SDAC-Ford Continues Support for Orang Asli Empowerment Through Global Peace Foundation Malaysia

  • This is the second time that SDAC-Ford is collaborating with the foundation in extending support to Orang Asli communities.
  • The OA-Eco Farm programme is a food farming initiative that aims to empower families by promoting self-sufficiency and generating sustainable income.
  • With generous funding of US$10,000 from Ford, 22 SDAC staff volunteers visited three villages to provide much-needed farming resources and tools.
  • The volunteers also worked closely with one village to assist with equipment installation, land preparation and planting of crops.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 18 March 2024 – Sime Darby Auto ConneXion (SDAC), the sole distributor for Ford in Malaysia, recently reaffirmed its commitment to the empowerment of Orang Asli communities through a second collaboration with Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Malaysia. This time, the joint effort focused on supporting GPF’s OA-Eco Farm programme in four Orang Asli Villages in Kuala Rompin, Pahang.

The OA-Eco Farm programme is a food farming initiative that aims to enable self-sufficiency and sustainable income amongst Orang Asli families. It provides hands-on training and coaching, and subsidies such as tools and seedlings.

Backed by a generous contribution of US$10,000 (RM45,745) from Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, 22 staff volunteers from SDAC joined forces with the GPF team to visit the three villages on 9 March.

They brought donations of seedlings, farming equipment, kitchen tools and a healthy dose of enthusiasm and energy. Volunteers also worked closely with the Orang Asli community in one of the villages, assisting them in installing solar-powered equipment for their fencing system. They also helped cultivate the land by loosening soil, cutting grass and making plot lines before planting the biomass crop seedlings.

“Global Peace Foundation has been making significant strides in their efforts to empower the Orang Asli community. Their mission aligns perfectly with SDAC’s commitment to corporate citizenship and community development. We are proud to continue our partnership to make a greater impact on the lives of the Orang Asli communities,” said Turse Zuhair, Managing Director of Sime Darby Auto ConneXion-Ford.

“COVID-19 has exposed the severe food insecurity faced by the Orang Asli population. Deforestation and land encroachment worsen the situation, leading to severe malnourishment and food shortages. Food security is critical to building resiliency,” said Dr Teh Su Thye, CEO of Global Peace Foundation.

OA-Eco Farm Programme: From Farm to Market

Key challenges of food farming in Orang Asli communities include limited resources to purchase seeds, seedlings and farming tools, and environmental challenges such as droughts and soil that is hard and dry. Predominantly hunter-gatherers, training in sustainable farming techniques to manage soil health is essential for success.

Known for its dedication to supporting communities by fostering resilience and cohesion, GPF launched the OA-Eco Farm programme to address these challenges. This initiative not only enhances the livelihoods of the Orang Asli community but also promotes sustainable practices and environmental conservation.

The programme adopts a holistic farming method called Syntropic Farming that revitalises the ecosystem and regenerates the soil to ensure food security and sustainability.

In addition to training, coaching and subsidies, the foundation has created an online marketplace for the Orang Asli farmers to generate more income from their farming activities. Hosted on GPF’s website, the marketplace, which is called Kebun Amai, features various fresh fruits and vegetables and even artisanal products from the farmers and their families.

Since its inception, GPF has worked with more than 70 villages to provide access to clean water, energy, sustainable livelihood and education.

“We would like to express our gratitude to Sime Darby Auto Connexion for always committing to their contributions to the society,” said David Jeffrey, executive director of Ford Asia Pacific Distributor Markets and South Korea. “At Ford, we want to be not only a provider of quality vehicles, but we strive to build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams and that includes our efforts to care for the society we operate and help them grow sustainably. Through the perseverance of SDAC, we are able to make that happen.”

For more information about Global Peace Foundation and contribute to the Orang Asli community, visit https://globalpeace.org.my/.

For more information about SDAC and Ford, follow the Ford Malaysia Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels or visit www.sdacford.com.my.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centred business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 173,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com

About Sime Darby Auto Connexion
Sime Darby Auto ConneXion (SDAC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Motors. In operation since April 2008, SDAC has been the sole distributor for Ford in Malaysia and currently manages the brand exclusively in the various parts of the value chain such as importation, distribution and retail. Together with Ford, SDAC strives to address the current challenges faced by the automotive industry and endeavours to support and promote sustainability in the industry.

Media Contacts:
Esther Koh
Public Relations
Circuit Communications
T: +60 12-808 1607

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