- I would like to begin by thanking Maybank for inviting me to this event to celebrate the bank’s 50thanniversary. I am indeed honoured to participate in this auspicious occasion. I am also pleased to spend time here with the cream of Malaysia’s banking community, and especially, with Maybank’s highly professional staff. This event is a tribute to Maybank employees’ long-term commitment and excellent results.
- Being here reminds me of my visit to Menara Maybank on 31 May of this year to join the Group’s staff in marking the 50th anniversary of Maybank’s incorporation. The reception I received there was overwhelming, and the atmosphere at the staff rally was stirring. It reflected the “tiger” spirit of Maybank staff – a spirit which has been nurtured throughout the Group’s rich history.
- Beyond this, I feel a personal attachment to the bank. I remember my first encounter with Maybank in 1986, when I obtained a credit card. I have been a loyal customer of this “tiger” ever since. Together with all Malaysians, I have proudly watched the organisation grow and expand over the years.
- So when Dato’ Sri Wahid personally asked me to grace tonight’s gala dinner, I was eager to accept the invitation. After all, Maybank is the premier bank in Malaysia and a national icon. It has played a major role in Malaysia’s post-independence development. Maybank is truly the rakyat’s bank – with locations throughout the country in both urban and rural areas. Syabas!
- As I stand here today, I am amazed to consider the journey the bank has undertaken over the past half-century. There is no doubt the Group has progressed in tandem with the nation’s development, and it has helped build a solid foundation for the nation.
- I believe the bank’s position reflects the vision of Maybank’s founding fathers who, from the outset, wanted Maybank to be a dynamic change-agent. Since then, the Maybank group has done just that by financing business expansion and supporting development projects.
- Maybank – like the tiger in its logo – has taken bold steps to expand its network, even venturing abroad to establish operations in countries like Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the U.K. This too was based on national goals – which were to support Malaysian companies as they expanded overseas. I am proud that, even with its many successes, Maybank continues to place the nation’s interest at its heart.
- Many of us remember Maybank being promoted as “everybody’s bank.” That’s how Malaysians fondly referred to it in the early years. There was invariably a Maybank in every town which offered the convenience of banking to all Malaysians. Prior to that, many had to depend mostly on foreign banks. I can see that Maybank embodies the 1Malaysia “Rakyat didahulukan” concept and has from the beginning. Today, you can still see how the bank lives up to this idea with its diverse group of employees who offer services to every segment of the community throughout the country and beyond Malaysia’s shores.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
- The important role of banks in supporting national development has been almost unchanged since the early years. Bank financing and support to private sector investment have ensured Malaysia’s continued economic development.
- Under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme, the financial sector has been identified as a key driver to support Malaysia’s GDP growth goal, which need to be maintained at 6 per cent per year. This is the pace needed to achieve our aspiration to become a high income, developed nation by 2020. Our objective is to achieve per capita income of at least USD 15,000 per year – that’s nearly RM47,000 per year.
- This goal will require an estimated RM1.4 trillion investment over a ten-year period. We expect banks to help fund projects that will drive our economy forward, so we can achieve this aspiration.
- Banks benefit from development as well. Expanded domestic economic activity will create potential financing opportunities of RM1.29 trillion. With over 90 per cent of financing expected to come from the private sector, there is no doubt that banks will be among the beneficiaries of the nation’s economic advancements. I am grateful for Maybank’s ongoing commitment to finance projects that contribute to national goals.
- Banks will also find opportunities from the enlarged scope of the 10 Entry Point Projects for the financial services – one of our national key economic areas. These will be in equity and bond markets, payments, insurance, private pensions, wealth and asset management as well as Islamic banking.
- With high expectations placed on the financial services sector to secure the country’s future, it is incumbent on large institutions, like Maybank, to lead the way and help facilitate the next phase of Malaysia’s development. I am confident that Maybank will again rise to the occasion as it has in the past, especially given its current size, expertise and funding capabilities. In fact, I was proud to see that Maybank is now ranked among the top financial institutions in the ASEAN region – with total assets exceeding RM 344 billion and profit after tax exceeding RM 3.7 billion.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
- The last 53 years since independence have shown that Malaysia has been able to develop and compete in international markets. This is true not only in terms of trade and exports but also in the service sector, where organizations like Maybank have thrived in the global marketplace. I am confident that the expertise and experience Maybank has gained over the last half-century will support its future growth in the region’s financial services sector.
- It is also heartening to note that, in spite of all its successes, Maybank has maintained its commitment to corporate responsibility, especially to disadvantaged communities. From welfare to education, conservation to sports, and medical causes to the arts, Maybank has touched almost every facet of society.
- This year, Maybank introduced another innovative project – its Global CSR Day. I am told that over 10,000 Maybank employees throughout its global network participated in community activities on the same day last month. This a milestone for a Malaysian corporation. Indeed, it is a proud day when a Malaysian company leads the way by initiating such a meaningful undertaking. I wish to encourage more organisations to follow this example by pursuing similar good works not only here but in other countries where they operate.
- And the good work continues. Today, it is indeed a privilege to know that the bank will launch theMaybank Foundation, with an initial RM50 million endowment. Its mission is to help disadvantaged communities and support worthy causes throughout its network. I commend Maybank for creating this foundation which will help provide a better future for people in communities where it operates.
- I am also glad to note that Maybank is leaving another legacy to mark its 50 years in business – a 1Malaysia sculpture that will be on display in Menara Maybank. When I visited the building in May, I was shown a replica of the sculpture, which embodies the elements of our varied Malaysian cultures. Today, this vision has become a reality. The sculpture will bear testimony to the multiculturalism of 1Malaysia, which has provided a strong foundation for the bank.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
- In closing, I want to commend the Board and management of Maybank for their visionary leadership and success in steering the bank towards its objectives and aspirations. It is now well on its way to becoming a regional financial services leader. Credit must also go to the founding fathers, its current leaders and employees who have made this company a national icon.
- I am confident that Maybank will continue to prosper over the next 50 years as well. I wish you a successful journey as you embark on the next phase of growth.
Thank you, and have a wonderful evening.
Wabillahitaufiq Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.