Much of the work that we do at Khazanah – be it with the aim of producing financial, strategic or societal returns - impacts Malaysians at large at multiple levels. While we assess and monitor the results and outcomes of our initiatives through various data-driven measures, being “on-the-ground” can also provide a complementary source of insight that enables an enhanced understanding of our work.

In 2011, Khazanah Nasional started the Kembara Khazanah (Kembara) initiative for its senior staff, aimed at obtaining first-hand observations of the impact of our work and assess whether our aspiration of building true value for Malaysia was being felt “on-the-ground”. The word “ Kembara” is a Malay word that means “expedition” and “exploration”, which entails an openness to new knowledge and new experiences. In effect, Kembara sought to understand better the needs of our ultimate stakeholders, who are the people of Malaysia.

Every year, teams of primarily senior staff members would embark on five-day Kembara trips to various locations in Malaysia. The trips are based a theme of their choice, selected from five that are pertinent to our efforts in assessing the different segments of value creation - “Inclusivity and Growth”, “People”, “Infrastructure and Development”, “Leisure and Tourism”, “Entrepreneurship”, as well as “Culture, Arts, and Heritage”. In enhancing the spirit of Kembara and facilitating greater engagement with stakeholders, teams have to use public transport throughout their trip and stay in accommodation rated no higher than 3 stars. In its inaugural year, the Kembara programme commenced with teams led by the Senior Leadership Team, which was then extended to the Strategic Planning Group comprising senior staff in the following years.

Over the past six years, more than 200,000km has been covered by 178 teams, with more than 800 towns, villages, and cities visited. The overall Kembara journey thus far has covered a broad range of topics. For example, several teams over the years have covered the topic of affordable housing as well as property developments by our investee companies, to explore issues related to affordability and the demands and requirements of the market.Other Kembara teams have explored areas currently outside of the Khazanah sphere, such as eco-tourism is Sabah, in an attempt to identify how Khazanah could potentially play a role in further boosting the sector. Some teams have also visited the customer touch-points of investee companies to experience and observe first-hand the services that these companies provide to Malaysians. In addition, teams have also undertaken trips to explore issues such as poverty and unemployment in identified localities, in order to understand better the problems faced by the affected communities and enable us to propose potential solutions. In 2014, the Kembara Contribution Fund was set for teams to directly contribute to deserving beneficiaries met during their Kembara trip.

Tan Sri Azman visiting an Orang Asli Trust School in Johor during one of his Kembara trips
Kembara Khazanah 2016 brought Dato’ Charon Mokhzani, Executive Director, Managing Director’s Office (far right) and wildlife photographer Omar Ariff into the forests of Perak to visit Orang Asli villages and to explore the Lenggong Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site
Nik Rizal Kamil Nik Ibrahim Kamil, Executive Director, Investments and Mohd Raslan Md Sharif, Director, Managing Director’s Office, checking out Kuala Lumpur’s pedestrian walkways

At the end of their Kembara trips, teams produce a report and share their findings during an internal Kembara Fest held each year. Key points and action items highlighted by the teams would then be tied back to what we do and can do as the nation’s strategic investment fund potential follow-up initiatives can be undertaken by Khazanah itself, our foundations Yayasan Hasanah and Yayasan Khazanah, or through our investee companies, where relevant and appropriate.

Over the past six years, the Kembara Khazanah initiative has enabled our staff to directly experience, learn and understand the impact and identify any gaps in the broad-ranging initiatives that we undertake to deliver financial, strategic and societal returns to the nation. As we continue our Kembara journey in the years to come, there will undoubtedly be more insights that we can and will learn from our trips across the country.

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