A new era in Malaysia plantation CSR?

There was apparently a few seconds of "stunned silence" at Genting Plantation's recent earnings call. The group announced a RM35 million charity contribution to Yayasan Gemilang 1 Malaysia. This amount was almost half of its 1Q2013 core net profit; comprising a RM31 million contribution from its plantation arm and RM4 million from its property arm. Such a large donation is remarkable and noteworthy. The foundation is said to be involved in efforts to eradicate poverty and promote education, arts and sports.

There were few other details on the nature of the foundation that received such a large contribution. A google for "Yayasan Gemilang 1 Malaysia" finds no significant results (other than 3 news items related to Genting Plantation's announcement), not even a website (see image below). No doubt more information will emerge, especially if other Malaysian plantation groups or corporates in other sectors made similar substantive donations.

Our preliminary and unverified queries find that Yayasan Gemilang 1 Malaysia is not directly linked to 1MDB, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that has the "1 Malaysia" moniker. 1MDB also has its own foundation that does charity work. It would be interesting to know if the personages involved in Yayasan Gemilang 1 Malaysia are in any way related to those at 1MDB though?

"1 Malaysia" is part of a campaign coined by consultants and used by the Najib administration to promote racial togetherness in Malaysia. It has been used to brand a series of health clinics and shops linked to socio-economic programs of PM Najib. We are not sure if the Registrar of Societies or Registrar of Companies would permit just any body to register an entity using the "1 Malaysia" branding.