Meet Mohd Rustam Mohd Affandi, An Aspiring Safety Leader

In the fast-paced corporate world of today, it is rare to find someone with such a deep connection to a company. But for Mohd Rustam Mohd Affandi, that connection to Sime Darby runs deep and across generations. His late father joined the Sime Darby family in the 1990s. In 2001, Rustam joined Sime Darby Continental Tires, where during his 6 years there, he witnessed how the company sustained its performance and maintained stability amid global market downturns. He shares that while working at Sime Darby Continental Tires, he was chosen to participate in the International Management Programme of Continental Tires AG in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame. It was a great learning experience which helped shape his management and leadership style. 

After his stint in Sime Darby Continental Tires, he worked as a Safety, Health & Environment (HSE) Engineer in several organisations, honing his skills and experience in the field, before returning to Sime Darby in 2017 as the Head of Regional HSE at Sime Darby Industrial. 

Recognising his dedication and expertise, he was offered a secondment at Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited (HDAL) in 2020. Based in the vibrant city of Brisbane where HDAL is headquartered, Mohd Rustam considers this experience to be one of the best in his life, further solidifying his bond with Sime Darby.

At the heart of Mohd Rustam's daily motivation lies the powerful vision of "No Harm."

His actions and decisions are guided by a personal affirmation that his work contributes to a larger, more crucial goal. His suitability for the role is unmistakable; his *DISC profile reveals his affinity for being systematic, data-driven, and compliant — traits that align seamlessly with the demands of compliance and quality management.

Now serving as the Senior Manager of Compliance & Quality – Asia in Group Safety and Sustainability, Mohd Rustam's role is pivotal in ensuring that Sime Darby's Health, Safety & Environment audit and compliance programme progresses flawlessly throughout the region. Each day, he works closely with his team members in China and Australasia, ensuring their engagement and progress align with the company's goals. His motivation to continuously drive improvements and add value to stakeholders fosters a culture of excellence and accountability.

In Mohd Rustam's role, challenges are inevitable as he navigates the intricacies of working with diverse business entities spread across different countries, regions, languages, and cultures. Nonetheless, he consistently triumphs over these barriers by implementing a flexible framework that accommodates these differences without compromising HSE compliance.

Mohd Rustam's strategic, determined effort in overcoming obstacles led to one of his proudest achievements at Sime Darby: establishing a sustainable compliance programme amid border restrictions. The setbacks of international travel restrictions did not stop him, as he led a team to inaugurate and implement self-assessment programmes, virtual audits, as well as implementing the Sime Darby HSE Governance Framework.
Sime Darby's remarkable company culture has produced a profound impact on Mohd Rustam's professional growth since his return. The company’s strong focus on corporate governance and sustainability has helped to transform him into a more focused, systematic, and structured professional who approaches every task with relentless dedication. 

Mohd Rustam deeply appreciates the dedication and loyalty displayed by employees and leaders within the company, and the company’s commitment to his personal and professional growth. 
“Sime Darby’s commitment to employees’ professional and personal growth is what sets it apart from any other organisations I have encountered in my career.”

Looking ahead, Mohd Rustam envisions becoming an inspirational safety leader within Sime Darby, inspiring others to embrace and embody the powerful vision of "No Harm." 

"Do or do not, there is no try." These powerful words from Master Yoda encapsulate his relentless drive, determination, and commitment to excellence in every aspect of his life.

*DiSC is an acronym that stands for the four main personality profiles described in the DiSC model: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)onscientiousness.