Giving back to Malaysia from afar


Heart in the right place: Sim (third from left) presenting a token of appreciation to SVM’s Prof Ainurul during the MyHeart event in London. Also present are (from left) Raja Hamzah Abidin, Zakri, Wong and Nazrul. — Picture courtesy of TalentCorp

MyHeart connects with overseas-based M’sians to support their growth

Despite being thousands of kilometres away from Malaysia, academic Prof Dr Ainurul Rosli, who is based in the United Kingdom, continues to affect schools in rural Sabah.

Through Social Value Malaysia (SVM), Prof Ainurul, who co-founded the two-year-old social impact enterprise with Dr Jane Chang, provides upskilling training for teachers and students in primary and secondary schools with artificial intelligence (AI) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through its Invest4Good programme.

"The expected outcome of the project is the increased level of confidence (among teachers and students),” said Prof Ainurul, professor of enterprise and entrepreneurship at Brunel University in London.

“Instead of being an additional activity via clubs or extracurricular activities, the project is embedded into the curriculum.

“Regardless of whether you’re teaching art or STEM, AI can be embedded into the classroom, and students are much more motivated to learn in general.

“I think that’s the key point here. It’s also a collaborative element where communities also come together to chip in and support each other.”

Following the conclusion of SVM’s pilot project in Kota Kinabalu, the Human Resources Ministry, through its agency TalentCorp Malaysia Bhd, is partnering with it for its second project in Lahad Datu, Sabah, in August.

The upcoming programme is expected to involve 60 teachers and enable them to train 120 students.

Describing Prof Ainurul as an asset to the country, Human Resources Minister Steven Sim said TalentCorp “knocked on her door” to support her visions.

“Prof Ainurul is a Malaysian talent in the United Kingdom. She’s doing a lot of good work, so we want to support her development and growth.

“We are also (creating) a channel for her to contribute back to Malaysia, and for SVM, we are going to put in £10,000 (RM60,000) to support her work in Lahad Datu,” he said after attending TalentCorp’s “Malaysia at Heart (MyHeart) Salam Dari Malaysia” event in London last Saturday.

Prof Ainurul is just one of many talented Malaysians who are based overseas whose skills the government aims to leverage on, he added.

Sim said while the government continues to welcome Malaysians returning home through the Returning Expert Programme (REP), his ministry also acknowledged there are various reasons why some Malaysians decided to stay overseas.

“For the longest time, our priority is on the human capital in our country. When I came into the ministry, I realised that perhaps not every Malaysian in the diaspora is ready to come home, for various reasons, and we have to respect that,” he said.

Sim added that despite their decision, the government will continue to support their growth and enable them to contribute to Malaysia despite being far from home.

“This is where the MyHeart programme comes in, which is to provide a platform for overseas Malaysians to continue to connect with Malaysia, especially in the area of human capital development.

“In other words, we want to develop Malaysian talent not just domestically, but to also support the growth of Malaysian talent overseas.

“There are many Malaysian professionals and academicians who are contributing, whether directly or indirectly, to Malaysia via their work in their host countries. It is important for us to support their growth and let them know that it is still possible for them to continue to serve Malaysia wherever they are,” he said.

During the first leg of MyHeart event in Tokyo, Japan, last month, Sim announced a grant of ¥1mil (RM30,000) to support the upcoming Malaysia-Japan Visionaries Conference 2024.

The conference is being organised by 45 Malaysian and Japanese researchers led by Dr Amy Poh Ai Ling.

TalentCorp will also allocate a RM50,000 bursary to assist up to 20 Malaysian researchers to participate in the conference in Tokyo, Sim said.

“There’s a win-win situation where we are supporting a Malaysian talent overseas and we are also allowing her to use her networking in Japan to benefit Malaysians at home,” he added.

Also present at the event in London were Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Zakri Jaafar, TalentCorp’s newly-appointed chairman Wong Shu Qi, its board member Raja Hamzah Abidin Raja Nong Chik and group chief strategy officer Nazrul Aziz.

To learn more about the MyHeart initiative, go to myheart.my.

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