IMSHA Gets UN Malaysia Recognition


Exchange of Document between Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) and United Nations in Malaysia as a Good Practice Award Provider under the TOGETHERforSDGs Hub

The United Nations (UN) and Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) pledged to work together towards benchmarking IMSHA against global standards and at the same time promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at a document exchange ceremony on 25th of June 2019.

Witnessed by Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal, Menteri Besar of Johor, the document exchange was fulfilled by Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh, Chairman of IMSHA, and Juanita Joseph, Head of the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RCO) in Malaysia.

“IMSHA is an annual event to ‘Spot, Recognise and Empower’ individuals (NGIs), organisations (NGOs) and corporate organisations who are making a difference in our communities through social service. The partnership is a testament that IMSHA is a programme that deserves regional recognition with its existing best practice model that will be vastly enhanced by incorporating the SDGs,” said Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh, Chairman of IMSHA.

Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal, Menteri Besar of Johor with IMSHA Leadership council
Picture by: Nicholas Vincent

Entering its sixth year since its inception in 2014, the aim of the partnership is to benchmark the awards against global standards whilst promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the United Nations (UN) in Malaysia TOGETHERforSDGs Hub.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The 17 Sustainable Development Goal’s each have a list of targets that are measured with indicators.

“IMSHA truly reflects the spirit of social inclusiveness and volunteerism that the region cherishes. Being acknowledged by the United Nations and chosen as one of their partners will definitely help to put Iskandar Malaysia on the global map and achieve its vision as a strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing,” said Datuk Ismail, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

With the partnership in place, the IMSHA Winners who are trained under the IMSHA 2.0 Training Series will be given SDGs training to align themselves with the 17 Goals. They will also be given coaching sessions to input data to the SDGs portal to enhance sharing resources via data management

“From 2014 till 2018, IMSHA has received over 800 nominations. Currently there are over 50 NGOs and 50 NGIs who are IMSHA Award winners. It is they who will benefit the most from our partnership with the United Nations,” added Thanam.

The TOGETHERforSDGs Hub, developed by UN Country Team, and supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, is a digital crowdsourcing solution identifying and connecting Private Sector contributors, that share a collective goal of strengthening local SDGs by providing financial, non-financial and technological resources with Government, Civil Societies and Academia.

Nominations for IMSHA 2019 are open till the end of July. For more information, visit:

Awards will be presented in 11 categories, from which 22 winners will be drawn – 10 for individuals and 12 for organisations. The increase in awards presented for the organisation category is due to the increase in CSR award which will be given to two outstanding organisations instead of just one.

The key players behind IMSHA are The Iskandarian-Iskandar Malaysia’s Official Newspaper and Iskandar Regional Development Authority. The Chairman of IMSHA is Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh and Edey Suresh from The Iskandarian as the Founding Chairman.