THE GLOBE TROTTER‘S JOURNAL:
IN the global polls of Your Big Year, Malaysia came up tops, garnering a 70 per cent mandate from the world community to lead an international expedition to encourage volunteerism and social entrepreneurship among the youth.
Who would have ever thought that a Malaysian would be given this honour?
Personally, I believe it was timely that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared 2013 as the Year Of Volunteerism.
When I met my fellow voters in the Liverpool Town Hall, they congratulated me and shared why they thought I had secured a huge majority in the polls from my pitch.
The diplomats described me as being “culturally friendly and adaptable” which made me an ideal candidate to be a global citizen.
The entrepreneurs and chief executives loved my vision and game plan for the proposed world expedition which they described as having all the elements of a successful business. The youths and the public thought I had charisma and was not shy to address a crowd of thousands in promoting a worthy message like volunteerism and taking a lead as a role-model.
I hope that my victory will help other Malaysians to showcase their capabilities and potential to the world.
For far too long, many of us have lived with an inferiority complex, idolising foreigners, foreign products and brand names.
The call by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to support our national identity has never been more clear. My winning the Global Youth Ambassador title should give confidence to our youth to believe in themselves. We have to have faith in our country and identity as well as to contribute ideas, effort and culture to better our world.
The competition has given me a chance to champion the development of the human potential through volunteerism. After winning, I was immediately drawn into a media frenzy where the entire world heard about a 23-year-old Malaysian winning the largest social entrepreneurship and global citizenship competition.
It didn’t take long for the global media platforms like CNN, the Daily Post, global youth conferences and government agencies abroad to extend their invitations to have me share my experiences and plans to promote an important agenda for the world in 2011.
I believe that when you are doing something great for the people, you are bound to be recognised for your hard work.
Although rewards may not come in the form of riches and money, your knowledge, wisdom and network would grow exponentially. I became even more convinced that when we are committed to doing good, support from people will come.
It was my last November morning in Liverpool and we were hosted by the Lord Mayor and leaders from the UK’s most influential government agencies and companies, when I was reminded to catch my flight back to Malaysia later in the evening.
At the airport, I was reminded of the great responsibility which came along with the win — a chance to work with some of the world’s largest organisations and on exciting projects in humanitarian development and eco-conservation.
There would be opportunities to meet global leaders and help influence policies and planning for youths and become an example for people to volunteer and invest their resources for a better world.
Before I left Liverpool, I spent the afternoon delivering my first victory speech to a group of Malaysian students there. I shared with them my experiences and reminded them to keep making our country proud.
The best opportunity to showcase what we can do with our unique culture, upbringing and love for peace is to take seriously what we are entrusted to do while away from home. They cheered and the chants of “Malaysia Boleh!” echoed through the hall.