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Foreword by Temasek Trust Chairman

Features 31 Mar 2022

We have gone through a challenging and testing time. It is heartening to see that our communities have shown great resilience throughout the pandemic with many stepping forward to support one another. I am retiring as Chairman of Temasek Trust from 1 April 2022. I will remain connected as Chairman Emeritus. I feel fortunate to have been part of Temasek Trust’s evolution in the past seven years of its journey in advancing philanthropy and catalysing impact.

Temasek Holdings established Temasek Trust in 2007 to be the focal point of its community contributions. Initially, we worked at establishing sustainability and good governance as the core principles of the Trust. From the modest beginnings managing a $500M endowment to support the community programmes of Temasek Foundation, today Temasek Trust is responsible for philanthropic endowments and gifts totaling over $5B and supports the good work of our designated beneficiaries, Temasek Foundation, Stewardship Asia Centre, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory and Mandai Nature.

Temasek Trust has also in the last few years been evolving into an active champion of philanthropic and impact investing, positioning to be an active catalyst of change for corporate and ground up philanthropy. Beyond financial management, we strive to enable new pathways for philanthropy in Asia. The evolving social and environmental landscape requires an unceasing effort to innovate and look for new solutions to better meet the changing needs of the communities.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our oscar@sg fund supported ground-up initiatives. Such self-help initiatives go a long way to foster ownership, sustainability, care, assurance and resilience, for a more inclusive society with a spirit of active citizenry. The fund has supported more than 300 projects to-date and touched more than 1M lives. 

In an effort to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) financing gap, Temasek Trust seeded impact investing in recent years to facilitate the mobilisation of private capital to the SDGs. Our private equity impact fund, ABC World Asia, was launched in 2019 and has been making remarkable progress through responsible and sustainable investments, paving the way for impact investing in Asia. 

Temasek Trust joined United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) SDG Impact’s global steering group in 2019 to contribute towards field building and standard settings in the impact investing space.  Our collaboration with UNDP SDG Impact announced in May 2021 is directed at needs of investors and businesses in Asia. An investor map for Indonesia, which highlights the impact business models and investment opportunity areas in Indonesia, was launched in March 2022.  This will be followed by investor maps for other ASEAN countries throughout the course of 2022. As SDG Impact’s anchor partner in Asia, we hope to promote awareness, drive the adoption of SDG Impact standards and tools, and advance impact investing as an effective lever for more sustainable and inclusive development in Asia. 

Temasek Shophouse (TSH) is our social impact hub to encourage, enhance, and elevate initiatives for the common good. Despite the temporary closure during circuit breaker period, TSH has supported over 90 social impact events raising awareness on pressing social and environmental issues, catalysing responses and fostering partnerships. We are heartened to see the community come back to this well-loved space again. 

As we look forward to the exciting next chapter for Temasek Trust, I would like to welcome Ms Ho Ching as Chairman, and also new board directors Mr Benny Lim, Mr Teo Ming Kian, and Mr Tow Heng Tan. The philanthropic landscape is ever-changing and I believe their expertise and guidance will further strengthen Temasek Trust’s philanthropic and sustainability pursuits. Over time, I expect Temasek Trust’s role to evolve into one that will drive societal good as an advocate of sustainability and governance in philanthropy, a catalyst in creating shared value and an investor for impact. 

I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and I look forward to your continual support on our journey of good.