The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2017

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 17, 2017.
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Nestlé Malaysia team to feature fresh faces

Nestlé (M) Bhd, which is one of the in-kind sponsors of The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2017, will field a team with fresh faces this year.

Team leader Loo Teng Fang says runners from various departments are taking part in the race.

“We have runners joining us from our Nestlé factory in Petaling Jaya and we do have many new faces on the team. They are very excited to represent Nestlé this year,” he tells The Edge.

The team is made up of five members — Loo from the human resources department, Christophe Baey from the innovation department, and Chong Min Yen, Ho Wan Ri and Mohd Sharudin Mohamed from the technical and production department.

Loo says the big challenge is to coordinate the team’s training sessions.

“It is all about getting fit and psyching ourselves up. The challenge is coordinating suitable training times that take into account everyone’s shifts,” he says.

Loo, a regular participant of The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race for the past 11 years, says the event is a good effort to bring Corporate Malaysia together to support good causes.

“As a repeat participant since 2006, I always look forward to running the annual race with my colleagues,” he says.

“We are all proud to have the opportunity to represent our company in a healthy competition, and the training encourages us to make some positive lifestyle changes,” he says, adding that it is in line with Nestlé’s objective to enhance the quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.


Genting Malaysia senior executive sets out to break his own record

James Koh, senior vice-president of finance and corporate affairs at Genting Malaysia Bhd, has set his sights on breaking his previous record at the The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2017.

Last year, he completed the 1.5km CEO Race category within eight minutes. This will be Koh’s sixth time running The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race, which returns on July 25.

According to Koh, a fun fact of racing habits released during the US National Running Day in 2013 revealed that the primary reason people enter races is to achieve personal goals. “While this resonates with my plan, I also enjoy running.”

Koh is of the view that the CEO Race category allows senior management to break away from their usual routine and tight schedules and do a little outdoor activity.

“Senior management taking part can look forward to building ties and camaraderie with their employees and other participants. And since this run benefits various charities, it helps us contribute to a common good — the underprivileged who need our support even more during these challenging economic times,” he tells The Edge.

Apart from The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race, Genting Malaysia supports numerous other fundraisers, as well as offering regular contributions to charitable organisations.

“While contributing regularly to the community we live in, in recent years we have been doing more in the environment sector. For example, we are adopting environmentally-sound infrastructure systems and technology across our resorts that will help substantially reduce water and energy consumption and waste generation.

“One of the most recent and significant milestones in this area is the development of the renewable energy hot water system for First World Hotel’s Tower 3 at Resorts World Genting,” says Koh.

The system enables the hotel to harvest free and renewable heat energy from ambient air at a lower temperature and heat water to the optimal temperature using a small amount of energy. The system was noted in the Malaysia Book of Records as the country’s largest renewable hot water system for the hotel industry.

For its part, Genting Malaysia believes that corporate responsibility (CR) is how a company does business, guided by its core values. It considers as good CR how a company manages its financial and economic impact with as much attention to how its business activities affect all stakeholders across the value chain and beyond, from customers and employees to the local communities where it operates.

“On a larger scale, when a company adopts good CR, it holds itself accountable for its footprint within the larger context of society, across economic strata and within the global environment,” says Koh.

This year, Edmund Lai Weai Boon, manager of risk management at Genting Malaysia, will be the company’s team leader. Lai is no stranger to the race, coming in as the second runner-up in the open category last year.

An avid long-distance runner, Lai has been running regularly to maintain his stamina. “However, a couple of weeks before the race, I will intensify the speed training as The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race is short and fast, and we have many younger runners to compete with,” he says.


Health, fitness complement a successful career

What motivates Mok Wan Kong, audit partner at KPMG Malaysia, to run is being able to lead the way and show others that health and fitness can complement a successful career.

Running in The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race for the second time, Mok says he works out regularly and is proud to represent KPMG. He says he hopes to do his best to inspire others.

Asked what he thinks about getting top-level management to run for charity, Mok says: “It’s a brilliant idea. Leadership by example would definitely inspire others to give back to the community.”

He adds that being committed to communities is embedded in KPMG’s values, with its voluntary efforts spread across Asean.

“We participate in various community projects, not just locally but also in Asean, such as the protection of coral reefs on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the Vietnam Dalat children’s education programme, the Kiwanis Breakfast-a-Child programme and the SEATRU volunteer programme to conserve sea turtles, to name a few,” he says.

Mok believes that corporate responsibility should be embedded in an organisation and integrated in its business model.

The same sentiments are clearly echoed across KPMG as its team of runners share their support for more voluntary efforts.

“[I’d like to see] more continuous events, not just one-time events,” says KPMG executive director Yeoh Xin Yi.

KPMG director Gerald Lau thinks charity work should be voluntary and not a mandatory event.

“I just wish that everyone in the workforce would understand that we are the driving force of the nation’s economy and that we should give back all we can to those who are less fortunate,” he says.

“It’s good to give back to the community, and you get to keep fit in the process!”

KPMG executive director Siew Monsy says she wants to see more non-money-based efforts.

“More sustainable methods to help charities are needed, rather than just donating money,” she says.

This is the first time the trio are running the race and their game plan is simple — “train, train, train, train, train”.


Charity comes from the heart

To EY Malaysia, corporate responsibility (CR) programme is the desire to encourage all staff to participate in voluntary activities to make a difference.

For EY partners Julie Thong and Aaron Bromley, who will be participating in this year’s The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race, this philosophy holds true regardless of one’s position in an organisation.

“Charity comes from the heart. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a CEO or staff member when it comes to participating in a charity event,” Thong says.

That said, she thinks the participation of CEOs is important as it sets an example from the top that will hopefully encourage and motivate employees to get more involved in charitable activities.

On a personal note, Thong says there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from giving back. “For me, nothing beats the smiles and positive energy from the volunteers and the children whom we work with as part of our CR initiatives.”

On the upcoming race, the avid runner feels no pressure whatsoever as she has participated in various marathons over the last nine years.

This year, EY is also sending a team of mostly new runners, Bromley being one of them.

Asked what finally drove him to enter the race, he says the event has always looked like great fun and he decided it was time he joined in.

“Plus, some of my fellow male EY partners are getting too old for this sort of competition!” he says in jest.

According to Thong, EY’s purpose is to build a better working world for its people, clients and communities.

Apart from taking part in the Rat Race, EY also participates in economic education programmes such as the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise programme, which helps guide students through the whole business cycle process and teaches them about entrepreneurship.

The firm also takes part in Money & Me, a financial literacy programme for students conducted by The Edge Education Foundation.

“There are also many other one-off events and activities that our people are involved in throughout the year, to try to build a better world for our communities,” says EY.