Q: MAF appreciates and is truly honoured with the support given by Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Hilton Hotel throughout Malaysia in fundraising as well as advocacy work, which are carried out to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. Hilton Kuala Lumpur has partnered with the Malaysian AIDS Foundation since 2014. Can you briefly touch on how the partnership started, what motivated it, how far has it moved forward over the years and what do you envision in further enhancing this partnership?
Our partnership began in 2014, starting off with Global Week of Service, October 19 – 25 where more than 300 volunteers from Hilton Kuala Lumpur came together to participate in various activities during the week-long celebration.
The project kicked off with a master chef baking class headed by the Hotel’s dedicated team of pastry chefs to students at the Montfort Boys Town. Then, a cookie sale was organised hotel-wide to help raise funds for two beneficiary organisations – Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF), in an effort to help the organisations continue their work and contributions to the community.
We were very fortunate to be working in a business that presents us with so many opportunities to be part of millions of people’s lives, invite them into our hotels and to be a good neighbor to the various communities. The proceeds from our fund raising activity will go to both of our collaborating partners, Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF). We hope that with the opportunities presented to us, we are able to affect real and meaningful change together with our community partners
Hilton Kuala Lumpur has also come on board as a member of the Malaysian Business Consortium on HIV/AIDS (MBCH), which MAF had established as a platform for businesses to rally in mitigating HIV/AIDS issues at the workplace as one of the main pillars of the government’s mission and vision in ending AIDS by 2030.
Q: As a corporate and business entity, how do you view this programme in eradicating stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV in the work environment and whether this would have a great impact not only on the people, but also the organisation, in creating a safe place for the affected community and increasing productivity?
The MBCH programme is a big revelation and it is amazing how much progress has been made in the field of HIV medicine – to the point that it has nearly been reduced to a chronic disease, which is no more debilitating than your average lifestyle disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
It is impressive to also see the extent of support given by MBCH to our company. Each of our concern was appropriately addressed and their professional advice really helped us in revising our workplace policy.
I envision this partnership to further help us in assisting with developing, designing programme and planning on basic education, orientation, training programme for management team and mobilising group and assistance with developing tailored modules for training, clinical and SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and work hand-in-hand with our Human Recourses Department on the management of HIV policy in the workplace.
Q: One of the objectives of MBCH is to disseminate accurate information and knowledge on HIV/AIDS. How do you propose to share this with the hotel workforce through the HIV training that comes with the package and whether employees would be receptive to the sessions?
I applaud Malaysian AIDS Foundation and the Ministry of Health and fully support its purpose. Team members at Hilton Kuala Lumpur are open and receptive to sessions provided by healthcare partners, partners that we work closely with.
As part of a broader sharing of knowledge, team members, community and family members are included in projects that support to create awareness and accurate information on all subject matter.
To provide workshop and talks for all team members to create and raise awareness of HIV / AIDS in conjunction with World AIDS Day.
As part of our on-going partnership, we can raise funds through the sales of cookies during the hotel’s recent Global Week of Service. This was successfully completed in 2014 and we hope to continue with this engagement.
Q: As a major hospitality player in Malaysia, would you urge your peers in the industry to be part of the MBCH programme so that they can play a more proactive role in advancing the HIV/AIDS response in Malaysia? Do you think that MBCH would be the ideal platform for them to provide that support?
YES, it would. Hilton Kuala Lumpur is an active player in the community it serves. It is not only at Hilton Kuala Lumpur but also with our sister property Hilton Kuching and our other Hilton hotels in Malaysia.
We have been working hand-in-hand on long-term partnerships that have true impact on the purpose of our community support, which is to harness our passion and expertise as hospitality leaders to address the social, economic and environmental issues that impact our business and are important to the communities where we live, work and travel.
As an active member of the community Hilton Hotels in Malaysia serve the community without discrimination on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, disability, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, military service or status.
We see this partnership; working in tandem with Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian AIDS Foundation as we benefit equally from our work together in the community.