UCSI scholars present award to think tank, IDEAS, founder

KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI University Trust’s (UCSI) scholarship recipients recently presented the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) founding president, Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Tuanku Muhriz, with Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Impactful Young Leaders Award 2015. 

The Award honours young Malaysians who have made an impact to the community, region and nation through their profession or contributions. Organised by the UCSI Scholars’ Circle (U-Schos), the winners were voted by more than 10,500 Malaysian students – between 16 and 25 years old – from government and private institutions of higher learning (IHL) in Malaysia. 

Apart from receiving his Award Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz also spoke on the topic ‘‘An Empowered Youth in Uncertain Times’. 

In his talk, Tunku ‘Abidin encouraged students to “play an active part in the life of the nation”. He also impressed to them that leadership is about inspiring people to follow, not compelling them to. 

“The role of leaders is to share their beliefs and to explain why they hold those beliefs. If they inspire others in doing so then I think that is the best form of leadership.” 

A good sport, he good naturedly went along with the students’ teasing during the question and answer session. He even shared insights on his journey growing up. 

This included going along with his friends into the consulting line when he was in his early twenties. By doing what he was not passionate about, he found his true calling. 

“The more interviews I went to, the more I realised that consulting was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in public policy and that was how IDEAS, then called Malaysia Think Tank, came about,” he said. 

UCSI’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Senior Prof Dato’ Dr Khalid Yusoff, applauded the students initiative in organising the event and encouraged them to excel beyond the shores of Malaysia. 

He shared several initiatives undertaken by UCSI to foster an international student experience on campus. In addition to sending students to Harvard University and Imperial College London for research, UCSI will also host students from top foreign universities. 

UCSI Group Founder and Chairman, Dato’ Peter Ng was also present at the award ceremony. 

The other winners of this year’s award include Cheryl Yeoh, CEO, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC); Joel Neoh, founder and former CEO, Groupon Malaysia; Keeran Sivarajah, co-founder & former CEO, Teach for Malaysia; Michael Teoh Su Lim, founder, Thriving Talents Sdn Bhd; Ruth Yeoh, director, YTL-SV Carbon Pte Ltd, and Timothy Tiah, co-founder, Netccentric Pte Ltd. 

Held for the second year in a row, previous year’s winners include Aireen Omar – CEO and executive director of AirAsia Berhad and notable sports personalities such as Dato’ Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nicol David, who clinched the ‘Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Young Leader and Personalities Award’ last year.