Famous Worldwide

Sep 12, 2014 1 Min Read

Photo credit (above): Andrew Smith | Flickr

Apart from being given the opportunity to research and write on great coporate leaders in Malaysia, I was also given the privilege to interview Amber Chia and Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. I asked them about their thoughts on unity for the upcoming Malaysia Day.

P05_1309_Datuk Sheikh 1

Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor

Orthopaedic surgeon and astronaut

Sheikh Muszaphar is an astronaut, orthopaedic surgeon, motivational speaker, as well as a fellow researcher at the Institute of Space Science, National University of Malaysia (UKM).

Not only was he the first Malaysian to go into outer space, he was also the first Muslim to observe Ramadhan in space. Additionally, he performed experiments on board the International Space Station.

There are many valuable lessons that we can learn from him, with the most important being the necessity to nurture our abilities to spot and seize opportunities that come our way, which has been proven by his achievements throughout his career.

How do you think that we can continue to develop harmony and unity in our country, as Malaysians?

As Malaysians, it is important to have an open mind and tolerance. Respect for other religions and cultures is vital to maintain harmony and unity. Being patriotic should not just be on Merdeka Day but throughout.

Instilling love for the country should begin to be cultivated and nurtured from young.

A knowledgeable nation is what we should aim for, as being educated, open-minded, having an understanding of others, and holding them in high regard are key elements to sustaining harmony and unity in a multiracial country like Malaysia – and we have certainly proven that with time.

I hope that Malaysians do not take these values for granted. This is what makes us unique as Malaysians!

In your opinion, why do you think it is important to lead by influence?

You need to have substance in order to lead. You need to have the right qualities and be an example before leading others.

Each of us should focus on strengthening our values and being the best person in whatever we do in life. Only then will people listen and look up to you for guidance.

What is your recipe for success?

Having a big dream, passion, belief in yourself. Strive hard to achieve your dream.

Failure is good as you learn from it and become a better person after. Do not forget to grab every opportunity and do not be afraid to take risks in life.

In other words, you need to have the right stuff to succeed. Anyone can do it with the right mental attitude.

What is your advice for the Gen-Ys of today?

The voice of Gen-Y is very important to the nation. Be fresh, dynamic, competent and aggressive with ideas in order to make a change.

Competence and innovation is important, so start preparing yourselves with these qualities.

The country should certainly give the youth a voice to be heard as they play a big role in shaping the direction of this nation.

P05_1309_Amber Chia

Amber Chia

International Model & Principal of Amber Chia Academy

Born in Ipoh but raised in Sabah, Amber Chia is an established international model and actress.

Chia has an impressive history as a model. She has done fashion shows and photo shoots for many prominent brands, such as Chanel, Victoria Beckham, and Jimmy Choo – another famous Malaysian!

Not only that, she has also been awarded with various titles, one of them being “Most Popular Celebrity Model of the Year” in the Malaysia Model Festival Awards.

Chia is currently the founder and principal of her own modeling school, called Amber Chia Academy. Coming from a small town, her career proves to us that success is not impossible for anyone, provided that we put in hard work to develop our passion.

How do you think that we can continue to develop harmony and unity in our country, as Malaysians?

As Malaysians, and human beings in general, I believe that we should all be treated as equals – regardless of gender, race, religion, occupation or background – and be given equal opportunities.

By giving the same respect to everyone, it can be a big step towards developing harmony and unity in our country.

In your opinion, why do you think it is important to lead by influence?

Similar to what I have mentioned before, equality is very important in many aspects, including leadership.

As such, leaders should lead by influence and example because if they want others to do something, they must be able to show that they are willing to do it first, and do it well.

What is your recipe for success?

My two key ingredients for success are passion and hard work. Without passion, it will be difficult to succeed in what you do because you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. And, of course, hard work goes without saying because nothing comes free in life.

What is your advice for the Gen-Ys of today?

One of my favourite advice, and one that I strongly live by, is “never try, never know”. If you don’t go for it and try, you will never know whether it will work out.

You will only be filled with questions and regrets. But, if you try and it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, then you at least won’t be regretful.

Some parting words: To everyone reading this, Happy Malaysia Day and let’s celebrate being Malaysians with pride!

Apart from the people mentioned above, there are countless other Malaysians who carry precious lessons for us to take away. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and are not necessarily leaders on the frontline.

These people are all out there for us to meet and discover – all we have to do is go forth and build those relationships. This Malaysia Day, I hope we don’t forget the importance of unification through relationships, as well as the significance of leading through influence and building communities of love around us as a result.

Sarah wishes everyone a Happy Malaysia Day, and admires all leaders in Malaysia who are actively building and improving our country, whatever the area they are in. Get in touch with Sarah through editor@leaderonomics.com.

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