Pioneer group: (From left) Dina, Firdaus, Teoh, Alia Aishah, Kam, Sunil, Tan and Kanya.
The Star encourages youths to voice out on the shape of the future.
THEY are brave. They are bold. And they are young. Meet the pioneer group of Young Moderates who will be sharing their views on a regular basis in Sunday Star in the next phase of our Voices of Moderation campaign.
They are among the many young Malaysians who believe that we should all stand up and speak up for moderation.
They, too, are essentially fed up with politicians and political wannabes who play the racial and religious cards in multi-racial Malaysia.
They want a future that is good for everyone. But they will argue their cases logically and with the right decorum.
We are happy to provide the space for these young people to share their views on what they see of our country today, and their hopes for her future.
This column will run together with our campaign to bring the message of moderation to the campuses.
Star Publications (M) Bhd chief executive officer and group managing director Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai hopes more young people will come forward to share their views.
“Our Brave Views, Bold Ideas campaign has endeared us to many Malaysians. They have commended our media group’s stand – that is to stand up for moderation,” he said.
Wong is encouraged that many like-minded partners are supporting The Star to spread this message to the younger generation.
“This is not just about the older citizens looking back at the good old days. We know that the younger citizens are just as concerned about where the country is heading, and they want to speak out to drown the voices of racial and religious extremists.
“I am glad that these pioneers are willing to step forward to make a difference,” he said.
The pioneers are:
Dina Murad is a former literature student turned rookie journalist who enjoys reading and writing about Good Samaritans. She also appreciates the little things in life – cats, long naps and baking.
Firdaus Zulkifli is part of a team of change makers at Genovasi who aspire to make Malaysia a better place through education and design. He believes that all Malaysians (himself included) should strive to be part of the solution and help solve problems instead of just complaining.
Michael Teoh is the Founder-Strategist of Thriving Talents, a company that consults and trains youth talents in companies and universities to succeed in life and work. He is an awardee of Prestige’s “Top 40 Under 40” Awards for Malaysians and was recognised as one of the world’s leading enterprising youths by the Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2011.
Alia Aishah Shahrir is the daughter of a Penangite father and Muarian mother. She believes she has inherited the bark of the north and the bite of the south. Law student by day, and documentary enthusiast by night, she is a realistic optimist with a soft spot for comparative theology and philosophy.
Hannah Kam holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the London School of Economics & Political Science. She completed the Bar Professional Training Course at BPP University, London, and is a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. She believes that the promotion of a culture of mutual acceptance, respect and tolerance will secure a safe and vibrant Malaysia for generations to come.
Sunildave Parmar is a passionate social entrepreneur who believes that moderation is the way forward. He embraces the saying that “every drop of water makes a mighty ocean” and wants the young generation to work towards a harmonious future.
Tan James Anthony is a budding entrepreneur who loves flying. Tan is the first and youngest Malaysian to fly solo around the world in a single-engine Cessna 210 Silver Eagle aircraft, a feat which he accomplished over a 50-day period starting on March 28.
Kanyakumari Damodaran is passionate about issues relating to mental health which are terribly downplayed in Malaysian society. Being a “reasonable feminist” she is also into matters concerning gender bias and women’s rights, and would like to shed light on some of these issues which have been in the dark for far too long.