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Alliance Islamic Bank’s EcoBiz Project to Revitalise Urban River Surroundings

More than 125 university students representing 9 schools vie to originate the most innovative idea for the Sungai Kerayong community.

Kuala Lumpur, 3 December 2018 –More than 125 youths from 9 Malaysian universities joined forces in the Eco-Biz Dream Project 3 to ideate and originate innovative and viable solutions to improve living conditions of the community around Kuala Lumpur’s Sungai Kerayong.

Eco-Biz Dream Project is an initiative organised by Alliance Islamic Bank in collaboration with EcoKnights, Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) and Asia School of Business (“ASB”) with an aim to provide real solutions to a real environmental issue. The programme seeks to nurture and develop university students into future social entrepreneurs, by fostering their ideas of sustainable solution and realising them through implementation.

The project looks into issues such as the restoration of the river banks, water quality, and urban poor to community programmes that aim to bring traffic and commerce to the immediate areas. Managing pollution of Malaysia’s rivers and its surrounding areas, especially those that traverse urban zones has been a persistent challenge for city councils.

“Alliance Islamic Bank is looking for fresh ideas and holistic solutions that can resolve some of the issues of the surrounding areas in a sustainable and inclusive manner. We can only create real impact if we approach the issue from an overall ecosystem. In terms of economics, a value-based intermediation approach will play a role in the success of the revitalisation of the community,” said Rizal IL- Ehzan, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Islamic Bank at the Design Thinking Workshop with ASB.

Over the weekend, 10 finalists of Eco-Biz Dream Project 3 attended the Design Thinking Workshop conducted by ASB and gathered to meet the community of Sungai Kerayong to gain a better understanding on the issues faced by the community.

“This is a way for us to give back to society and the local community. Presently, there is still a socioeconomic gap within the city. We want to help bridge this gap by first addressing the main concerns around safety and cleanliness and then to create a conducive environment that will attract people to the river,” explained Lim Fang Sheng, representing his team, Monash GreenLab from Monash University Malaysia.

“Even if we apply the most advanced technology, it will not change if the waste is still coming from the surrounding community. Education is the way. To develop a sustainable solution, we need to tackle the main factor causing the pollution, humans. The main concept of our proposal is to make sure that environment is the new passion and recycling is a new habit for the surrounding community. Our end goal is behavior change, and for this to become a chain reaction to communities outside of Sungai Kerayong,” expressed team Adiwangsa from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Professor Rajesh Nair of ASB shared, “The workshop with the students is less about teaching and more about action based learning. ASB’s approach is to learn through doing. Over the two-day workshop, the students will understand the magnitude of approaching a problem. We will take them through the thinking process of identifying problems, developing and implementing solutions, reaching the desired audience, and studying the financial side of things,” he continued.

This year marks the third installment of the Bank’s Eco-Biz Dream Project. Alliance Islamic Bank is committed to implement and make the winning idea a reality, as part of the Bank’s value-based intermediation initiative.

In addition to the Eco-Biz Dream Project, the Bank’s other corporate responsibility initiatives include the AEIOU financial literacy challenge for school students, as well as the BizSmart Challenge for SMEs, the first reality TV business programme by a financial institution in Malaysia.

(Seated, seventh from left) Giuseppe Taibi, Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of Alliance Bank, Rizal IL-Ehzan bin Fadil Azim, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Islamic Bank, and Professor Rajesh Nair of the Asia School of Business together with finalists from 9 universities at the Alliance Islamic Bank’s Eco-Biz Dream Project Design Thinking Workshop.

Finalists of Alliance Islamic Bank’s Eco-Biz Dream Project Workshop visiting one of the Sungai Kerayong locations to assess environmental issues and needs.

Finalists of Alliance Islamic Bank’s Eco-Biz Dream Project being briefed on-site by representatives from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, and River Consultants from the River of Life Initiative during their field trip to Sungai Kerayong.

 

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About Alliance Islamic Bank Berhad

Alliance Islamic Bank Berhad (AIS) is Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad’s (Alliance Bank) end-to-end Islamic products and banking specialists and provides the Bank’s clients Islamic banking products that are competitive and yet complies strictly to the fundamental tenets of Shariah banking and financing in Malaysia.

The business strategy of AIS leverages on the key strengths of Alliance Bank’s business model that positions AIS towards a robust growth model for the future. As subject matter experts, AIS provides Islamic banking solutions and product expertise to support the Bank’s key client segments in the consumer, SME, commercial and corporate businesses.

AIS is proud to contribute towards the country’s efforts in making Malaysia an International Islamic Financial Centre through the complete range of Islamic products and services offered to the banking and investing public. AIS aims to progressively build the business and promote Islamic banking as a sustainable, ethical and socially responsible business.

For more information on this press release, please contact Agnes Ong, Tel: (03) 2604 3378 / 012-672 4245, or e-mail agnesong@alliancefg.com.

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