JOHOR BAHARU, May 18 – Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd will spend more than RM5 million this year on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to cater for various segments of society nationwide. Its Head of Strategic Relations, Datuk Wan Ismail Wan Yusoh said apart from providing end-to-end financial solutions in Islamic banking, the bank also emphasises on improving and enriching the lives of destitutes and underserved.

“Through our branches around Malaysia, we identify the poor and needy groups who need our assistance. We also collaborate with states religious councils as well as the Welfare Department to ensure that the assistance goes to those who are really in need,” he told Bernama after presenting prizes to winners of Bank Islam & Bernama Media Treasure Hunt 2014 at Lotus Desaru Resort last night.

Also attending the ceremony was Bernama General Manager Datuk Yong Soo Heong and Bank Islam’s Head of Strategic Planning, Hizamuddin Jamalludin. The CSR programmes planned this year include housing projects for the needy in Johor, which involved the rehabilitation and construction of houses for 22 families costing more than RM4 million. So far, the bank has built or rehabilitated houses for more than 151 improverished families in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Pahang, Perak and Sarawak. Wan Ismail said the bank is also looking to extend it CSR activities in Sabah as there is still a need for houses for the poor as well as basic infrastructure like surau and others.

He said through event such as treasure hunt, it served as a platform for participants to make meaningful contributions to society. Bank Islam has been organising the event together with Bernama since 2011. For this year, 40 cars comprising 160 journalists from all major media organisations participated and managed to get a glimpse of the life of the fishing community in Pontian, which was one of the pit stops of the treasure hunt race.

The NSTP group, who called themselves “Close One Eye”, comprising senior journalists Farrah Naz Karim, Haris Hussain, Chok Suat Ling and Ramlan Said, bagged the first prize, followed by the mixed group from Bernama, The Sun and TV3 named “Men in Black” placed in second. Both groups earned cash prizes of RM4,000 and RM3,000 each respectively.

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