KUALA LUMPUR: From Damansara Utama state assemblyman to Bakri Member of Parliament and now, a newly-minted Cabinet minister, Yeo Bee Yin has had a pretty illustrious political career for a 35-year-old.
Yeo was sworn in as Minister of Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment on July 2, along with 12 other ministers and 23 deputy ministers of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Cabinet.
Yeo, who is the youngest female minister in the Cabinet, is also Pakatan Harapan Youth vice chairman and DAP's National Assistant Publicity Secretary.
Here's a brief look at her background and achievements:
1. She survived two life-threatening incidents in her childhood
In her blog, Yeo revealed that she fell and hit her head when she was a toddler on the sharp edge of a wooden sofa.
"My entire skull became very soft. I was treated in ICU for many days and hospitalised in the General Hospital (of Seremban) for a long time," she wrote.
A few years later, when she was five, Yeo was hit by a car when she dashed into the road while playing. Luckily for her, the driver was a doctor and quickly attended to her after the accident.
2. An engineer by training, Yeo received a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue a master's degree at Cambridge University
Also a recipient of the Petronas Scholarship, Yeo graduated from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) with First Class Honours in Chemical Engineering.
After working with Schlumberger for two years, Yeo went on to pursue a Masters in Philosophy in Advanced Chemical Engineering under the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and subsequently graduated with a Commendation.
3. Yeo was elected state assemblyman for Damansara Utama when she was 29, making her the youngest member of the Selangor State Assembly from 2013 to 2018
Having just joined DAP as a full-time member in Aug 2012, the 13th general election (GE13) also marked the first time Yeo contested in a political election. She won with a 30,689 majority, which was also the highest majority for state seats in Malaysia for GE13.
The GE14 saw her moving back to her home state of Johor to contest for the Bakri parliamentary seat, which she won with a 23,211 majority. It was the highest majority ever achieved in the history of the Bakri parliamentary constituency.
4. A true proponent of equal opportunities in education, Yeo launched free tuition centres for students from low-income families via the Pusat Tuisyen Rakyat programme
Since 2014, Yeo's office has been running two tuition centres offering free classes for students aged between 7 and 17 in Damansara Bistari and Kampung Chempaka.
In addition, she organised leadership training camps for university students called LEAP (Leadership, Education, Activism and Politics), which aims to educate students on the political process and activism in Malaysia.
She also founded the Lawatan Anak Muda (LAM) Programme, which allows young participants to visit the Malaysian Parliament and the Selangor State Assembly.
5. She launched a book, Reimagining Malaysia, earlier this year
In the book, Yeo shares personal stories as well as her insights as a young lawmaker, covering "different aspects of nation-building that are close to my heart," such as institutional reform, education, youth, women and sustainable development.
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