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From Kedah to Wellington: Championing youth involvement in public policy

Muhammad Nur Hisham bin Md Haron, or more fondly known as Hisham, grew up in Sik, a small town up north of Malaysia in the land of paddy fields, Kedah. Fuelled by his humble beginnings coming from a low-income household, much of his motivation to succeed today is driven by his commitment to providing his family a better life.

Now an accounting student minoring in public policy at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Hisham balances working towards his professional career in auditing and a passion for public policy.

Our Role as a Malaysian Citizen

This aspiring policymaker has an interest that started early on in his schooling days, during which he would participate in public speaking and parliamentary debates representing his school. “I think it’s very important for all of us to learn public policy because every policy made by the government will have the ultimate impact on the people” he shares. However, now more than ever as a JPA scholar, he explains that he shoulders more responsibility in keeping himself informed and involved. “We are sponsored by the government – all the tuition fees, flight tickets and monthly allowances are paid by the rakyat”, he elaborates.

As a member of the student wing of a Malaysian political party, he advocates for student issues such as concerns on water supply at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and stateless children in Sabah and Sarawak. Though far from home, he continues to contribute virtually wherever possible. This aligns with the spirit of MyHeart, which encourages all Malaysians abroad to give back to the nation from wherever they are.

In addition, being part of the International Bureau of the Youth wing of the said political party connects him with Malaysian students globally from the USA and Jordan who share the same aspirations and political ideology to represent their student community.

The Future of Public Policy in Malaysia

In sharing his views, Hisham has a positive outlook on what’s to come for Malaysia, “Honestly, we are on the right track because we have many long-term policies that are currently being implemented, such as Dasar Ekonomi Madani, the National Energy Transition Roadmap, the New Industrial Master Plan, and Dasar Gaji Progresif.” To him, the focus should be on the welfare of the people, not the development of skyscrapers and the like.

Being Part of a Malaysian Community

Hisham_NZ

Just like many Malaysians we’ve spoken to, Hisham shares the same sentiment of the importance of staying connected to Malaysians abroad. Taking care of the relationship among themselves is important, especially in times of need. Referencing a recent road accident involving five Malaysian students, Hisham explains that fellow Malaysians were ready to assist in handling many things. “Ustaz Idris, the imam of Masjid An-Nur, is one of the Malaysians in New Zealand who helped a lot in handling things for the students. When in need, they are ready to help”.

The strong bonds of Malaysians across borders and the sense of unity wherever they are in the world is heartwarming. MyHeart continues to grow its community of Malaysians globally – creating a space for them to stay in touch and collaborate. Speaking from a student’s point of view, Hisham finds MyHeart to be a great platform to leverage on building connections with professionals in his field.

As a proud Malaysian, Hisham hopes to see more youths keeping up with current affairs and taking an interest in understanding how public policies impact the people of Malaysia. Understanding the importance of keeping our audience informed, MyHeart continues to find ways to bring the latest news on Malaysia’s development through monthly newsletters, bite-sized social media content and sharing of news articles on the portal.

Looking ahead, Hisham hopes to build a career in audit upon graduating. Exciting times await this driven student, and we hope to see him continue thriving and making Malaysia proud.

Are you a Malaysian student abroad looking to connect with fellow Malaysians? Sign up on MyHeart today and discover other like-minded individuals.

Incentives Templer Park International School

40% scholarship of tuition fees + Zero application fee (worth RM 1000) + Zero registration fee (worth RM 4000)

Incentives International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

Application fee waiver (worth RM1,500)

Incentives Oasis International School

100% Waiver of Registration Fee (RM10,000 value)

Incentives Sri KDU

50% rebate off the Application Fee

Incentives Straits International School

100% OFF Application & Registration fees + 10% OFF Annual School Fees

Savings of over RM10,000 plus additional benefits

NOTES

For new students at any ISP (International School Partnership) School in Malaysia

Incentives Tenby Schools

100% OFF Application & Registration fees + 10% OFF Annual School Fees

Savings of over RM10,000 plus additional benefits

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For new students at any ISP (International School Partnership) School in Malaysia

Incentives Asia Pacific Schools

100% OFF Application & Registration fees + 10% OFF Annual School Fees

Savings of over RM10,000 plus additional benefits

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For new students at any ISP (International School Partnership) School in Malaysia

Incentives Epsom International School

100% waiver of Enrollment Fees

Up to RM20,000 + Additional Benefits

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Available for new students applying from now until 31 December 2023

Incentives Taylor’s International School

100% waiver of Registration Fees

Savings up to RM20,000

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Only for new enrollments into any of Taylor’s International School (Branch Kuala Lumpur / Puchong) from now until 31 December 2023

Incentives Australian International School Malaysia (AISM)

100% waiver of Registration Fees

Savings up to RM20,000

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Only for new enrollments into any of Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) from now until 31 December 2023

Incentives Nexus International School

100% waiver of Registration Fees

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Only for new enrollments into any of Nexus International School from now until 31 December 2023

Incentives Gardens International School

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Only for new enrollments into any of Gardens International School from now until 31 December 2023

Dr Catheryn Lim

Who is Dr Catheryn Lim?

Currently a Senior Research Fellow at Matthew Wood group and Chair, Early-Mid Career Researchers Committee at Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford. Received her Ph.D., Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry from UNSW Dr. Lim is now working on understanding disease mechanisms and developing genetic treatments for neuromuscular diseases. Two of these strategies are now at later stages of development where she is collaborating with industrial partners to optimise the strategies in preparation for first-in-human clinical trials.

Format of the sharing session

The participants for the session consisted of students and academicians coming from various biological and related sciences background.

During the session, Dr. Lim shared about her experience and journey in the research world and delved into the new developments being made in genetic treatments (specifically in neuromuscular diseases). She also shared some tips and advice on how to be active in the biotechnology research industry.

Outcome

The session has exposed 183 participants to new development in genetic treatments (specifically in neuromuscular diseases).

Dr Aid Fawzal

Who is Dr Aid Fawzal?

Experienced CFD Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive, energy and oil & gas industries. Strong professional background with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mechanical, Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering from Coventry University. Invented a constant number which is called the Fawzal Number (Fa) which is used to optimize supercar’s cooling system.

Format of the sharing session

Our participants consist of students from various engineering field and various level of studies, from bachelor’s degree to PhD.

During the session, Dr Aid shared with us the step-by-step process involved in designing a car using a simulation software where he explained why certain components are designed in such ways and the importance of each component. He also shared some tips to students who are planning to go into the automotive field.

Outcome

The session has benefited 284 participants with new knowledge and exposure to the automotive world and inspire our future engineers to pursue and improve our automotive industry.

Samantha Chong

In 2022, we collaborated with KL City Opera and organised a masterclass with Samantha Chong, a Malaysian mezzo-soprano based in Hong Kong

Objective

To develop the performing arts scene in Malaysia via a collaboration with a leading name in classical Italian opera.

Format of the masterclass

The masterclass was held over 2 days, where 4 participants were selected to perform an aria or duet. Samantha then provided verbal and demonstrative feedback to each participant for 7-9 minutes each, which included song and scene interpretation, and stage presence.

Outcome

Samantha made a conscious effort to focus her sharing NOT on singing, but on the various aspects of performance, something that Malaysian performers lacked. So, MyCollabs acted as a medium for her to guide the students in navigating the world of classical opera, including dealing with different stakeholders like conductors, music directors and repetiteurs.

The students, on the other hand, received a rare opportunity to undergo a masterclass conducted by a seasoned performer for free. They could then use the knowledge they gained to enhance their opera skills and hopefully, pursue a career as full-time professional opera singers, something which is a rarity in Asia.