Over 6,000 people celebrated kindness at Malaysia’s inaugural #StandTogether Carnival on Sunday, which featured activities for adults and children alike.
Held at Setia City Convention Centre, the carnival’s indoor activities included children’s games, an all-star self-defence demo by ONE Championship fighters, a cyberbullying prevention talk by DiGi and a science experiment demo by Petrosains.
Outdoors, the fun continued with bouncy castles, cotton candy and popcorn trucks, as well as a blind football demonstration by the Malaysian national blind football team.
Deputy Education Minister I Datuk P. Kamalanathan and #StandTogether celebrity ambassadors like Lisa Surihani, Harith Iskander and Arwind Kumar were also present, adding to the festivities.
“My experience being a #StandTogether ambassador has been a very hopeful one because the message has been so positive,” said Lisa.
“This campaign seems like the light at the end of the tunnel, so I hope schools will keep the kindness coming all year round!”
The carnival culminated with the very first #StandTogether Kindness Concert, where Ismail Izzani, Rabbit Mac, Talitha Tan and Nik Qistina performed, and the top 10 student-led “kindness projects” from across the country were presented by the students themselves.
SMK Sanzac was crowned “Malaysia’s Kindest School” by the judges, beating 120 other entries with their project, which consisted of a week full of activities like mural-painting and “plogging”, a combination of jogging and picking up trash.
“Not only was it fun to participate in National Kindness Week, we’re already starting to see positive changes in our schoolmates,” said SMK Sanzac student Nursalwani Sabdani, 17.
“Students are now more encouraging towards each other, and appreciating each other and the people around us more.”
The National Kindness Week was mooted by property developer SP Setia and R.AGE last year as part of its #StandTogether campaign, in response to a spate of horrific bullying cases in schools.
The campaign has made such a positive impact in its first year, the Education Ministry is serious about making it a fixture on the school calendar.
“I’m pleased to confirm that the ministry fully supports #StandTogether,” said Kamalanathan to thunderous applause.
“If all goes well, we will advocate for the first week of April to be designated National Kindness Week. I hope this will encourage more schools to participate, and keep the momentum of kindness going.”
SP Setia chief executive officer Datuk Khor Chap Jen was heartened by Kamalanathan’s support.
“We’re very happy because this campaign has been a huge success,” he said.
“We’re very encouraged by what the Minister said about making this a yearly event, and we hope this campaign will now take on a life of its own.”