50 Young Malaysian Heroes
theCicak (which has been kind enough to publish a couple of my pieces in the past) is running a competition to celebrate the 50th year of Malaysian independence (yes, suck it up, revisionists). The theme? 50 young Malaysian heroes.
I've been spammed with advertisements for this like a billion times (I'm only slightly exaggerating), but today, I got a personal appeal to join the competition and advertise it on this site.
So, here's my answer to the first request: thanks, but no thanks. I know it's disappointing, but it ties into my reason for deciding to promote the competition.
The reason I am not participating is because, sadly, I don't know any young Malaysians who I would call a hero. I still have difficulty coming up with Malaysians of any age who I could confidently label a hero.
Yes, I know, I'm a horrid pessimist who probably has incredibly high standards for evaluating people. (But I hold myself to the same standards, so at least I can't be accused of hypocrisy.)
My challenge to anyone reading this is to find a Malaysian between the ages of 12 and 29 who you consider to be a hero, and submit an essay on them for this competition. I know there have to be some heroes out there in this country, but I don't know who they are. I hope you can tell me. (Oh yeah, unfortunately this competition is only open to those aged between 15 and 25, so if you are out of this age range...feel free to just contact me personally instead.)
Of course, I know this ain't the most exciting incentive ever. So have a look at the contest details — a chance to be published in a book, win up to RM3,000 worth of prize money. And I'm sure there's more — see for yourself.
So, go on. If you can think of a young Malaysian hero, get writing. I want to hear about this fine young person, because if there's one thing Malaysia seems to lack, it's young people who go above and beyond the call of duty — who exemplify the meaning of heroism.