Teens sing for a better Malaysia

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019

Diverse cast: Wong (first row, in checked shirt) with some of the performers at the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: A shared vision for a better Malaysia brought together more than 3,500 students from 100 schools for a music video that celebrates the country’s diversity.

Aptly titled We Are Malaysia, the video features 37 teenage singers handpicked by director Zachary Wong, who took four months to produce the piece.

It has been uploaded on YouTube in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebrations.

The cast, said Wong, was handpicked from past participants of an interschool performing arts competition called the Berjaya TeenStar Challenge by Berjaya Youth, a youth empowerment initiative by Berjaya Corporation Bhd.

“As a Sabahan, I have always been proud to be Malaysian.

“I wanted to commemorate this historical day when Malaysia was formed.

“Malaysia has proven to the world how diversity and unity among the races can be a strength in nation building, ” he said.

The lyrics, penned by Wong and Sharon Ovinis from Star Media Group, also drew on the talents of music arranger Pok Chee Hong, production manager Nicholas Tan, talent manager Alicia Daniel, sound engineer QE Lim and director of photography Jack Chee, all of whom volunteered their time in making the video.

The music was composed by 15-year-old Isabelle Sisoski Chan of SMK Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, under the guidance of Wong.

Shooting for the video took place in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Melaka, involving 3,500 students from 100 schools in the peninsula.

For Megat Danish Mohd Fozae, who studies at Al-Madinah International University here, he hopes the video message impacts the nation.

“Our forefathers unified the whole nation. Be proud of our history, ” said the 18-year-old, one of the 37 vocalists.

Just as honoured to partake in the video is Vishal Chopra of Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang.

“It’s important to remember what keeps us as one.

“No matter where we go, always keep the spirit of Malaysia alive by working together and respecting each other regardless of our race or religion, ” said the 17-year-old.

Gabrielle Jeremiah, 17, of SMK Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, believes that confidence in one’s self leads to a better Malaysia.

“We need to embrace and be proud of who we are.

“Don’t be ashamed of our different beliefs because these differences are what make Malaysia an intricate but beautifully woven piece of tapestry, ” said Gabrielle.

When 16-year-old Rachel Ting Vay Syuen heard the final product, she teared.

“I was overwhelmed with pride and joy, ” said the student from Taylor’s International School Puchong, Selangor.

“I felt connected to its every beat, and grateful to be part of this voice that represents the new Malaysia, ” she said.

The music video is a collaboration with the Education Ministry.

Watch We Are Malaysia at https://youtu.be/RL9oPeyEL8E.

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