LAW student Intan Nur Aquellah Ismail is the top winner of the inaugural Public Policy Competition with her three policy suggestions.
She was among 10 finalists shortlisted from 53 entries received in the competition themed “How to get businesses to reduce their carbon footprint?”.
Her proposals were introducing carbon tax that is revenue neutral, modifying the green technology incentive programme to be more flexible and inclusive, and hold a campaign to encourage businesses to give incentives for employees to use public transport to get to work.
The competition was organised by Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran and launched on Oct 21 last year.
“I was very surprised when they announced that I was the winner, because all the other finalists had groundbreaking ideas.
“Some even came up with their own formula and even used Bitcoin theory to address the topic, so I never expected to win, as my ideas were on the simpler side,” said Intan, 20.
The undergraduate from Universiti Teknologi Mara, Shah Alam, said she worked on her memorandum 10 hours before the entry deadline as she was busy with exams and assignments.
After receiving her prize of RM500 and a certificate in Petaling Jaya, she said she would treat her family to a meal and gifts because they helped her get through that overwhelming period.
The first runner-up in the competition won RM300 while the third received RM100.
Intan said she had been very passionate about the environment since young.
“The competition was a good initiative for youths to voice their ideas.
“From this event, I learned that to see a change in our country, we have to be actively part of politics and voice out our opinions.
“Youths need to take part in determining our country’s future.
“If we do not care, who will?” she added.
Rajiv said it was important for the people to discuss and debate policy as it affected the government’s output.
“We do not see enough public discourse when it comes to policy.
“This time, we specifically narrowed it down to climate change.
“Young participants having this intellectual discourse will benefit the country.”
He said he was impressed with the ideas from the participants.
“We plan to hold another public policy competition on a different topic before the year ends.
“I would like to encourage those who are turned off by politics to give this some consideration, as there is still hope,” he added.
Apart from Rajiv, former energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister Yeo Bee Yin was another member of the competition panel present at the prize-giving ceremony.
The event ended with a panel discussion between the panellists and participants on the topic of “Malaysia towards Carbon Neutrality.” --- By NGEOW YI TING