Leaders convene virtually to tackle social injustice

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 14 Mar 2020

Connecting for a good cause: The group of leaders who will be meeting virtually as part of the Acumen Fellows Programme. They were selected to tackle social injustice and champion ‘moral leadership’.

PETALING JAYA: Twenty-two leaders will be convening next week as part of an effort to champion “moral leadership” and tackle social injustice in Malaysia.

Selected from over 400 applicants, they are part of the international Acumen Fellows Programme which aims to connect and cultivate a global network of changemakers who will champion social justice in their communities.

“Moral leadership is needed to challenge people to have the mentality of doing what’s right, not what’s easy, ” said Acumen Academy Programme Lead Oga Chan.

“We have to see beyond our differences and harness the strength and dynamics of our diversity to solve our country’s biggest social issues.”

The main aim of the programme was to build communities based on dignity, regardless of race, age, religion, ability and identity, she said.

“And to do this, we need to bring together Malaysian impact makers from all walks of life to respectfully challenge and accompany each other in this life-long journey of creating lasting change, ” Chan added.

The annual programme is part of the international Acumen Academy, the “world’s school of social change”, funded in Malaysia by YTL Foundation, which will see leaders take part in seminars and online courses to equip them to be agents of change.

However, the first seminar, which was scheduled for next week, had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. A virtual convening will take place instead.

The leaders selected for the 2020 cohort include Tharmelinggem Pillai from Undi 18, Jayne Kennedy from EPIC Homes, Dr Hartini Zainudin from Yayasan Chow Kit, Fariz Abd Rani from Inspirize Consulting and this writer from R.AGE.

“For me, moral leadership is about identifying what’s right for your community and your country, and leading the way to find a solution, ” said Tharmelinggem.

“You might not be the perfect person for the job, but you are willing to pave the way, to be part of the solution, instead of waiting for someone else to do it.”

He added that the programme was different from others as participants were not selected based on age or sector, something which was echoed by YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew.

“Our Fellows are from across the country doing important work to improve the lives of our people.

“Their commitment and passion for tackling social needs across multiple lines of differences give us great hope for rebuilding our social fabric based on dignity, ” said Chew.

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