[Revisiting Thoughts on Strategic Meeting EM-UKEC]
Last week was a two day full of meetings for me. For less than a week from being appointed as an executive in the UKECatalyst, a new job just came - that is to prepare for a strategic meeting between 22 organisations of Malaysian students in the UK-Eire. From shaking hands to listening their thoughts, all are worthwhile. The spirits were overwhelming, all attendees were pumped up and ready for this one whole day meeting.
As I was appointed to be a note taker during breakout session is Students Activism & Intellectual Discourses, I choose to write it here of my personal reflection after jotting down student leaders' disappointment and probably to revamp intellectual discourses that has been flourishing among Malaysian students in the UK.
1.Misunderstanding that politicians are scholars, where politicians are merely a tool.
This argument was proposed by a lad from Independent School of Thinkers, that argue for some organisations inviting Malaysian politicians to come to London as part of their intellectual discourses. This is true, intellectual discourses cannot narrowed down to merely politics.It is too superficial and undeniably of less benefit to students' themselves.This leads to the idea of 'pseudo-intellectualism', where we shall discuss later.
2. "I am from a partisan organisation, but my event is of no political agenda."
It is ad hominem, really, that people often misunderstood events handled by Kelab UMNO London is to attract people to join them and that's not the case. Students must understand that although they are sponsored by political organisation in Malaysia, that does not mean it has underlying agenda meant to spread the political doctrine among Malaysian students in the UK.
3.Ineffective Intellectual Discourses
Suah Jing Lian, from LSE, proposed that inviting scholarly intellectuals should immense discussions and academically rigorous with research done by postgrads prior to the event. A better quality and higher output will be produced.But what about a layman attending an event to simply learn Economics? What about those who are not interested at all? How to reach them? As Faizul(UKEC) proposed, the idea is to identify the audiences targeted in the event. Some suggests more to restructuring the intellectual discourse, some suggests to increase the bar and metric, but in the end if it meets the objectives and target audience, that will be sufficient.
4. Students seeking for justice
"Advocation of justice, equality, human rights and everything in between does not necessarily mean you are a politician"(Dr. Borhan). As true as it is, students questioned the retaliation over students and citizens for speaking of justice and truth. As this is proposed by KPUM(Kumpulan Pelajar Undang-Undang Malaysia/ Students Association of Malaysian Law Students in UK-Eire), probably I could relate with Steven Thiru, the chairman for Malaysian Bar Council and his speech when he was at UCL. The intervention made by some elitist in Malaysia have made the movement to be more subtle, in the sense that students are constraint to adhering only to what is being told by their sponsors, and further restraining political activism and political maturity that should be nurtured among students.
Do not fall trap in the pseudo-intellectualism.Inviting politicians simply not an intellectual discourse. Understanding the idea of intellectual and intellectualism should enlighten students' objectives prior to planning for an event. Students have various opinions on using partisan, non-partisan, or bi-partisan platform to address on making changes to Malaysia, but in the end the common interest is to have a better Malaysia despite different path that we choose.
6. "We are here with business attires, why are we too elitist when we say we are student leaders?"
Dear, defining formal and business attire is one thing. Undeniably true, i have seen Indonesians proud wearing their Baju Batik when attending formal functions, and yet, we Malaysians( and I myself) hardly would wear baju kurung/baju melayu. Are we less or even uncultured, at all? I remember I went to Malaysian Hall canteen and a stranger reminded me to not lose the Malay values. I questioned myself, what are the Malay values? Decency, politeness, modesty, respect for elders, speaking with good words and using proper language with underlying meaning if you want say something without hurting other people's feelings are part of being a Malay. It is superficial, really, to say that we are elitist just because we came to a formal function with business attire when we all share the same nationalities and the cultural values as Malaysians.
In the end, Malaysian students abroad share the same interest, same love and same passion to create a better movement for Malaysia. it was thought provoking day, I was tired, but the satisfaction was beyond imagination. Students in Malaysia should know that students abroad do care about our country, that we are not just here for travelling and spending money to go shopping. We have various students' movements and activism and we are optimist to building a better nation.
Disclaimer : This is merely the writer's opinion and does not represent UKEC.
Its totally a late post - indeed! But I can't help to force myself and hence, a blog update and wondering if I were ever gonna survive tomorrow. To do IB, is by far, the hardest thing in my life and as complicated as taking a driver's licence. It was not easy and full of emotional roller-coaster that even if your parents decided to come and send you some foods - you could cry a flood(that happened to me guys, really).
At the very beginning, I was simply applying scholarships to study abroad. Many of those I did not meet requirement because although I got eleven A's - it was not strong enough to apply to prestigious scholarships. I finally ended up with MARA that brought me to Kolej MARA Banting. It was one quick step - from psychometric test, to interview, and finally I was among the chosen 300 people to study in one of the best IB World School.
Then, I started googling everything about IB & KMB(Kolej MARA Banting). I started reading seniors' blogs - tips & tricks for passing IB - and eventually realising that passing the cut-off point is the real deal in IB because you're a sponsored student and you need to comply to a certain amount of point required by MARA (in this case : 35 points).
Well, of course I was very optimistic since the very beginning of doing IB. But the results were always stagnant and I kept on worrying if I could ever survived with at least 35 points. The thoughts were so overwhelming that I always had difficulties to sleep back then in KMB. Sometimes, it took me more than 3 hours only to make myself fall asleep. Sometimes, I did not sleep at all simply because I was busy completing Internal Assessments and Extended Essays. Life was tough and that's it, I was trying to give my all.
To my surprise, yes I passed with flying colours and now - am in London! I'm simply becoming a woman who is moreeee career-typed and now alhamdulillah I've been accepted for two City firms to become a Pro Bono Assistant. I kinda like the vibes in London somehow, and that makes me simply feel grateful that Allah has allowed me to go through all this and the IB itself - was worth the horrendous journey!
If there's any of juniors reading this :
Of course IB is tough, because it is meant for people who worth to give it a try. That it also means that its gonna make you grow stronger, and makes you unleash all the talents you and so does makes you become a different person as you graduate as an IB Survivor.
I remember I barely know nothing about writing academic research, what's more doing the footnotes, citation et cetera, and now its on your fingertips! Those skills that you've been trying so hard to acquire, will be the skills that you already have in your hearts as you pursue you degree - a one step further than A level students.
People say that we are crazy - for we divide our time between 6 subjects, 180 hours of co-curricular activities and learning sort-of-philosophical thing about Theory of Knowledge for 2 years. But yes, crazy people will eventually be among of those who is better than anyone else. So, what's the harm of enduring 2 years that will shape who you are in the future?
I'm also gonna tell you that IB can take you, spiritually, to a whole new level. You will start reminding yourself that no matter how hard you try, it is God's decision that will determine everything. So do good to others, be kind and not to be selfish. We might have encountered such people who is selfish for their own time, but, sometimes we forget that we might be one of those who are so selfish of doing kind 'cause we are too busy typing drafts and drafts of IA's and EE's.
If I were given a second chance to do IB, I'd tell myself to count every blessings and every people that you meet. They are gems and beautiful-hearted people that you'll find it hard to encounter in your university life.
Basically that's it.Haha.All such random words & nanny's advice from me.
Just happy and glad to tell you that I am finally in London for more than a month, alhamdulillah.
Remember how I used to rant over International Baccalaureate and how I was so intimidated of getting a placement? Its over ! I am now in reality of the dreams I used to have back then two years ago - to study abroad.
To be honest, living in London is the best decision thus far in my life. People might have asked me several times, ' why do I choose London? ' when London is known for its expensive cost of living and expensive rent too. My answer will always be - because there are just plenty of opportunities here.
Since London is the center of United Kingdom where it has been rapidly developing and it is known for many top universities(other than Queen Mary University of London, hiks) i.e. LSE, UCL, KCL, SOAS and many more.. and almost everyday there are just a lot of public lectures given by prominent speakers and professors in their expert fields. For this main reason : it drove me here, to London. I feel that I want to make use my young time very well. I know I need to maximise everything and at the same time cherish every single moment that I have as a student studying in a well-developed country. Simple, I want to spend the scholarship given by my country for good!
One might just pick London to live as a city girl and they could not bear living in a kampung place like Warwick - but that's up to them. One too, might choose London because it has a lot of singers doing concerts here( it's true,guys). But nonetheless, whatever your intention does reflect your vision and mission. It depends on you, totally. But honestly to me, I know what business am I doing now and I am serious to create a good path for my future.
Other than that,
I love London for there's just many opportunities to learn law. Recently, I received a good news from Pro Bono Society that I am accepted to work as a trainee at Dentons( a huge legal firm based in London) and the other internship for Corporate Law under Rare Recruitment. Really, I did not expect these to come at a time. I was simply give myself a try to apply as much as I can. Alhamdulillah too, that I am now under the process of working with HarperCollins to record on Malay IGCSE cd insyaAllah( just pray that the author liked my voice, hehe).
But, one thing for sure - I found what I have been looking for. I found exactly the happiness that I have been trying to fulfill and the contentment is such an overwhelming. I am glad to say that I have made the right decision and I'm truly enjoying my current life in London.
I would mark 13th of August as an achievement of a lifetime - for graduating from International Baccalaureate successfully.
Well, probably not good enough for all. 37 point with an additional of 2 points from CAS + EE + TOK, still below 40 points that can be considered as excellent. Well, that's life. If you are good at something, you'll find that there are people better than you. Stop comparing and be grateful of what is yours. But that's exactly what happened in KMB; if you got above 35 points and below 40 points you are only dubbed as an IB survivor that secured a scholarship to abroad. If you got 40 points till 45 points, you're dubbed as an excellent and will be called on the stage to receive special reward.
How lucky they are - said someone.
I get it, it is their definition of success. To me, why do I have to feel regret for not doing well when I can now secure a placement to a university listed the third after Oxford and Cambridge ( according to Guardian)? Afterall. it is just a conventional ranking that does not represent the real definition of success in the Worldview of Islam. It is, indeed, a fake ranking that we deemed to follow just because everyone's making it as a benchmark. And with all due respect, why do we have to please everyone and make them look at us as though everything that we do should be up to people's expectations?
That's what I keep on telling myself.
That I do not need to be excellent just to make myself look good infront of the public. That I won't be doing something just to look good in the resume. I'm doing this and that for myself, for my own empowerment, and that I could be nearer to God with the knowledge I gained.
That's the ultimate definition of success I have put in my life.
For graduating after a horrendous 2 years in Kolej MARA Banting, I feel the satisfactory that I have done my level of best. That if I may turn back time, I would still choose IB and I'd continue doing it no matter come what may.
Maybe yes, maybe you will only find that it is hard when you're in it but once you are done - meh, it is just a piece of more hardships coming.
I may proudly tell myself that I survived and becoming a stronger and better woman of who I am today. I am a work in progress, but improving extensively.Alhamdulillah.