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Essay Writing Contest 2014 Malaysia Golf

This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Malaysia’s Independence as an independent, multicultural and multi-religious sovereign nation. In honour of the 60 years of Merdeka, the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) and the Star Media Group, with support from Sunway University, have jointly organised a Merdeka Essay Writing Competition for youth around Malaysia to put their thoughts into writing. The theme is ‘Promoting National Unity and Moderation’ in Malaysia, and aims to ask the youth to think of the progress Malaysia has made in becoming a united country in its 60 years of independence. It is more important than ever to hear the voices of young Malaysians.

The competition is open to all young Malaysians between the ages of 16 and 22 who are studying in secondary schools (Category A) and in colleges and universities (Category B). There is one essay question for each category; contestants must answer one depending on which category they fall into.

– For Category A, secondary school students must write an essay, between 400 to 800 words, on “Is there a symbol that can be used to unite all Malaysians, respective of race, culture and religion, and how would you use the symbol to promote national unity in schools?”
– For Category B, college and university students must write an essay, between 500 to 1000 words, answering the question “From the perspective of a young adult, discuss the importance and strengths of national unity for Malaysia, and discuss how moderation plays a part in achieving such unity.”

Entries will be carefully evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges and winners of the essay competition will be announced in November this year. Competition winners will earn cash prizes and the chance to have their essays published in The Star. First prize winners for Category A, secondary school students, will receive RM1500. Second and third prize will win RM1000 and RM500 respectively. Winners for Category B, college and university students, will receive RM3000 for first place, RM2000 for second and RM1000 for third. There will be five consolation prizes of RM200 for both Category A and B.

Only the first 500 essays submitted and received via email will be judged. Contestants should submit one essay each. Entries must be written in English. Essays must be original, previously unpublished and submitted to this contest alone. All quotes and references used must be properly cited. Any form of plagiarism will result in disqualification. The decisions of the judges are final.

The deadline for submission has been extended to 4pm on 31st October 2017. Contestants should submit their entries by email to essay@asli.com.my with the following details:
– Full name (as on your IC)
– Contact numbers (mobile phone and landline)
– Email address
– Complete residential address
– Name of School/College/University
– Year and Course/Major
– School/College/University address and contact details

For more information and the guidelines for the essay writing competition, please click here.

Today the winners of the ASiS International Essay Writing Competition received their prizes during a special award ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

The Deputy Director of the Malaysia Ministry of Education attended the award ceremony and gave a speech in which he highlighted that wetlands are undervalued ecosystems despite the many functions and benefits they provide. He highlighted the timely nature of this essay competition, which exposes a younger generation to wetlands and the issues they face. As future leaders they can use the knowledge gained to influence decisions regarding the protection and conservation of these areas.

The competition was organised by Wetlands International in collaboration with SM Sains Alam Shah (ASiS) School and the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. This year the theme was “Conserving our natural heritage – wetlands: a global perspective”. A total of 76 students, between 12-18 years, from 17 countries in Asia and Africa submitted entries.

First place winner Preevena Devi Jayabalan receives her prize

After careful scrutiny by an international panel of judges the winners were selected. In the Senior category (16-18) the first prize went to Preevena Devi Jayabalan from Malaysia. Preevena’s essay explores migratory birds in Malaysia and the impact of habitat loss on these birds. The essay ends with a simple but powerful call to action:

In a nutshell, not only the habitats, but the birds and their flyway routes should be protected not destroyed. Remember this; we are humans. If we carry on with this, we could be even worse than animals. Have some love and peace because not everything can be achieved using power and destruction. Spread tranquility and beyond to the environment, most importantly to the birds.

In the Junior category (12-15) first prize went to Anushka Phadke from India. Anushka’s essay explores the beauty and importance of wetlands and the fate that awaits wetlands and humans if we continue to destroy them.

The top three entries in each category as well as a number of consolation prize winners received a book and a certificate. Certificates will also be distributed to all participants who met the entry requirements for the competition. A parent of one of the participation certificate winners comment on the importance of this award:

This competition not only helped my son to get a deeper understanding about conservation issues globally and contextually, but also develop the passion to come forward and contribute his part along with making others aware about this serious issue. 

Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International, recorded a message congratulating the winners.

You can read the winning essays on the competition website. This initiative was funded by the SM Sains Alam Shah School, Wetlands International and a contribution from CAF America and Arcus.

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