BEIJING: Malaysians are in the spotlight in the second Silk Road and Young Dreams programme, sweeping four awards in different categories.
Making the country proud are Looi Kai Bin and Jeff Wong Chin Thien, who emerged champion and second place respectively, in the Chinese Speech competition.
Students Jocelyn Cheah Theng Yean and Muhamad Shahmeer Mohd Nashrul also secured second and third places respectively in the Silk Road Good Voice contest.
Looi, a Form Five student of SMJK Chung Ling, impressed the judges with his Penang story, relating how the local Chinese preserved their mother tongue and traditional culture.
The 17-year-old thanked his cousin Muhamad Shahmeer for the success.
“Shahmeer gave me a lot of guidance. We have been very close since young.
“Even though he has moved out of Penang, we still keep in touch over the phone and meet up whenever we are free,” he said.
Looi said for now, he would focus on his studies, hoping to achieve good results in the SPM this year.
“I hope to continue my studies in China and promote our culture there because many Chinese are interested to learn about mixed culture.
“They are surprised that we speak good Mandarin and other Chinese dialects as well,” he said.
Muhamad Shahmeer, an accounting student in Universiti Teknologi Mara, hoped to excel in the music industry.
The 24-year-old is no stranger at international-level competitions in China, wooing judges with his multi-talents.
He came up second in the 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, the biggest of such contest worldwide in 2017, winning the Excellent Eloquence award as well.
Themed “Belt and Road, People-oriented”, the programme, held here over the weekend, aimed at providing youths with a platform to showcase their talents while allowing people from different backgrounds and cultures to forge closer ties and better understanding towards building a peaceful and prosperous community.
Nearly 300 contestants from 70 countries took part in various competitions in public speaking (Chinese and English), music, photography and sand painting.
Two other Malaysians who took part in the competitions were Annabel Lau Zi Jun (Chinese Speech and Music categories) and Yik Wai Chee (English Speech).
Mum’s influence pays off for Silk Road Good Voice participant