Malaysian youths shine in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list


PETALING JAYA: Four Malaysian youths from diverse backgrounds have been recognised for their achievements in Forbes’ 30 under 30 Asia list this year.

The list recognised Asia’s top 300 trailblazers and entrepreneurs, including national player Sivasangari Subramaniam (pic), The Hive Southeast Asia principal Angel Low, animator Erica Eng, and Eat and Cook co-owner Lee Zhe Xi.

There are 10 categories in the list.

Under the Entertainment and Sports category, Forbes highlighted Sivasangari’s perseverance after being involved in a car accident that left her with facial fractures and a C1 vertebrae injury in 2022.

“Seven months later, Sivasangari won two gold medals at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2023, and in April 2024, won the Professional Squash Association (PSA) GillenMarkets London Classic tournament in London.

“She beat three of the top five players in the world, claiming the win after an 81-minute final match. Currently ranked 13 in the world, Subramaniam has set her sights on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles,” it said.

In the finance and venture capital category, Formes spotlighted Low.

“Low serves as a principal at The Hive Southeast Asia, a $50mil (RM234mil) fund created by Tuas Capital Partners, Sunway Group, and Palo Alto-based The Hive to invest in startups in Malaysia and the Asean region.

“She is also the general manager of AI Nusantara, an initiative by Selangor Digital School and one of The Hive Southeast Asia's investments that helps students prepare for the digital future through AI and machine-learning education.

“Previously, she was an investment analyst at Malaysia Venture Capital Management and a project analyst at Huisheng Consulting Group,” it said.

Forbes placed Eng in the media, marketing and advertising category. She recently turned her webcomic into a graphic novel.

“She wrote 'Fried Rice' in 2019, a tale that centres on an aspiring young artist named Min and is based on Eng's experience of seeing her application to study in America rejected. In 2020, the webcomic won an Eisner Award, the comic industry's equivalent of an Oscar.

“Eng completed a graphic novel adaptation of her webcomic in 2022 after earning an online bachelor's degree in animation and visual effects from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

“The book has 30 pages more content than the webcomic. She self-published the book after being rejected by multiple publishers,” it said.

She is currently working on a webcomic called “Beloved” about being raised in a Christian household and what it means to hold to one’s faith as one age.

Lee is listed in the arts category. He is currently the co-owner of Eat and Cook, a restaurant that serves Malaysian cuisine in the omakase style (where the chef picks what is served).

“Fueled by childhood memories of cooking with his grandmother, Lee always wanted to be a chef.

“After facing unemployment during the pandemic, Lee teamed up with a university classmate to open Eat and Cook in 2021, originally a six-seater space in a mall.

“Within a year, it relocated to a 32-seater venue, was recognised as number 79 on the 2023 Asia's 100 Best Restaurants list and clinched an American Express One To Watch Award. In 2023 and 2024, it was named a Michelin Recommended restaurant,” it said.

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