The Malaysian Ministry of Health was this month named ‘Policy-Maker of the Year’ at the Public Affairs Asia Gold Standard Awards, recognising the excellent efforts of the Disease Control Division, to encourage healthier lifestyles in collaboration with a wide range of partners, including the food industry.

The Public Affairs Asia Gold Standard Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in public affairs and communications across the Asia Pacific region, showcasing excellence in areas ranging from stakeholder engagement, corporate citizenship and public private partnerships.

The policy-maker of the year award recognises “gold standard achievement in innovative and consultative policymaking.” It highlights how, “through engagement with external stakeholders, an individual minister or policy-maker has successfully developed and implemented a specific initiative which addresses the needs or concerns of stakeholders.”

FIA Policy Director, Melanie Vilarasau Slade said this significant achievement highlights the ongoing efforts of the Malaysian Ministry of Health to collaboratively tackle health and nutrition challenges in the country.

“The Disease Control Division of the Malaysian Ministry of Health has been working in consultation with a number of parties, including the food industry, to promote healthy, active living in Malaysia and it is excellent to see these efforts acknowledged in this year’s awards.

“The Ministry of Health has worked closely with the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers to introduce a joint Government and industry commitment on voluntary front of pack nutrition labelling, as well as an industry-led pledge on responsible marketing to children.

“These initiatives help to encourage healthier lifestyles in Malaysia and demonstrate the commitment by the Government and industry, to help people make informed and balanced food choices,” she said.

At this year’s award ceremony, held in Hong Kong on 5 December, several FIA member companies were also commended for their achievements.

McDonald’s national breakfast initiative won the digital communications award, for its excellent “use of digital media, including social media platforms” while Fonterra’s rural maternity and infant healthcare community programme won the corporate citizenship award for “excellence in the development of a CSR, sustainability or good governance project”.

Coca-Cola’s My School CSR good-to-do campaign also received a highly commended recognition in the public private partnership award category for “excellence in a project involving both the public and private sector in Asia Pacific.”

Ms Vilarasau Slade added that FIA is proud to sponsor the Gold Standard Award for Public Private Partnership, which recognises excellence in projects involving both the public and private sector in Asia Pacific.

“Public-Private Partnerships are critical in managing today’s global challenges and this award reflects the growing importance of such partnerships in areas such as health promotion, environmental protection and the delivery of public services,” she said.

Mr Pushpanathan Sundram, the Principal Advisor of the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA) was also recognised at these awards, as the winner of the Prospect Gold Standard Award for Professional Excellence. This award celebrates leaders among senior communications, corporate or public affairs professionals in Asia Pacific.

See a full list of the awards, and winners, here.

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