KOTA KINABALU: This may have been their first time taking part in a national-level art competition in conjunction with Malaysia Day but twins Tan Ee Ven and Ee Jet managed to capture the judges’ hearts with their drawings.
The entries by the 10-year-old pupils of SJK(C) Yuk Chin, Tawau, were among more than 10,000 received from students nationwide for the Art of Nation Building competition initiated by several Sabah groups.
Ee Ven topped the higher primary school category while her brother clinched a consolation prize.
The girl said they spent about a week completing their artwork.
“Our mum told us the meaning of Malaysia Day, that it was formed on Sept 16, 1963, and that we need to learn to live in harmony with all the races in this country,” Ee Ven said after the prize giving ceremony here yesterday.
She said her drawing featured Malaysia’s various races as well as its iconic buildings and animals.
Sisters Chen Yee Kee, 18, and Chen Yi Wen, 13, of Kian Kok Middle School here, emerged champions in the higher and lower secondary school categories respectively.
Getting her third straight win in the yearly contest, Yee Kee said she felt proud to achieve that.
“I hope my message of unity and peace will resonate with all Malaysians,” she said.
Yi Wen, too, hoped all citizens would continue to love and respect one another to preserve the nation’s peace and prosperity.
The competition was organised by the Society Empowerment and Economic Development of Sabah (SEEDS) in collaboration with the Sabah Education Department, Federation of Sabah Chinese Women Associations and Junior Chamber International Kota Kinabalu.
Organising chairman Dr Pamela Yong said a category for special needs students was introduced this year.
“We want to give every child an opportunity to showcase their talents and love of the country,” said Dr Yong.
“Winning is not the main goal here but to allow students, including those with special needs, to portray their patriotism through art.”.
State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ayid commended the organisers for their effort.
“Such programmes help our children understand our history better and thus promote love and patriotism among them.
“Patriotism should be instilled from young as they are the future leaders of the nation,” she said.