Home News Rocking, lah: Thumbs-up to achievements of young Malays

Rocking, lah: Thumbs-up to achievements of young Malays




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Suresh Nair/

THE younger generations of Singapore Malays are flying high. They’re truly rocking!

About 60 high-flyers, who excelled in academics, education, business, social, culture, community and sports, were invited for a special Hari Raya get-together by Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim to salute their outstanding achievements.

And it’s an endearing story to tell of every achievement as it will offer deserving inspiration to the Malay (and even Singaporean) community that the sky’s really the limit for them to pursue their respective dreams.

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MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Zainal Sapari praises: “Behind the achievement of each one of these young Malay/Muslim individuals is a story filled with a passionate drive to excel, fulfil a dream and chart new milestones of success for the community.

“Despite the odds and challenges, they overcome their adversity through sheer grit and determination. I hope their stories are shared with all so that others, regardless of age, race and religion can be inspired and to know that every achievement starts with having a dream.”

Zainal, who is also NTUC assistant secretary-general and Director, Care and Share Department, is an icon example of a young Malay politician who rose up the ladder through the proverbial “blood, sweat and tears”.

He came from a family of seven, with his father working as a rank-and-file employee and his mother providing domestic assistance to an expatriate family.

Indeed, his family background would have shaped his future political cause of supporting low-wage workers. A graduate of Nanyang Technological University with a Master of Arts in Educational Management, through which he has served for 20 years in the education service before embarking on his political career.

Among some of the Malay/Muslim role-models were:

  • Nur Yusrina Ya’akob: First Malay-Muslim woman from Singapore to reach the summit of Mount Everest. She succeeded on her second attempt, after an avalanche caused by an earthquake prevented her from doing so two years ago. She is pursuing a postgraduate diploma in physical education at NIE.
  • Muhammad Ridhwan: Singapore’s first World Boxing Association (WBA) champion (Asia Super Featherweight category). Three-time SEA Games bronze medallist. Head coach and co-founder of local boxing gym, Legends Fight Sport.
  • Siti Noor Mastura Rahmatullah: Recipient of the 2016 President’s Award for Volunteerism and/or Philanthropy (Youth). Started Back2Basics in November 2013 to distribute groceries to disadvantaged families regardless of background. Their outreach has also expanded to include long-term befriending of several of these beneficiaries.
  • Nur Dian Mohd Rashid: Owner,Rosevalley and Celebfest selling Muslimah attire. Former President of Mendaki Club (2011-2013). She mentors potential entrepreneurs at Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SMCCI). Graduated with a degree in Psychology from University of Western Australia.
  • Muhammad Haseef Salim: Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award recipient for 2016. Conferred certification from University of Western Australia. Team Singapore Hockey player, 2015 Singapore SEA Games (Silver), 2013 Myanmar SEA Games (Silver) 2011 Myanmar SEA Cup (Silver).
  • Nurul Azmah Iqbal: Special Achievement Award for Excellence (Academic) Mendaki 2016. Nanyang Polytechnic with Diploma (Merit) in Medicinal Chemistry. Pursuing Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) in NUS
  • Nur Hanisah Sukarji: Anugerah Cemerlang Mendaki 2016. Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental), First Class Honours from National University Technology (NTU). She received CEE Admission Award and Commissioner of Police Award in 2012.
  • Dr Roszalina Rawi: Post-Doctorate Fellow, National Institute of Education (NIE). PhD in language from Cambridge University, Britain.
  • Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah: Doctorate in Philosophy (Sports Education) from National Technological University Singapore (NTU) in 2017. Lecturer in Sports Science with Temasek Polytechnic. Former Chairman of Al-Islah Mosque, Punggol from 2010 to 2015.  His team raised $5million, which assisted in the renovation cost of the mosque.
  • Farhana Hassan: Former student of Madrasah WakTanjung Al-Islamiah. Degree in Arabic Language and Literature from Al-Azhar University and foundation certificate in translation at the American University in Cairo. Master’s Degree in Education specialising in Teaching Arabic to non-native speakers.
  • Nurhida Yacob: Recognised as Asia’s top 50 women leaders by CMO Asia and World Brand Congress 2016 for excellence in new technology development. Head of Engineering at Latize. Graduated with a Diploma in Information Technology from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and completed her degree and masters in IT at NUS.
  • Mizah Rahman: Director & Co-founder of Participate in Design, a non-profit organisation that helps neighbourhoods and public institutions design community owned spaces and solutions. Associate Lecturer in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, School of Design and Environment. Masters in Architecture in 2009 and 2011 respectively from the National University of Singapore.

Minister Yaacob reiterated that the Malay/Muslim community has over the years achieved much progress on various fronts, and remained steadfast in overcoming challenges.

He says: “Our resilience and resolve, our constant pursuit of innovation and lifelong learning, and most importantly, our efforts to be a blessing to all will keep our community in good stead as we strive onward, as one united Singaporean people, towards a brighter future.”

Cheers, once again, to the younger generation of Singapore Malays who are flying high and standing out as outstanding role models.

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