TOPIC 20: PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD‟S CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POLICIES, INCLUDING BUSINESS ETHICS AND THEIR IMPACT ON BUSINESS

PRACTICE AND KEY STAKEHOLDERS

(6,494 Words)

Being a Research and Analysis Project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting of Oxford Brookes University

Name ACCA Registration Number Submission Date

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RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS PROJECT

CONTENTS
PART 1: PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND OVERALL RESEARCH APPROACH ....... 1 1.1 TOPIC AREA .................................................................................................... 1 1.2 REASONS FOR CHOICE OF TOPIC ............................................................. 1 1.3 CHOICE OF ORGANISATION.......................................................................... 2 1.4 REASONS FOR CHOOSING PLUS ................................................................. 2 1.5 AIMS, PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS ................... 2 1.6 OVERALL RESEARCH APPROACH ............................................................... 3 PART 2: INFORMATION GATHERING AND ACCOUNTING/BUSINESS TECHNIQUES ............................................................................................................ 5 2.1 SOURCES OF INFORMATION ........................................................................ 5 2.2 METHODS OF COLLECTION OF INFORMATION .......................................... 5 2.3 LIMITATIONS OF INFORMATION GATHERING ............................................. 6 2.4 ETHICAL ISSUES ............................................................................................. 6 2.5 ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS TECHNIQUES USED ................................... 6 2.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE TECHNIQUES USED .................................................. 9 PART 3: RESULTS, ANALYSIS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .. 11 3.1 OVERVIEW OF PLUS’S CSR POLICIES ....................................................... 11 3.2 IMPACT OF CSR ON BUSINESS PRACTICES AND KEY STAKEHOLDERS .............................................................................................................................. 25 3.3 CRITICISMS OF THE BUSINESS PRACTICES OF PLUS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION ....................................................... 30 LIST OF REFERENCES .......................................................................................... 34 BIBLIOGRAPHY ...................................................................................................... 37 APPENDICES .......................................................................................................... 40

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PART 1: PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND OVERALL RESEARCH APPROACH 1.1 TOPIC AREA I have chosen Topic 20 for my research and analysis project. This will entail an analysis of an organisation‟s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies and their impact on business practices and key stakeholders. CSR is perceived as a source of competitive advantage today. It improves branding, reputation and competiveness. A CSR company is perceived as more caring and more trustworthy. There is no one common acceptable definition of CSR since the concept first took root since the early 1970s. Here are some examples of CSR definitions.  European Commission (2011) defines CSR as „A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.‟ Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur (2011) defined CSR as the „open and transparent business practices that are based on ethical values and respect for the community, employees, the environment, shareholders and other stakeholders. It is designed to deliver sustainable value to society at large‟. The Singapore Compact for CSR (2011) loosely defines CSR as „business‟s efforts to achieve sustainable outcomes by committing to good business practices and standards‟.

1.2 REASONS FOR CHOICE OF TOPIC As CSR is fast gaining prominence in Malaysia, choosing this topic will provide me an opportunity to get to know CSR better from a practical viewpoint. Learning P1 Professional Accountant has also aroused my interest in this area. I would like to know how CSR concepts actually work in practice; and exploring CSR further will certainly help broaden my understanding of its effects on corporations. The fall of corporate giants such as Lehman Brothers, Worldcom and Enron has also persuaded me to research on CSR. CSR driven companies are perceived as ethically superior and more trusted to deliver on their promises. I am certain that choosing CSR as my project will elevate my understanding of its concepts and how its adoption can add value to a company. Page PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD JULIANA HENG HUIJING, 1932933

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I have decided to choose PLUS to apply the theories of CSR.

PLUS, a government-linked company, privatised the construction and administration of the North-South Expressway in 1988. Since 1994, PLUS has added more highways under its wings both through organic growth and takeovers. Driven by its mission statement to provide „efficient and safe expressways that enhances quality of life‟, it continues to be a titan in the Malaysian corporate world (Diagram 1).

1.4 REASONS FOR CHOOSING PLUS I chose PLUS for its reputation in this sector. A monopolistic company, it manages some of the most strategic tolled expressways in Peninsular Malaysia. The New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and the North-South Expressway (NSE) are the busiest and most profitable routes for PLUS. It is now the 8th largest expressway operator in the world after having expanded into India and Indonesia. Secondly, corporate information on PLUS is easily accessible online which I can download conveniently for reference. PLUS‟s head office, adjacent to the NKVE, is also near my house enabling me to visit them when the opportunity arises. Finally, the publication of third party assessments of its CSR reports suggests that PLUS is serious about CSR and that is sufficient reason for me to select it for my project.

1.5 AIMS, PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS The aim of this research is to study PLUS„s CSR policies and relate them to CSR frameworks prescribed by Bursa KL, Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI); and the theories of Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid and Mendelow‟s Matrix. Their impact on corporate branding, reputation and business performance including effects on key stakeholders will also be looked into.

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The objectives are to study PLUS‟s CSR by attempting to answer the following questions:  What is the extent of PLUS‟s CSR policies in conformance to guidelines provided by Bursa KL, Carroll‟s CSR pyramid and the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI)? Who are the key stakeholders of PLUS and what are the effects of PLUS‟s policies on them? What are the critical aspects of PLUS‟s CSR that promotes its sustainability? How does its policies and activities compare with those of its competitor? What are the ways to improve PLUS‟s existing CSR practices so that PLUS can become a model CSR corporate citizen?

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1.6 OVERALL RESEARCH APPROACH After scanning the various sectors on the Bursa KL Main Board, I decided to focus my attention on toll operations. Hence, I decided to pick the premier toll operator, PLUS. However, as there are no local expressways that can be used to adequately compare with PLUS, I have selected Central Nippon Expressways Company Limited (NEXCO) of Japan to compare with PLUS. My principal source of information will be through secondary sources such as annual reports and stand-alone CSR reports. Additional information will be sourced from relevant business newspapers, books, journals and magazines. The analytical framework will firstly require a general comparison of the company‟s CSR policies to the guidelines of Bursa to view its conformance and compatibility. I will further refine my comparison by looking at GRI guidelines which will then be used to further assist in the analysis. Subsequently, by looking at PLUS through Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid, I will reflect and evaluate PLUS as an ongoing CSR responsible business entity. To identify the stakeholders of PLUS, particularly its key stakeholders, I will use Mendelow‟s Matrix to look at the dynamics of stakeholders viz-a-viz PLUS. Next, benchmarking PLUS‟s CSR activities against NEXCO will be conducted to evaluate the scope, focus, extent and quality of PLUS‟s CSR policies as compared to NEXCO. Page Finally, based on the analysis as well as performance gaps identified through my consumer satisfaction survey, I will draw up conclusions and recommendations

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will be suggested as to how PLUS can further improve upon its CSR. This will include adopting some worthy practices of NEXCO.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY PART 2: INFORMATION TECHNIQUES

RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS PROJECT AND ACCOUNTING/BUSINESS

GATHERING

2.1 SOURCES OF INFORMATION There are two types of data. The first is primary data, defined as data observed or collected directly from first-hand experience. The second is published data and data collected in the past by other parties called secondary data (Business Directory, 2011). Primary data can be derived from first hand responses such as interviews and survey outcomes. Secondary source data “which is not original” must be quoted in all academic writing. This project relies mostly on secondary data which is readily available. I have obtained data for this project from various sources; namely, from PLUS‟s website (http://www.plus.com.my) and NEXCO‟s website (http://global.c-nexco.co.jp/en/). I have also looked at Bursa‟s website for the latest 2010 financial performance of PLUS. Additionally, I have procured information from business newspapers such as The Star and The Edge Malaysia as well as PLUS‟s corporate materials which I obtained from their Corporate Communications Department when I visited them. As primary data may not be forthcoming from PLUS, I have forwarded them an open-ended questionaire. To augment secondary information sources, I conducted a consumer satisfaction survey of PLUS‟s services.

2.2 METHODS OF COLLECTION OF INFORMATION A major source of my information will be through internet research. I will also scour relevant print media such as business newspapers and magazines for relevant data. I have also written to PLUS and NEXCO. While some information was forthcoming from NEXCO, PLUS has yet to respond to my set of questions. Apart from that, I have conducted a survey of the services of PLUS. The information has been analysed and will be used as part of my recommendations.

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2.3 LIMITATIONS OF INFORMATION GATHERING I have been constrained by time in information gathering as I am still studying for my ACCA. Therefore, I need to balance my time so that both pursuits are given due time allocation and commitment. Though easier, secondary sources are by no means, up-to-date. The latest CSR events and activities may not be known and the company‟s further involvement in CSR may not be captured. At the moment, the PLUS 2011 CSR Report has not been published . Corporate documents and annual reports by its very nature, tend to highlight the better facades of corporations and downplay the „darker‟ side. This will inherently give an unbalanced reflection of the corporation‟s activities. Secondary sources of information are likely to possess plagiarised texts; misleading statements and subjective conclusions based on the author‟s biasness. Such information affects information integrity.

2.4 ETHICAL ISSUES Ethical issues is a concern in any academic research. I aim to be honest in the conduct of this project work to ensure no misinterpretation, plagiarism and fabrication of information arise. I will respect intellectual property rights and do proper referencing for all materials that I use. Objectivity is another issue I have to contend with. Secondary information may portray the corporation in a positive light. To ensure their validity, I would need to cross-check with other reliable sources. Another issue is confidentiality. A respondent‟s anonymity must be respected and such survey data must be disposed off discretely when no longer needed.

2.5 ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS TECHNIQUES USED I will use the comparison method to view the performance of PLUS and NEXCO. In addition, I will also utilised GRI guidelines and ratio analysis to evaluate PLUS‟s business performance. Bursa KL‟s CSR framework will be utilised to determine the degree of PLUS‟s compliance with regards to the environment, workplace, community and marketplace. Findings will be used as recommendations to PLUS. Apart from the environment, Bursa Malaysia (2011) recommends that companies give serious consideration to the community, workplace and the marketplace.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Carroll’s CSR Pyramid

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Another essential benchmarking tool used in this research is Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid. Carroll‟s CSR pyramid encapsulates 4 types of corporate responsibilities (Diagram 1). According to Carroll (1991), economic responsibility is the foundation from which the other three responsibilities spring from. Carroll‟s model stipulates that a company must firstly maximise shareholder‟s returns by being profitable, efficient and competitive. The second responsibility is that profits must be made legally while the third responsibility dictates that a corporation must be ethically responsible, right and fair. Finally, each corporation has a philanthropic duty to perform. As such, it must give back freely to the community as a responsible corporate citizen. In my opinion, almost all firms make profits legally. They are also ethical, acting fair and right to their stakeholders, suppliers, consumers and competitors. As for the philanthropic role, most companies do give a fair share of their profits back to the community in the form of donations and community projects. Page PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD JULIANA HENG HUIJING, 1932933

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Mendelow‟s Matrix is a conceptual framework which helps to identify stakeholders in terms of power and interest as it relates to issues. „Power‟ is the stakeholder‟s capability to influence objectives as much as they can while „interest‟ is the stakeholder‟s willingness to do something that they care for (Diagram 2). A strategic analysis can be conducted using this matrix to determine who are the stakeholders that are critical to the company according to critical corporate issues. Via an analysis of stakeholders, a corporation can develop suitable strategies to manage the expectations of different groups of relevant stakeholders. Campbell (2008) perceives that the Mendelow matrix is a good tool to gain an understanding of influence - the power and interest stakeholders have on a company‟s long-term planning. I agree with his perception. Conceptually, those stakeholders situated in the bottom right corner of the matrix having both high interest and high power will have the greatest influence. Even so, in a dynamic situation, their influence may be diluted when stakeholders of conflicting interests clash on an issue. The lack of both consensus and compromise of these stakeholders can actually tip the balance in favour of the corporation. On the same token, stakeholders located at the bottom left of the matrix are deemed to possess high power but low interests. Generally dormant, their interests must be

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rekindled for them to wield their powers as key players. The government is one such stakeholder. Stakeholders having high interests but low power may seem powerless on the surface. However, they can wield power when they forge strategic alliances with other stakeholders to influence corporate directions. The NGOs and the media are two stakeholders with such „hidden‟ power and they can put pressure on the government and regulatory bodies to act against companies.

2.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE TECHNIQUES USED Firstly, conducting literature review is time consuming. The process of scanning and filtering useful information is also labourious. Secondly, care must be taken when making comparisons to arrive at valid conclusions. For instance, ratio analysis can produce different outcomes depending on the components used in a definition. Hence, care must be taken to ensure that the ratios calculated are based on the same components to ensure comparison integrity. As for Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid, it appears to be simple to use, but there have been criticisms. Schwartz and Carroll (2003) state that the use of the pyramid framework to depict the CSR elements may be confusing as it can be perceived to be a hierarchical framework that could not be applied in certain business contexts. I think this is a matter of perception and possibly an exception to the rule. The issue of philanthropy in the CSR Pyramid has also attracted comment. Many believe it to be more than a call of duty. Philanthropy is perceived as more of an ideal that corporations may aspire to perform. It should be embedded in their corporate philosophy where giving is their culture and not duty. Similarly, Mendelow Matrix has several issues of contention as well. Although the framework is helpful for identifying influential stakeholders, it is rather difficult to quantitatively determine each stakeholder‟s power and interest (Campbell, 2008). In my opinion, mere quantification will only be academic if not utilised by corporations in their stakeholder management strategies. Also, there have been comments that the matrix does not provide a guide to evaluate the effects of good governance on stakeholders. This makes its applicability highly subjective. If stakeholder governance is such a crucial issue, perhaps a study could be done to develop such guidelines. Campbell (2008) also argues that the „map‟ generated by the evaluation of power and interest matrix as „too dynamic‟, implying that with changing circumstances, stakeholders can move around that map. This makes it more complex as continuous

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monitoring is needed to determine a stakeholder‟s latest position. In my opinion, continuous monitoring must be done as each issue will create its own dynamic set of power and interest permutation and a company cannot run away from that responsibility. As can be expected, there were comments that conflicts between stakeholders can occur as they stake on contrasting claims. This will make strategic analysis and decision-making complex. In my opinion, every situation is dynamic and must be managed on a case to case basis. I think all models have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Mendelow‟s matrix has been adapted accordingly to meet differing organisational needs. Again, different companies in the same business activity can have different CSR focus customised to their business models and environment. As such, mere comparison of the CSR of companies may also not be relevant.

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PART 3: RESULTS, ANALYSIS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 3.1 OVERVIEW OF PLUS’S CSR POLICIES PLUS‟s CSR policies are compared with Bursa Malaysia‟s CSR Framework, Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Guidelines and Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid. The 2009 PLUS‟s CSR Report is the main source of reference while comparison with NEXCO is based on the 2009 NEXCO CSR Report. 3.1.1 Bursa Malaysia’s CSR Framework Environment The environment is a key area of PLUS‟s CSR concerns. Most activities are directed towards mitigating green house emissions, alternative energy usage and recycling. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, PLUS has expanded the use of Electronic Toll Collection (ETCs). It has also redoubled its effort to absorb vehicular carbon dioxide emissions by planting more trees. It has also advised drivers at RSAs to switch off the engines while they are resting in their cars to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere (Figure 1).

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In energy conservation, PLUS cutbacks on air-conditioning and maximises the use of natural energy by using transparent roof-tiles. This has saved operational costs besides helping to reduce global warming.

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To reduce electricity utilisation, PLUS has begun using solar panels, dimmers as well as changing-over to energy saving light bulbs. To cut down on bitumen usage, PLUS is testing out alternative materials for use. PLUS also practices recycling. Transit tickets and disused road accessories are sent for proper recycling. Similarly, food scraps from RSAs have been recycled into nutrients for tree maintenance. NEXCO is more focused on the environment. It uses more advanced technologies to mitigate environment problems. Its activities revolve around global warming, noise and light pollution, alternative energy and recycling. Just like PLUS, NEXCO has expanded the use of electronic toll collection (ETC) on its highways. To mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, where possible, they have constructed more lanes at toll plazas that experience chronic congestion. NEXCO uses asphalt pavements besides installing tall sound insulation walls to reduce noise pollution. Where the noise level is beyond the allowable standards, NEXCO even help to soundproof the houses of affected residents (Figure 2).

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As light pollution adversely affect farmlands, farm animals and wildlife, NEXCO has installed new lighting that cuts leakage in the rear by focusing the light directly onto the road (Figure 3). An example is on the Ken-O Expressway where it has mitigated light pollution into the natural habitat of nocturnal flying squirrels.

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Another innovation to reduce light pollution is through the use of black light road signs which decreases light pollution while increasing visibility (Figure 4).

NEXCO has also been innovative in planting trees in median strips to increase highway greenery as well as shield headlights from distracting drivers (Figure 5).

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NEXCO is more advanced in the use of alternative energy than PLUS. It taps both solar and wind energy and their generators supply electricity to expressway facilities. NEXCO also recycles to lower its operational impact on the environment. Community PLUS seems to have a greater focus on the community than NEXCO. Many initiatives were undertaken ranging from community programmes to giving donations. Expectedly, PLUS promotes road safety to the community through schools and the community. These include road safety campaigns, setting up road safety clubs, organising seminars and getting community feedback on road safety issues through the Malaysians Unite for Road Safety (MUFORS) campaign. An interesting aspect of PLUS is its dedication to community work. It is now a part of the work culture for PLUS‟s employees to allot 2 working days annually to participate in community programmes. PLUS also promotes sports. It is promoting the sports of go-kart amongst Malaysian youths (Figure 6).

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PLUS has generously donated to worthy causes such as the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund and other deserving organisations, orphanages and schools. For NEXCO, they relate to the community by designing RSAs that reflects the culture of the regions that their highways traverse. They also deem it their responsibility to help rejuvenate economically dormant areas along their highways into economically sustaining zones for employment and business activities.

Marketplace To improve highway safety, PLUS has replaced its old warning signs and signages with improved ones to help provide better visibility for night driving. It has also hired independent certified auditors to conduct regular audits on road safety. To ensure highway users have a safe and comfortable journey, PLUS‟s traffic monitoring centre at Persada PLUS monitors 60% of the toll highways 24 hours a day. This facilitates better communication and information dissemination for operational efficiency (Figure 7).

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PLUS is transparent with suppliers of goods, services and in the award of contracts. Using the Red Book Guideline on best practices for procurement of supplies and services, it dictates that at least 50% of materials must be sourced locally. Tenderers for projects have to subscribe to the e-bidding procedure when 3 or more bidders are involved. This promotes anonymity and transparency. User loyalty programmes such as PLUSMiles is also given to frequent users and fleet operators are provided with a special secured payment mode known as PLUSTrack that helps track vehicle movement via email (Figure 8).

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PLUS promotes entrepreneurship at its RSAs. Here, budding Malaysians operate shops, restaurants, mini-markets, cafes and petrol stations. Lastly, clean RSAs are provided for the comfort and convenience of all users (Figure 9). ATMs, petrol stations, fast food outlets and even hotels are available for the convenience of highway users.

Workplace and Staff Development PLUS gives priority to the workplace and staff development. Training is provided to staff (Figure 10). These range from in-house courses to external programmes including international exchange programmes. An example of a personnel exchange programme is with NEXCO. So far, 2 candidates have been trained in Japan.

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For the safety of toll tellers, PLUS scheduled mandatory health check-ups for them. Child Development Centre (CDC) has been set up by PLUS to take care of employees‟ children while they are working (Figure 11).

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There is also pre-retirement training for employees. Six months prior to retirement, they can enrol in courses from baking, cooking to farming and landscaping.

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Furthermore, there are sports facilities at their disabled-friendly Persada Complex for the recreational needs of its staff (Figure 12).

Last but not least, staff is also provided with toll subsidies. For NEXCO, they are specific in their CSR at the workplace. Unlike PLUS, it gives more job opportunities for disabled workers. In line with the spirit of hiring more disabled personnel, NEXCO has its offices renovated for the convenience of the disabled and elderly staff. It also has a personnel plan to hire more women employees. NEXCO focuses on workplace safety. They organise safety seminars and conduct regular inspections at the workplace. NEXCO also builds corridors for toll collectors to safely cross ETC lanes. NEXCO ensures all employees work productively. They strongly discourage overtime, hoping that employees will spend „quality time‟ with their families. Reflecting on the CSR activities of both PLUS and NEXCO, I am impressed with their efforts and believe that both companies have fulfilled their obligations to their respective stakeholders. Looking at the range of PLUS‟s CSR activities, I have no doubt that PLUS has conformed to Bursa KL‟s Framework for CSR.

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3.1.2 Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Guidelines PLUS has reported on 89% of the standard disclosures as suggested in the GRI Guidelines and has been accorded Level A in following the GRI-G3 reporting guidelines. Though some 15 areas were left out in the latest CSR report, PLUS has been responsive to key areas of concern, assuring it will respond to the omitted areas soon. The areas that they have yet to provide feedback includes operational health and safety, customer satisfaction feedback, emissions monitoring and waste management. The others are biodiversity, recycling and reusing input materials, use of non-fossil energy and human rights. PLUS has already started initiatives in some of these unreported areas. There is progress in their treatment of wastewater, consideration for native animal species, biodiversity and use of non-fossil energy sources such as solar and natural lighting. For many areas, PLUS is currently collecting information. PLUS also intends to conduct a customer satisfaction feedback survey this year.

3.1.3 Carroll’s CSR Pyramid Carroll‟s Pyramid (1991) stipulates that a CSR driven corporation must firstly be profitable. The profit made must be legally derived and it must also be ethical and philanthropic (Diagram 1).

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As such, theory-wise, any company would be a CSR entity if it conforms to these 4 aspects.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Economic Responsibilities (Diagram 2)

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PLUS is a profitable corporation. Net profit from the years 2003 to 2007 has increased by 170% while EPS has risen to 26.12 sen in 2010 from 14.6 sen in 2003. PLUS‟s dividends has also increased tremendously from 7 sen per share in 2003 to 16.5 sen in 2009 (Charts 1 to 3 in Section 3.2). The price of PLUS shares as at 12 April 2011 is an impressive RM4.46 (Appendix 6).

PLUS has been able to keep its competitive position in the industry. It has now spread its wings to Indonesia and India becoming the 8th largest toll operator in the world. Based on the above arguments, one can reasonably conclude that PLUS is economically viable and can sustain its top position in the marketplace.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Legal Responsibilities (Diagram 3)

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PLUS has been law-abiding and its services meet the minimum requirements of law. It has complied with the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA)’s Design Standard and the Highway Authority Malaysia (Incorporation) Act 1980 (Act 231) and have met the threshold legal requirements of highway users (Ministry of Works, 1987). To date, there has been no known criminal or civil litigation against PLUS. Neither has there been any media report that it has breached any laws. Annually, it has successfully renewed its operating licenses and permits. Moreover, on its own initiative, PLUS proactively conduct audits on a regular basis to remain in full legal compliance with the law.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Ethical Responsibilities

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PLUS has upheld all on the principles as enunciated by Carroll (1991) as shown in Diagram 4.

PLUS has conformed to social mores and ethical norms of the community. It practises good corporate governance and has aggresively invested in community goodwill projects. PLUS has its own Code of Business Ethics which spells out the operational standards of ethics expected of all employees. This includes the whistle blower policy which has been in place since 2009. It also has clear guidelines on procurement and award of tender that are open, transparent and discourages corruption. There have been few complaints against PLUS. awards and certifications (Appendix 5). In fact, it continues to garner

As such, I have to conclude here that PLUS is an ethical organisation.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Philanthropic Responsibilities

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Carroll (1991) has stressed that an ethically responsible company will uphold the following principles as set in Diagram 5.

PLUS is philanthropic. In 2009, it donated RM1.3 million to various causes such as the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund, National Cancer Society of Malaysia and other deserving organisations, orphanages and schools. PLUS has also contributed in the field of sports particularly in the promotion of go-kart racing among Malaysian youths. To sum up, I would like to state here that PLUS has indeed manifested all the 4 aspects underpinning Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid.

3.1.4 Conclusion Based on the requirements of Bursa‟s CSR Framework, the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Guidelines and Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid, I am persuaded that PLUS has adhered closely to the disclosure guidelines and spirit of CSR. There is ample public disclosure in its CSR report to indicate that PLUS has taken CSR very seriously and that CSR will continue to be an integral part of its corporate personality.

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3.2 IMPACT OF CSR ON BUSINESS PRACTICES AND KEY STAKEHOLDERS The Mendelow Matrix is used to identify who are a corporation‟s stakeholders and the power-interest inter-relationship of key stakeholders will help corporations to manage their expectations (Diagram 1).

3.2.1 Shareholders and Investors Shareholders and investors are the most influential stakeholders of the company. Majority shareholders are represented on the Board and they influence corporate direction. Minority shareholders have little influence except to voice out grievances during Annual General Meetings (AGM). PLUS has to engage its key stakeholders if it embarks on new directions. While some shareholders are only interested in huge dividend payouts, others favour long-term corporate growth. Keeping a balance between their interests by providing good dividends annually while retaining profits for the company‟s long-term growth is a challenge to any corporation. PLUS has performed well for its shareholders. Apart from rising revenue and profits, dividend payout continues to be good. For 2010, net profits rose to RM1.301 billion. Dividend payout in 2009 was 16.5% while EPS was 23.73 sen. Details of ratio analysis are tabulated in Appendix 2.

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The net profit trend for PLUS from 2003 to 2009 has been spectacular. From a mere RM732,000 netted in 2003, after tax profits shot up to RM1.247 billion in 2007. This represents an extraordinary increase of 170%. PLUS netted a 9.7% increase in profitability of RM1.185 billion in 2009. For the fiscal year ending December 2010, net profit rose again to RM1.301 billion. This represents a 9.79% increase (Chart 1).

For the period 2003 to 2009, EPS of PLUS shares has moved up 24.96 sen in 2007 from 14.60 sen in 2003. In December 2010, the EPS of PLUS shares were 26.12 sen. This is 11% higher than the 23.73 sen achieved in 2009 (Chart 2).

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To date, PLUS have been giving exceptionally good dividends to its shareholders. From a meagre dividend payout of 6% in 2003, the amounts of dividends declared have been rising from 2003 to 2009. Chart 3 shows that dividends have been moving up from 9% in 2005 to 16.5% in 2009. Good dividends are gratifying to shareholders and will keep them invested in PLUS.

From the aspect of returns to equity, the average return has been commendable. For 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, returns have generally been above 20% in terms of return to equity. The latest recorded return on equity in 2010 is 40.47% which shows an increase of another 6.4% from 2009. A positive pattern is also seen from the aspect of return on assets. Returns to assets increased from 12.90% in 2009 to 13.14% in 2010. 3.2.2 Employees Employees is another group of important stakeholders of PLUS. PLUS‟s employees are members of 2 in-house unions. These unions are consulted on areas affecting employment. In-house union members generally have limited bargaining powers. Nevertheless, PLUS has been a caring employer as it provides many benefits to them even though they have little influence over the corporation. 3.2.3 Customers Peter Drucker opined that the purpose of a business is fundamentally “to create a customer” (BrainyQuote, 2011). As such, keeping the customer happy is key to any company. Though customers lack power to influence PLUS, they are kept aware of PLUS operations through the media. PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD JULIANA HENG HUIJING, 1932933 Page

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PLUS‟s customers may not always be powerless. Their grievances over high toll rates and impending toll rate increases have compelled the government, a powerful PLUS stakeholder, to order a freeze on toll rate increases for the next 5 years. This has placated customers to some extent (The Star, 2011). 3.2.4 Suppliers This group of stakeholders also have minimal power over PLUS. They have interests in supplying services and goods to PLUS as well as to participate in its tender awards. PLUS has been open and friendly to suppliers even though they cannot influence its decisions. NEXCO also has an open policy towards suppliers and disclose a variety of information on its website for the benefit of suppliers. Though suppliers do not have influence over NEXCO, they are given fair treatment if their bids conform to requirements. 3.2.5 Government and Regulatory Authorities The government, as a key stakeholder of PLUS, monitors the compliance of its rules and regulations. Though dormant, they can exert their powers through licenses and permits and can take legal action for breaches of law and regulations. PLUS must engage government and regulatory bodies regularly as stipulated by the law. It also has to adhere to rules laid down by the Securities Commission of Malaysia and provide timely disclosures to Bursa KL of any significant corporate developments. 3.2.6 Community The community is also not a key stakeholder of PLUS. As such, it does not wield much power over PLUS. In spite of that, PLUS has been engaging communities through its community-based programmes and philanthropic pursuits. Through its RSAs, PLUS has also provided business and work opportunities to the communities. 3.2.7 Environment The environment is another stakeholder of PLUS. It has many friends from the community, government, media and NGOs. As environmental issues are sensitive and attract global attention, PLUS must tread carefully in this area to ensure that the environment is protected at all times. Operating in the Japanese environment that treasures environment protection, it is imperative that NEXCO be seen as environment friendly. As such, environment is a key stakeholder for NEXCO.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY 3.2.8 Non-governmental Organisations

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NGOs are another category of non-key stakeholders. They are not directly involved with PLUS and do not exert direct influence upon PLUS. However, they can rally support against PLUS to protect their interests or when they are fighting in the interest of the environment and the community. It can exert influence by riding on the media. Examples of active NGOs of PLUS are Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia (EPSM) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).

3.2.9 Media The media is not a key stakeholder of PLUS. Though generally seen as neutral, the media can be a force to contend with. From a dormant mode, the media can be actively enlisted to help support any deserving cause from environmental issues to community interests. Most corporations use the media to promote their interest. In conclusion, I believe Mendelow‟s Matrix is a useful dynamic tool for identifying and managing key stakeholders.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY 3.3 CRITICISMS OF THE

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RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION Corporations display their „good side‟ in its reports and corporate materials. Ethical consequences arising from its operations are kept hidden or under-reported. PLUS‟s „negative‟ impact on the environment and the surrounding communities due to the nature of its activities can only be mitigated, at best. It is likely that PLUS is satisfied to conduct environmental impact assessments just to meet the minimal of legal requirements. It should go beyond that as required by global standards as a good citizen as stipulated by Carroll‟s CSR pyramid. I believe PLUS is bureaucratic. It is not accessible to the public. I sent an email to PLUS many months ago, seeking assistance but there was no response. My second request was also put on hold until I fill some forms. When I sent an email to NEXCO, they gave me a speedy reply. There was no need for formalities such as prescreening form-filling. PLUS needs to be friendlier to the public by cutting down on paper work. The results of my consumer satisfaction survey have revealed some shortcomings of PLUS as well (Appendix 4). These include poor signages, inadequate night lighting, roadworks, traffic jams during festive seasons to slow responses to consumer complaints. I observed that PLUS does not have many disabled workers. It was also not transparent on the number of women workers in its employment. This indicates a lack of transparency in reporting non-financial information. Another pertinent point is the cleanliness maintenance of RSAs. There have been complaints that certain RSAs have „sub-standard‟ level of maintenance. Edward Deming states that „variation is the chief cause of quality issues‟ (Reference for Business, 2011). Consistency in the standards of cleanliness must be observed by PLUS at all RSAs. Similarly, very few respondents are aware of PLUS‟s use of alternative energy like solar. More must be done by PLUS‟s management to publicise this aspect. Based on the above criticisms, I would like to recommend these specific recommendations to PLUS. The Environment PLUS should encourage a quicker migration of cash payment mode at toll booths to ETCs. Right now, migration from cash payment booths to ETCs is only about 51%. More trees can be planted to absorb carbon dioxide. Planting trees in the median strip can be adopted. PLUS EXPRESSWAYS BERHAD JULIANA HENG HUIJING, 1932933

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PLUS should further expand the use of solar energy to replace electricity derived from fossil fuel. Besides, it should conduct a study on mitigation of light pollution on wild life, farmlands and its animals by using appropriate lighting systems just like NEXCO. Similarly, PLUS should also study the adoption of new black light road signs on the highways. Lastly, it should begin to replace and reduce bitumen usage in roadworks with possible new non-fossil based materials. The Community PLUS should have a contingency quick response action plan to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. NEXCO executed such a plan during the bird flu epidemic in 2009 to prevent diseases from spreading to customers and the community. PLUS should also consider having such contingent plans. To ensure the communities‟ peace and quietness, PLUS must have a policy to ensure construction is carried out during daylight hours with low-noise machines. PLUS must be more creative in its community programmes. PLUS ought to sponsor projects that are more utilitarian. These could include river rehabilitation, flood mitigation, making infrastructure gifts (such as the construction of small bridges, better street lighting and maintenance of roads in rural areas), sponsoring community health check-ups, repair and rehabilitation of houses of the poor, amongst others.

The Marketplace PLUS should be more responsive to public request for information, consider giving special rebates to disabled drivers and senior citizens, and to quickly conduct a consumer satisfaction survey.

The Workplace More exchange programmes should be organised for relevant staff with foreign partners in business. PLUS should expand participation at conference, seminars and visits to relevant international fairs.

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It should consider hiring more of the disabled and women. PLUS should also indicate their numbers in the next CSR report.

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It is vital for PLUS to ensure that all toll tellers undergo medical check-ups twice a year and not as practiced currently where senior toll tellers need to undergo only one such check-up. GRI Disclosures PLUS should attempt to provide feedback on the 15 areas that has not been disclosed. Conclusion I have looked at both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of CSR in my study to evaluate PLUS as a CSR-driven organisation. I have identified PLUS‟s stakeholders and their dynamic relationships as they have an impact on PLUS. I have looked at the financial performance and indicators to demonstrate PLUS as a going concern. Similarly, I have deliberated on the qualitative aspects that help promote branding, reputation and public perception. After analysing PLUS‟s compliance to Bursa‟s CSR Framework, Carroll‟s CSR Pyramid and the GRI Guidelines, I am convinced that the company has adhered in substance to most of the disclosure guidelines professionally. In terms of GRI Guidelines, PLUS has fulfilled 125 out of 140 voluntary disclosures (89%) of all required CSR aspects. As for the unreported 15 aspects, the grounds that PLUS has provided are acceptable. PLUS should endeavour to cover the remaining 15 aspects of the GRI guidelines. It is equally important that PLUS further enhance its CSR programmes and activities in the current areas of commitment by having more appropriate follow-up action plans. As regards to PLUS‟s relationship with its identified stakeholders, it would be strategic if PLUS engages all of them in its corporate developments. The interests of less important stakeholders such as consumers, the community, suppliers, the media and non-government organisations should continue to be given equitable treatment. While NEXCO focuses more on environment issues, PLUS pursues a broader „footprint‟ such as in the workplace and community. As a growing organisation, PLUS needs to improve upon human capital particularly in skills acquisition and upgrading. This should be followed by better staff welfare programmes and hiring more disabled and women into its workforce. PLUS must also take the initiative to protect the biodiversity in its area and apply human rights clauses in all its suppliers and tenderers agreements. CSR is a dynamic process and a moving target. PLUS should continue to be proactive and do its obligations as befit its image as the premier toll highway operator in the country and the world.

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I would like to sum up that PLUS is an excellent company in terms of its compliance with the various CSR frameworks used in this project. By being a CSR driven organisation, it has further improved upon its profits, branding, reputation and competitiveness.

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY LIST OF REFERENCES PART 1

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1. Bursa Malaysia (2011), Bursa Malaysia‟s CSR Framework for Malaysian PLCs [Online] http://www.bursamalaysia.com/website/bm/about_us/the_organisation/csr/dow nloads/csr_framework_slides.pdf [Accessed 1 January 2011] 2. Bursa Malaysia (2011), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Framework for Malaysian Public Listed Companies [Online] http://www.bursamalaysia.com/website/bm/about_us/the_organisation/csr/dow nloads/csr_writeup.pdf [Accessed 2 January 2011] 3. European Commission (2011), Sustainable and Responsible Business – Corporate Social Responsibility [Online] http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/corporate-socialresponsibility/index_en.htm [Accessed 5 January 2011] 4. Singapore Compact (2005), What is CSR? [Online] http://www.csrsingapore.org/whatiscsr.php [Accessed 4 January 2011] 5. Wikipedia (2011), PLUS Expressways Berhad [Online] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLUS_Expressways_Berhad [Accessed 7 January 2011]

PART 2 1. Business Directory (2011), Primary Data [Online] http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/primary-data.html [Accessed 13 January 2011] 2. Campbell (2008), Stakeholders [Online] http://www.accaglobal.com/pubs/students/publications/student_accountant/arc hive/sa_jan08_campbell.pdf [Accessed 15 January 2011]

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3. Carroll (1991), The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders [Online] http://www.cba.ua.edu/~aturner/MGT341/MGT341%20Readings/Pyramid.pdf [Accessed 11 January 2011]

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4. Connexions (2010), International business for entrepreneurs: Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainable development in the global environment [Online] http://cnx.org/content/m35612/latest/ [Accessed 10 January 2011] 5. Schwartz, M.S. and Carroll, A.B. (2003), 'Corporate Social Responsibility: A Three-Domain Approach', Business Ethics Quarterly(italic),Vol.13,No.4,pp.503-530 PART 3 1. Bernama (2011), PLUS opens up 10 additional counters to top up Touch N Go cards for CNY [Online] http://www.mysinchew.com/node/52514 [Accessed 1 February 2011] 2. BrainyQuote (2011), Peter Drucker Quotes [Online] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/peter_drucker_2.html [Accessed 9 March 2011] 3. Bursa Malaysia (2011), Quarterly Report on Consolidation results for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2010 [Online] http://www.bursamalaysia.com/website/bm/listed_companies/company_annou ncements/announcements/historical.jsp [Accessed 7 March 2011] 4. Central Nippon Expressways Company Limited (2009), Annual Report [Online] http://global.c-nexco.co.jp/en/aboutus/pdfs/01Annual%20Report%202009.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2011] 5. Central Nippon Expressways Company Limited (2009), Corporate Social Responsibility Report [Online] http://global.cnexco.co.jp/en/aboutus/pdfs/09CorporateSocialResponsibility.pdf [Accessed 19 January 2011] 6. Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (2007), About Us [Online] http://www.epsm.org.my/about.html [Accessed 10 March 2011] 7. Global Reporting Initiative (2011), GRI Content Index [Online] http://www.globalreporting.org/ReportServices/GRIContentIndex/ [Accessed 19 February 2011] 8. Malaysian Nature Society (2010), About MNS [Online] http://www.mns.my/section.php?sid=1&pb=Tier [Accessed 12 March 2011]

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9. Ministry of Works (1987), Laws of Malaysia: Act 231 Highway Authority Malaysia (Incorporation) Act 1980 [Online] http://www.kkr.gov.my/files/akta_subsidiari/5.pdf [Accessed 5 February 2011] 10. PLUS Expressways Berhad (2005), Annual Report [Online] http://plus.listedcompany.com/misc/ar2005.pdf [Accessed 12 March 2011] 11. PLUS Expressways Berhad (2009), Annual Report [Online] http://plus.listedcompany.com/misc/ar2009.pdf [Accessed 17 January 2011] 12. PLUS Expressways Berhad (2009), Corporate Social Responsibility Report [Online] http://plus.listedcompany.com/misc/CSR2009.pdf [Accessed 16 January 2011] 13. Reference for Business (2011), Quality Gurus [Online] http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Pr-Sa/Quality-Gurus.html [Accessed 14 March 2011] 14. The Star (2011), Government to pay NPE RM90mil [Online] http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/16/parliament/8275117&sec =parliament [Accessed 26 March 2011] 15. Wikipedia (2010), Malaysian Highway Authority [Online] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_Highway_Authority [Accessed 3 February 2011]

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY BIBLIOGRAPHY

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1. Access My Library (2003), The Importance of Quality Suppliers [Online] http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-8055977_ITM [Accessed 23 January 2011] 2. Bernama (2011), PLUS‟s Associate Signs Concession Agreement with India‟s Highway Authority [Online] http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsbusiness.php?id=562041 [Accessed 8 February 2011] 3. Business Times (2011), PLUS downgraded to 'neutral' at OSK [Online] http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/20110111091007/ Article/index_html [Accessed 24 January 2011] 4. Business Times (2011), PLUS won't evaluate Jelas Ulung offer [Online] http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/20110117195657/ Article/index_html [Accessed 21 January 2011] 5. Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (2010), Questionnaires and Analysis, MEP Y8 Practice Book B. [Online] http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mepres/book8/bk8_20.pdf [Accessed 3 January 2011] 6. CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets (2010), Stray not into perdition: Asia's CG momentum slows [Online] http://www.acga-asia.org/public/files/CG_Watch_2010_Extract.pdf [Accessed 16 January 2011] 7. Ezin Articles (2011), Print Green with Soy Ink [Online] http://ezinearticles.com/?Print-Green-With-Soy-Ink&id=756971 [Accessed 12 February 2011] 8. Forest Stewardship Council (1996), What is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Paper? [Online] http://www.fsccanada.org/paperproducts.htm [Accessed 10 February 2011] 9. Gov Monitor (2009), Singapore businesses urged to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a business strategy [Online] http://www.thegovmonitor.com/world_news/asia/singapore-businesses-urgedto-incorporate-corporate-social-responsibility-csr-as-a-business-strategy8673.html [Accessed 19 January 2011] Page 10. OWW Consulting (2010) [Online] http://www.oww-consulting.com/ [Accessed 14 March 2011]

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11. The Edge Malaysia (2009), Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing good on less [Online] http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/component/content/article/149291.html [Accessed 14 February 2011] 12. The Edge Malaysia (2010), Cover Story: Toll Concessionaires under scrutiny [Online] http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/component/content/article/177151.html [Accessed 20 January 2011]

13. The Edge Malaysia (2010), CSR beyond philanthropy, says CCM [Online] http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/component/content/article/169111.html [Accessed 14 January 2011] 14. The Edge Malaysia (2009), Malaysian firms need to boost efforts in CSR [Online] http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/component/content/article/16114.html [Accessed 17 February 2011] 15. The Star (2011), Clear road ahead for bid on PLUS Expressways [Online] http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/11/business/7769992&s ec=business [Accessed 23 January 2011] 16. The Star (2011), CNY Toll Rebates on PLUS Expressways [Online] http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/29/nation/20110129125502 &sec=nation [Accessed 29 January 2011] 17. The Star (2010), PLUS example should become standard for all takeovers. Why? [Online] http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/12/28/business/7692318& sec=business [Accessed 7 January 2011] 18. The Star (2011), PLUS Expressways says UEM-EPF offer „confirmed‟ [Online] http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/18/business/7818903&s ec=business [Accessed 20 January 2011] 19. The Star (2011), PLUS issues travel time advisory for CNY [Online] http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/25/nation/20110125192240 &sec=nation [Accessed 26 January 2011] 20. Uma Sekaran and Roger Bougie (2010) Research Methods for Business John Wiley and Sons, pp.179-224

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21. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2011), Kyoto Protocol [Online] http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php [Accessed 26 January 2011]

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OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Appendix 5: Awards and Recognition

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Appendix 6: PLUS’s Share Price Movement

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