The forum featured nine innovative solutions by the Malaysian public, with practical aims to address local, real-world challenges
Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, 29 April 2022 – Sunway Group, a leading conglomerate in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, collaborated with Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Malaysia to hold its inaugural National Solutions Forum (NSF) 2022 yesterday.
The forum was inaugurated by Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah AO, in the presence of Minister in the Prime Minister’s department (Economy) Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, and United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network President Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Organised in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group of Malaysia on Sustainable Development Goals (APPGM-SDG), the forum featured nine finalists for impactful, innovative solutions to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-related challenges in Malaysia – all of which were submissions from the Malaysian public.
Each of the nine solutions was awarded RM10,000 for their ingenuity and practicality towards sustainable goals in Malaysia. The grand prize of an additional RM10,000 was given to the team behind Powered by RISE, as it displayed a level of innovation and commitment towards real-world Malaysian challenges in sustainability.
Founded and led by Kray Chong, Powered by RISE is Malaysia’s first self-designed and self-produced electric vehicle charging station with the capability to support applications, platforms, and a payment system. With increasing concerns for the environment due to traditional transport systems, this innovative solution was introduced at an opportune moment. Powered by RISE is also the Malaysian market’s only electric vehicle charging station to date to operate on blockchain technology while providing a carbon footprint offset.
“The National Solutions Forum is an amazing forum in line with what we and our government need right now. Our environment is almost in a critical state and although there are many startups with great ideas around, we need visionary partners. This platform gives us support not just financially but with exposure as well. I’m very thankful to the organisers of the National Solutions Forum for the opportunities given, as some people truly wait an entire lifetime for an opportunity like this,” said Kray Chong, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powered by RISE, Low-Cost Electric Vehicle Charging Station.
Engendering the theme of “wellbeing”, the other eight solutions were lauded as well – for their vision to enact change to the most pressing local challenges affecting both people and the planet. These solutions addressed several real issues surrounding education and healthcare inequality, environmental impact of transport and plastic, food wastage, natural disasters forecasting, and more.
“The nine selected finalists have creatively proposed novel strategies to accelerate progress towards sustainable development by having a firm understanding of local issues – from environmental education, agriculture, poverty alleviation to the gamification of reusable bags, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and the blockchain. I applaud such innovative thinking, and I hope that the National Solutions forum can inspire more people from different walks of life to come up with solution-driven initiatives that are beneficial to society,” said YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy).
“I would like to congratulate Sunway and its founder, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, for your ongoing commitment to localise the SDGs and showcase exemplary case studies that can inspire more changemakers to follow suit,” he added.
The National Solutions Forum 2022 was modelled after the SDSN’s Global Solutions Forum, which first kicked off in September 2019 in New York City. The forum brought together the country’s top and most talented minds from government bodies, businesses, civil societies, and academia to promote sustainable solutions that address issues we see in the real world today.
“The National Solutions Forum specifically looks to highlight local solutions to local problems. Our focus with this event is to shine a light on local change makers who are making a significant impact in their communities and the nation. The grant funding from Sunway aims to help support them in scaling up their solutions. Just as important, we hope that these solutions can inspire many others to follow suit in tackling issues related to the sustainability agenda,” said Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah.
As part of its continued commitment to nation-building and advancing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Sunway Group has pledged US$20 million to the United Nations through the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. This fund has since financed the development of the Jeffrey Sachs Center for Sustainable Development at Sunway University, as well as the establishment of the Asia headquarters of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur. Today, the UN-SDSN’s Asia headquarters in Sunway City continues to coordinate worldwide sustainability initiatives with its global counterparts, headquartered in New York City and Paris.