Curtin Malaysia students among top 50 picks for prestigious young talent awards

Miri – 5 November 2020 – Three engineering students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) have done their university proud by making it to the Top 50 nominees for the prestigious MonStar Awards 2020.

Billed as Malaysia’s largest young talent awards, the MonStar Awards were created to discover and recognise young talents in Malaysia. This year’s awards, themed ‘2020: A Year of Change’, marks the third edition to discover individuals who have talent beyond academic studies or are actively participating in extra-cocurricular activities that deserve to be recognised by the nation.

The students, Jerin Thomas George, Kaylene Anjek and Kee Kia Wei, were among several hundred nominees for the awards. They included two other Curtin Malaysia students, mechanical engineering student Athena Marie Thien Shuk Ting and commerce student Law Jen Ni, who made it to the Top 100.

Jerin, who is studying chemical engineering, believes it is time to create a truly inclusive Malaysia. As one who loves emceeing and public speaking and has had the opportunity to host over 50 events in Kuala Lumpur and Miri, he is using his talent to help the visually-impaired who have been greatly impacted by the global pandemic. Teaming up with friend and Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 runner-up Charissa Chong, they set up #IFund, a highly successful online campaign to raise public awareness and garner donations online for the visually-impaired.

Kaylene, who is also a chemical engineering student, is a strong advocate for youth empowerment, especially with rising unemployment among the young. She says change is inevitable and as the next generation, today’s youth need to be agile, open to change and take charge of their lives. Kaylene believes a good education is crucial to youth empowerment and has volunteered to work among young children, inspiring them to excel in their studies and achieve their life goals.

Meanwhile, Kia Wei, who is an electrical power engineering student, initiated a project called Save-a-Ringgit to empower underprivileged children and help them be more financially savvy. He also started a project with other students called Light Up Borneo to build over 500 solar lamps for distribution to rural schools without electricity supply in the Baram region of Sarawak. Kia Wei hopes to inspire young people to embrace technology and innovation through practical engineering solutions he has showcased in competitions such as the Hult Prize Competition, Innovate Malaysia Design Competition and the Dyson Award competition.

Senior lecturer in chemical engineering and faculty advisor to the students, Dr. Bridgid Chin Lai Fui, said all five of them deserved to be among Malaysia’s top young talents, capable of inspiring and influencing other youths. She hopes Jerin, Kaylene and Kia Wei will make it to the Top 10 selection, who will be revealed at the MonStar Awards 2020 live virtual awards event on 11 December 2020.

Both Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Simon Leunig and Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Science Professor Vu Tuong Thuy extended their congratulations to the students. Professor Vu also thanked Dr. Chin for helping the students with their award submissions and giving them encouragement.

The high-profile 2020 jury panel shortlisting the nominees comprises YAM Tengku Zatashah of Selangor, eight-times world squash champion Datuk Nicol David, Group Chief Executive Officer of Nando’s Malaysia and Singapore Mac Chung Lynn, Chief Executive Officer of A&W Malaysia George Ang, co-founder of Fashion Valet and The dUck Group Datin Vivy Yusof, and Country Human Resources Director of Shell Malaysia Shazmi Ali.

According to the award organisers, GoMonsta Asia, a large number of applications and nominations – 450 from 35 institutions throughout Malaysia – were received this year. The quality of the applicants’ essays and 1-minute videos, which accompanied their submissions, were also superb, they said.

Those in the Top 50 will receive annual Monsta Xperience Passes, certificates of recognition and digital media exposure. They will also be featured on Monsta’s Top 100 Talent Wall of Fame and access to an industry mentorship session, whilst those in the Top 100 will receive certificates of recognition, be featured in the Top 100 Wall of Fame, and access to the industry mentorship session.

Meanwhile, those selected as the Top 10 young talents in Malaysia will receive Monsta Xperience Passes, certificates of recognition, trophies, digital media exposure, and VIP tickets to an after-event networking session. They will also be featured on Monsta’s Top 100 Talent Wall of Fame and enjoy exclusive networking opportunities with industry partners and the jury, as well as receive industry mentorship.

Three Curtin Malaysia students are in the Top 50 nominees for the GoMonsta Awards 2020.

Jerin, Kaylene and Kia Wei in the running for the Top 10.