2020 is coming to an end, with the world still trying to make sense of how a virus which started in one corner of the world created a ripple effect worldwide, making it come to an almost stand still.
This year was like no other, but Malaysians from all walks remained united through diversity. Hence, we at GoodNews would like to celebrate them and their achievements. We present to you:
Our Unsung Heroes of 2020
Ordinary people with extraordinary powers
Superheroes are larger than life, with super powers that are quite simply beyond any human. Everyday superheroes however are a whole different story. They are just like you and me. They possess the power of determination, resilience, humility, and the ability to overcome adversity. This year, as we face a pandemic, we saw ordinary people change lives, make a difference, and inspire us. These individuals have their heart in the right place.
Demi Negara – For Love of Country
Right up there with the Avengers are our very own frontliners; ordinary people who in their own way, protected and served Malaysians during this pandemic. These are individuals who kept the country operating throughout these difficult times. Healthcare workers, teachers, delivery providers, restaurateurs, online sellers, essential service providers. The list goes on…
DG TAN SRI DR NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
Doctor On Call, Saving Lives 24/7
Malaysia’s Director General of Health, who is leading the nation’s charge against Covid-19, needs no introduction as one of Malaysia’s real-life superheroes. This man, together with his medical frontliners, truly deserves a standing ovation.
From Sir, With Love and a Ukelele!
Cikgu Samuel’s effort to go the extra mile for his students is an inspiration to us all. He braved travelling to the interiors to educate Orang Asli children with his own bold and creative teaching methods that made an impact on his Orang Asli pupils, whose interest in writing and speaking English had grown.
SHALINI DEVI GANESAN
Sous-Chef Chasing Dreams
Born with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 (SMA2), a genetic neuromuscular disorder that affects the nerve cells controlling voluntary muscles, this young lady was determined to don her ‘chef whites’. Shalini whips up amazing recipes with her mum, who is Head Chef. Together, they cook up a storm in the kitchen sharing their journey on YouTube channel Shalini Views.
Pensioner with a heart of gold
Age is no barrier for this septuagenarian. Many look forward to living a comfortable life after retiring, however, Tony Lian, fondly known as Uncle Tony, founded Food4U, an NGO that sets out to feed the poor and homeless every week.
A man who wears many hats, Raja Singham is the co-founder of BAC and an innovative visionary who spearheaded several impactful initiatives to help those affected by the pandemic, such as the training of 20,000 unemployed and retrenched Malaysians for the digital workforce and a curated fundraising platform to aid the vulnerable. Under his leadership, BAC was the only Malaysian company to receive the prestigious 2020 ASEAN Business Advisory Council Award for Combating COVID-19.
Twirling her way to Triumph
First started competing 4 years ago, at the tender age of 7, this pint-sized little wonder is now ranked Asia’s number 8 in the world of figure skating. Her eyes set for the Winter Olympics, Sangeeta is just one of the many Malaysians making great strides in the world. Having bagged 5 gold medals in the Ice-Skating Institute (ISI) Asia Final Championship Series in Bangkok earlier this year, she truly is a world-class inspiration.
An Answer to Nature’s Call
This 9-year old Malaysian prodigy, and winner of the NASA’s Lunar Loo Challenge 2020, crushed almost 900 other submissions from 85 countries. This little ‘Conqueror of Gravity’ is quite a wonder. His invention which enables astronauts to answer the call of nature is an ingenious one.
Carving a Name of his Own
A Mokhtar Dahari Academy graduate whose name was recorded in Malaysian football history books, when he became the first Malaysian footballer to play in a European top league. He was awarded the coveted 2020 NXGN award or ‘Golden Boy’ by Goal.com, for being one of the world’s top 50 best players under 19.
NAZIRAH ABD RAHMAN aka MAMA PINKY
Clowning around for a Better Cause
She may be a funny sight to some, but she surely brings hope to strays. Juggling two jobs to make a living is one thing, but Nazirah Abd Rahman, mother of 3, does it for a different reason – to feed and care for stray cats.
ZAMRI JAMAL ADUL HAKIM
Delivery Dad’s Bundle of Joy
A 35-year old businessman turned midwife who delivered a baby by himself. Zamri and wife were caught off guard in the wee hours one morning, when the baby decided to greet the world a week earlier than expected. His ability to keep cool and apply his knowledge from a parenting class, saved the day for his wife and newborn baby!
All we need to keep us going through these times is a little bit of kindness and mindfulness, don’t you think?
With this, we at GoodNews wish you Blessed New Year!
(Artwork Credits: Mr. Kumar Nagalingam)