See More on Facebook

Culture and society

Malaysian student kindness campaign wins on global stage

Student campaign wins alongside New York Times, Guardian and Al Jazeera.

Written by

Updated: June 7, 2019

R.AGE and SP Setia’s #StandTogether campaign to end hate and intolerance has received global recognition at the 2018 World Digital Media Awards (WDMA) here in the UK.

The campaign was presented the award during a gala ceremony at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, where some of the world’s largest news organisations were gathered.

“We’d like to dedicate this award to all the students who really made the #StandTogether campaign a success with their inspiring efforts to spread kindness,” said R.AGE deputy executive editor and producer Ian Yee.

The #StandTogether team has been funding and empowering schools across the country to run their own ‘Kindness Projects’ as a way to end hate and intolerance in society. Pictured here is SP Setia general manager (property north) Ricky Yeo during a ‘Kindness Workshop’ for schools in Alor Star.

Yee accepted the award on behalf of the #StandTogether team, which includes the main organisers R.AGE and SP Setia, as well as supporting partners including Unicef Malaysia, Digi, International Medical University.

“The kind of hatred we see online today has become so toxic, but these students are showing us a way forward, by reminding us that only love can drive out hate,” added Yee.

WATCH: The start of Malaysia’s student-led ‘Kindness Revolution’

The goal of the #StandTogether campaign is to empower Malaysian students to spark a kindness revolution across the country, starting by lobbying the government for a National Kindness Week in all schools.

They succeeded when Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik pledged his support for the campaign late last year, and the Ministry followed suit by endorsing the National Kindness Week programme to all schools.

Students across the country played a major part by developing and organising “Kindness Projects”, some of which have been adopted as permanent programmes by their schools.

The campaign came about after Setia’s top management came across a horrific cyberbullying video which had gone viral, and they approached R.AGE to collaborate on a high-level solution.

Other stakeholders quickly rallied around R.AGE and Setia’s proposed kindness movement, including eventual campaign partners Unicef Malaysia, Digi, and the International Medical University, all of whom lent their expertise to help develop and amplify the movement in schools.

Saudi journalist and filmmaker Safa al-Ahmad said she was “honoured and heartbroken” to accept the Golden Pen of Freedom on behalf of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The award jury’s notes praised the collaboration for “bringing together and integrating editorial interests, sponsor objectives and audience needs”.

“Some people think that it’s a tough, dog-eat-dog world out there, but I believe that people working together to solve problems is the best way,” said Setia CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen during an earlier interview about the campaign.

“When people feel kind towards one another, they will do things to help because they want to. Fear only makes people work because they have to, and the results won’t be as good.”

The award comes just a week after Setia’s World Gold Award at the FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence Awards 2019, its 11th gold at the prestigious international property development awards.

Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was also honoured earlier during the World News Media Congress with the Golden Pen of Freedom award and a standing ovation from his peers.

Khashoggi was a vocal critic of the Saudi government and had gone into self-imposed exile in the United States. He was killed during a visit to the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to collect documents relating to his upcoming marriage.

“Despite his enormous love for his homeland, he could not bring himself to ignore where it was going,” said World Editors’ Forum president Dave Callaway, who presented the award. “He continued to speak out, and it cost him his life.

“We stand for a united effort among the global media to hold tyrants and governments accountable for their actions to suppress free speech and inhibit the growth of free societies for all their people.”


Enjoyed this story? Share it.

The Star
About the Author: The Star is an English-language newspaper based in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society

The damning state of Pakistan’s women

Pakistani women are undereducated, physically and mentally abused and lack access to information and financial services. Economic indicators are an important measure to track a country’s progress, but by themselves and without context, they do not mean much. Looking at economic data, quarter by quarter, year by year, without focusing on what’s driving changes, or lack thereof, is like looking at the blood sugar levels of a patient without paying attention to that person’s lifestyle or dietary habits. In the run-up to this fiscal year’s budget, Pakistan’s print, electronic and social media has been drowning in economic data. However, almost no one has paid attention to the underlying social indicators that reflect what ails Pakistan’s economy and its society at large. A holistic analysis of these ailments is worthy of a thesis by itself.

By Dawn
June 26, 2019

Culture and society

Nepali meme pages promote racism and misogyny

The online sphere has become toxic in Nepal. The arrest of comedian Pranesh Gautam earlier this month for a video, where he disparages a recently released Nepali film, sparked conversations about the declining state of freedom of expression and civil liberties in the country. But it also had an intended effect, bringing to light the sexism, racism, misogyny and homophobia so pervasive in much of the contents produced by social media comedians like Gautam for ‘troll’ humour pages. In an interview with the Post, actor Reecha Sharma, one of the few individuals from the film industry to speak out publicly against Gautam’s arrest, said that she hopes Meme Nepal, the page that published Gautam’s video, would use this opportunity to reflect on the type of content they

By The Kathmandu Post
June 21, 2019

Culture and society

Universities address demand for AI in Japan

AI said to be the next big topic of study. Many universities are establishing departments to help foster students in the age of artificial intelligence and big data, which refers to the collection of huge data sets that are often analyzed to reveal trends in human behavior. Amid calls from the government to accelerate efforts to train individuals in such fields, prestigious institutions are getting on board. “I want to get a job examining fashion trends by analyzing photos posted on social media sites,” said Kurea Honda, a first-year student of Musashino University’s Data Science Faculty in Nishi-Tokyo, Tokyo. The faculty was inaugurated this year with the aim of training data scientists, experts who analyze various data to make businesses more efficient. Data science is said to be one of the most popular professions of the 21st century in Europe and

By The Japan News
June 17, 2019

Culture and society

Mahathir explores Islamic heritage

The prime minister is on a visit to London. Hundreds of visitors thronged the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World at the British Museum in Bloomsbury here to catch a glimpse of the Malaysian Prime Minister. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to the museum was part of the itinerary during his three-day working visit to Britain. The Malaysian premier spent about one hour exploring the gallery, with the museum’s deputy director Jonathan Williams explaining the awe-inspiring historical arte­­facts that reflect Islam’s glorious heritage. He was greeted by museum officials, Malaysian High Commission officials and the children of businessman and philanthropist Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary – Sharifah Sofia and Syed Danial. Accompanying him were Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. The Albukhary Foundati

By The Star
June 17, 2019

Culture and society

ASEAN cultural festival kicks off in Korea

The event will be held in Seoul. The ASEAN-Korea Center, an intergovernmental organization, has kicked off ASEAN Week 2019 in Seoul. The ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Thai Ambassador Singtong Lapisatepun joined the opening ceremony held Friday at Seoul Plaza and delivered congratulatory remarks. Seoul Mayor Park has pledged to strengthen ties with major cities of the 10 ASEAN member countries. First lady Kim Jung-sook, who is on an overseas trip with President Moon Jae-in, also delivered a video message, in which she welcomed the visitors to the event. Since its launch in 2017, the Moon

By The Korea Herald
June 14, 2019

Culture and society

Many hurdles before cannabis oil is legal in Thailand

Thailand legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes at the start of the year. There has not been sufficient research to back a proposal to include cannabis oil on the National List of Essential Medicines, executives at the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTAM) said yesterday. They also said that the 16 traditional marijuana-based medicines approved by the Public Health Ministry in April should first be considered for the list, they said. The executives were responding to a call by 12 organisations, led by well-known campaigner and president of the Khao Kwan Foundation, Decha Siriphat, to include his formula of cannabis oil in the list. The organisations made the demand when they wrapped up their 270-kilometre “Cannabis Walk” in Suphan Buri province on Sunday. The 20-day march, which kicked off in Phichit, aimed to bring attention to the benefits of medical marij

By The Nation (Thailand)
June 12, 2019