10 Awesome Malaysian Things You Didn't Know Happened in 2021
This year has been a tough year for all of us, we won't deny it. But despite all that, it's also been a year of compassion, solidarity, achievements and of course, Malaysians looking out for Malaysians.
In the midst of all that's been going on this year, it's easy to get caught up in all the chaos and we end up missing out on all the good things that have happened around us. In conjunction with our nation's birthday, here is some good news to celebrate and be happy about as Malaysians. Selamat Hari Malaysia!
Malaysian Paralympians bring home 5 medals
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics has just concluded in early September and our Paralympians have done us proud yet again! In the Rio 2016 Games, they managed to take home 3 gold and 1 bronze medals. This year, these inspirational athletes did even better by cinching 3 gold and 2 silver medals! *applause*
From para-powerlifting to boccia and even badminton, our Paralympians have gone above and beyond to make our country proud! Here's a list of our Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champions and their well-deserved wins!
Bonnie Bunyau Gustin: Men's 72 kg Para-powerlifting Gold Medal
Abdul Latif Romly: Men's Long Jump T20 Athletics Gold Medal
Cheah Liek Hou: Men's Singles SU5 Badminton Gold Medal
Jong Yee Khie: Men's 107 kg Para-powerlifting Silver Medal
Chew Wei Lun: Mixed Individual BC1 Boccia Silver Medal
Lim Boon Chuan helps develop Covid-19 rapid test technology
By now most of us are familiar with or have used a form of the Covid-19 rapid test kit. But did you know that Malaysian Lim Boon Chuan was part of the team of scientists who developed the prototype technology for it?
The amazing thing is it wasn't even part of Lim's PHD studies, but when he was assigned the role and saw the massive potential it had, he pushed on. So the next time you or a loved one takes a Covid-19 rapid test, you know who to thank!
Malaysia has among the world's highest vaccination rates
We're all familiar with the drama surrounding vaccination dates, overcrowded PPVs, even the supply of vaccinations. But you'd be surprised to hear that Malaysia actually has among the highest vaccinations rates in the world!
As of 13th September, a total of 17,480,766 individuals or 53.5% of the total population have been fully vaccinated, according to MOH. That's even more impressive when you realise it's equivalent to 74.7% of the adult population (18+) that have been fully vaccinated and a surprising 92.2% that have received their first dose. Now that's something to celebrate!
From #kitajagakita to #rakyatjagarakyat
We've all seen the good that has come out of the hashtags #kitajagakita, #rakyatjagarakyat and #benderaputih. What started off as a simple tag on a Twitter thread, has now become a powerful movement and even a war cry to rally Malaysian everywhere to look out for each other.
More than just a hashtag used throughout social media. #kitajagakita is also a website founded by local author Hana Alkaf and a few volunteers to be the "one-stop-shop" for all Malaysian civil society COVID19 efforts. Up to this day, they have started over 33 initiatives involving food banks, Covid-19 assistance, help with basic essentials and so much more. For more information on how you can help, visit kitajagakita.com.
Students create Sambal SOS
Earlier this year, amid all the lockdowns and uncertainty of Covid-19, we saw a movement appear - #benderaputih. Malaysians were struggling and they needed help. Not long after, a website and app appeared called Sambal SOS! It was a platform that allowed people to "raise a digital white flag" in a call for help.
With this platform, struggling Malaysians everywhere immediately had access to help and likewise, kind Malaysians now had an easy way to help those who needed it. However, what you probably didn't know is that Sambal SOS was the work of 3 average computer science students, Shaun, Sidharrth and Cornelius.
It puts a smile on our face to see how 3 young students decided to do something so simple, that turned out to be such a powerful tool.
Nicole David voted the Greatest Athlete of All Time
Is it just us or do you ever feel like Nicole David doesn't get enough attention? Or maybe you wished Squash was an Olympic sport cause you just know she deserves a gold! Well at least this year, she received some well-deserved recognition.
Though now retired, Nicole David was the women's world number one squash player for a record-breaking 108 consecutive months. That's 9 whole years as the world champion! In February this year, she was voted The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time for Squash, beating 24 other sports legends and accumulating over 1 million in votes. You go, girl - You've done Malaysia proud yet again!
"The Brotherhood" fixes thousands of potholes
Potholes are a common sight around the country. However, it can also be a dangerous road hazard, especially for motorcyclists! Tired of waiting for the authorities to take action, local actor Lando Zawawi founded the Ikatan Silaturahim Brotherhood. A group of everyday Malaysians using their own funds to fix potholes and help raise awareness about road issues.
This inspirational group of Malaysians can be seen bearing the rain out in the streets every night, patching up potholes by hand with their own cold mixes and bitumen membrane patches. Founded back in 2007, "The Brotherhood" has 54 teams and about 10,500 members nationwide who have successfully patched up thousands of potholes across Malaysia!
Malaysian BTS ARMY gives back
Here's a fun one! Remember the trending BTS meal that everyone was so crazy about earlier this year? If you had trouble getting your hands on this limited-edition McDonald's meal, you can be sure the frontliners missed out on it too.
In a bid to thank the frontliners and raise their spirits, Twitter user @PartOfJimin started a thread saying she wanted to donate a few BTS meals to the frontliners.
In 3 days, she received nearly five thousand Ringgit in donations! Armed with cash from the BTS ARMY, she proceeded to donate not once but 4 times to different medical centres. Totalling 273 BTS meal sets to 5 hospitals and 1 NGO. That's the power of the ARMY!
4 Malaysians build COVIDNOW - National Covid-19 data for all
A group of 4 young web developers and designers have just developed a website to help make our National Covid-19 data more accessible for the general public. Collaborating with MOH and utilising their open-sourced data, these 4 individuals (Henry Lim, Calum Lim, Sheng Han Lim and Roshen Maghhan) helped to turn raw Covid-19 data and into easy-to-digest charts and visuals.
Check it out here at covidnow.moh.gov.my. You can get live updates on the latest infection rates, vaccinations and even hospitalizations with just a click. The best part, they chose to do it 100% out of the kindness of their heart with no payment or reward. Now that's #kitajagakita!
Equal citizenship for Malaysian mothers granted
If you didn't know, Malaysia is sadly one of the 25 countries that do not have equal citizenship laws for mothers. That means Malaysian Mother's do not have the right to confer Malaysian citizenship to their children born overseas, but father's do.
The good news is, all that just might change! Six Malaysian women and the family support group Family Frontiers filed a legal suit against the decades-old law and won! The KL High court has ruled that Malaysian women have the same automatic rights as Malaysian men to pass their citizenship to their overseas-born children. Family Frontiers are calling it “one step forward to a more egalitarian and just Malaysia." and we agree!
Happy Malaysia Day!
Hopefully reading this managed to put a smile on your face. Though it may not seem like it, there's always good news all around us, you just need to look for it! Have some good news that you think is worth celebrating? Share it with us in the comments so we can feel the joy too!