KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — A raucous bidding for the time of 20 of Malaysia’s most influential young mentors today eventually raised over RM7,000 to aid underprivileged secondary school students.
In the event by the Global Shapers Kuala Lumpur chapter (GSKL) a part of the Global Shapers Community under the World Economic Forum, winning bidders would be able to spend up to an hour with their chosen mentor.
Among the mentors available for bidding was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, who ended up being “auctioned” off for RM3,000.
Via a live video broadcast, he apologised for not being able to attend as he was in Indonesia, but said would make it up to the winning bidder by personally picking the winner up himself and then bringing him or her out for dinner instead of spending only an hour with the person.
GSKL member Ashley Suelyn, 27, said the funds raised will go to one of their initiatives called After 5.
“Many secondary school graduates who are from less privileged areas in the country often face difficulties as they lack information access and skill sets which are required for them to succeed in the 21st century,” she told the Malay Mail.
Suelyn said After 5 aids these students, mostly in Form Four and Five, by helping them to explore what paths of interests they have and also guiding them towards making informed choices in their lives and careers, such as better financial literacy.
“After 5 is one of several initiatives we are currently pursuing. Others include the Shapers Speakers Series where leading change-makers can share their knowledge and experience with others, and Better Living which is designed to tackle stereotypes and prejudices against ageing,” she said.
The second highest winning bid was for Eizaz Azhar, 32, the co-founder and executive director of MCK Studios. He told Malay Mail he has worked various jobs prior.
“I was formerly in the media industry for a bit, and now also work for a government-linked company under the Finance Ministry,
“So it was an interesting experience switching from media to finance management,” he said.
Eizaz is also a talented saxaphone player, whose ability with the instrument wowed the audience during the fundraiser.
“These skill sets that I have, I try to use them to better society. Hopefully the time I spend with the winning bidder can help to generate fruitful ideas,
“I try to inspire youths by telling them my story, like how I dropped out of school when I was 14. Now look where I am, so if I can do it why not you?” he said.