“We also distributed care packages to other group beneficiaries, such as asnaf groups [parties eligible to receive zakat, or tithes], NGOs, Lembaga Zakat and Baiturnal and Covid-19 frontliners,” TM added.

Overall, TM channelled more than RM6.7 million into nation-building initiatives in response to the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020.

These included over RM2 million in cash for the government’s Covid-19 fund; RM2 million worth of TM care packages distributed nationwide comprising cash, essential items and dry food; RM1 million pledged to the To Malaysia with Love (TMWL) humanitarian relief campaign, an industry initiative; RM1 million channelled into the GLC and GLIC Disaster Response Network Covid-19 Fund (GDRN) for the Ministry of Health’s efforts to battle the pandemic; and RM700,000 raised by TM employees for affected communities under the TM Tabung Kebajikan Covid-19.

As co-chair of GDRN, TM also helped coordinate the RM95.4 million raised through crowdfunding efforts with GLCs (government-linked companies) and GLICs ­(government-linked investment companies), of which RM79.8 million went to medical supplies and the remaining RM15.6 million to non-medical supplies.