KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 ― 2020 has without a doubt been a challenging year for all.
Despite the difficult year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysians from all walks of life have not failed to make the nation proud with their unwavering achievements.
Here’s a rundown of some of the proud Malaysian moments in 2020:
1. Malaysian teacher Samuel Isaiah made it to top 10 finalists of the 2020 Global Teacher Prize
Popular English teacher Samuel Isaiah made headlines again after he was selected as one of the 10 finalists of the 2020 Global Teacher Prize by London-based Varkey Foundation.
Although Samuel didn’t bag the top prize, he received widespread praise for his efforts to bring change to Malaysia’s Orang Asli children.
Samuel shot to fame when tweets on how 100 Orang Asli students travelled 200km to attend his wedding in 2017 made news headlines.
He was selected from a pool of 12,000 nominees from over 140 countries.
Samuel’s success also captured the attention of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and was praised by His Majesty.
2. Malaysian scientist wins prestigious Asean-US Science Prize for Women 2020
Universiti Malaya’s Dr Chan Yoke Fun has won the Asean-US Science Prize for Women 2020 from the Asean Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Underwriters Laboratories.
Dr Chan who heads Universiti Malaya’s Medical Microbiology department at the Medicine Faculty – was credited for her research on the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) that resulted in a vaccine to combat the virus and brain infection disease in children.
3. Artworks by Malaysian artist Haffendi Anuar enter UK’s prestigious Ashmolean museum
Two artworks by UK-based Malaysian contemporary artist Haffendi Anuar were placed in Britain’s historic Ashmolean Museum’s collection, after he won the museum’s prestigious Vivien Leigh Prize in October.
The winning artworks, Family Archive (Midday) I and Family Archive (Midday) III are archival ink photographic prints of photographs from his family archive at his parents’ place in Seremban.
4. Sungai Buloh Hospital Covid-19 team win Global Health Awards 2020
The Covid-19 team at the Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor which was designated as Malaysia's main Covid-19 hospital in March received recognitions at the Global Health Awards 2020 in October for its steadfast efforts to fight the pandemic.
Spearheading the team were the hospital’s Infectious Disease Department Dr Suresh Kumar and Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Department head Dr Shaiful Azman Zakaria.
The regional Asia-Pacific awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets that have maintained consistently high standards in delivering quality care and pushed the boundaries of delighting their customers at every stage and in every interaction.
5. Tengku Iman appointed as international patron of the World Mental Health Day 2020
Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al Sultan Abdullah gave a boost to Malaysia’s advocacy work in mental health after she was appointed as the international patron of the World Mental Health Day 2020, which fell on October 10.
The princess’ appointment was recommended by the World Federation for Mental Health and acknowledged by the World Health Organisation.
Tengku Iman, who is the eldest daughter of Yang di-Pertuan Agong, has been actively promoting mental health in the country since last year.
6. Nine-year-old Malaysian boy win’s Nasa’s Lunar Loo challenge with his innovative idea to solve astronaut’s toilet problem
A nine-year-old Malaysian boy’s simple yet brilliant gravity-defying loo solution for the astronauts earned him the top spot for Nasa’s Lunar Loo Challenge (Junior Category) last month.
Zyson Kang Zy Shun was taking part in Nasa’s challenge which was called on young inventors to share ideas for compact toilets that will help astronauts returning to the moon in 2024 under the Artemis programme.
Kang ranked the top with his fellow inventor Joel John Arun from the United Kingdom in the Under 11 category, which received nearly 900 submissions from 85 countries.
7. Malaysia’s top tower runner Soh Wai Ching breaks Guinness World Records
Twenty-six-year-old Malaysian tower runner Soh Wai Ching managed to set a new Guinness World Record for the greatest vertical height stair-climbing (male) in one hour.
Soh, who is Asia’s No 1 and world’s No 2 tower runner, completed the record-breaking run last month at the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur by clocking in an accumulated vertical running distance of 1,295 metres.
Prior to Soh’s attempt, the record was held by Spanish athlete David Robles Tapia who clocked in a distance of 1,227 metres in an hour on January 20, 2019.
Malaysia’s Dr Adeeba becomes first Asian woman to lead International AIDS Society
Infectious diseases specialist Prof. Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman became the first Asian to lead the International AIDS Society after she was appointed as the president in July.
A renowned figure in Malaysia and globally for her efforts as a medical expert and HIV/AIDS advocate, Dr Adeeba will lead the society for two years until 2022.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the society is the world’s largest independent association of HIV professionals with members from more than 170 countries working together to reduce the impact of AIDS.
9. TAR UC student becomes first Malaysian to top ACCA SBL exam
Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) student Caroline Ng Yi-Wye made the nation proud by becoming the first Malaysian to be the world number one in the Strategic Business Leader (SBL) ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) examination.
Prior to her world-class achievement, Ng was also among a team of six TAR UC students to win the “Most Innovative Team” award during the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Malaysia Business Challenge.
10. Two Malaysian university students win international award for their short documentary
A documentary film by two Malaysian university students was among the five winning documentaries by the Visual Documentary Project 2020 in Japan last month.
The film, titled Red Wine Chicken, was produced and directed by Angel Yuen Yi Qian and Chung Lay Woei who are pursuing their Bachelor of Communication Broadcasting at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Faculty of Creative Industries.
The 16-minute documentary focuses on a Vietnamese bride, Ah Jiao, married to a Malaysian man living in Bukit Pelanduk, Negri Sembilan.