We all know that there is power in social media – the ability to influence anyone in any location, at any age and of different social status. Harnessed and used in a positive way, social media has the ability to alter mindsets, inspire change, promote good, increase knowledge and build communities.
While many use it to post pictures of their lattes, dance moves and #ootds, there are those who recognise that their voice carries weight. They are using social media platforms to shed light on global and national issues, normalise discussions that are deemed taboo and promote good work amongst their followers.
Here are just a few social media influencers using their online presence for the greater good. (Ps: If you know of others, drop us a DM on our IG!)
#1: Nandini Balakrishnan
Known for being a SAYS video producer, Nandini Balakrishnan brings her vibrant energy and bright spirits to the table, always keeping it real. Through her personal Instagram page, she’s the voice empowering women and encouraging others to be body positive while trying her level best to break gender stereotypes. An impactful video with over 50 thousand views includes Nandini speaking up for undocumented migrants in Malaysia who were treated poorly and sprayed with Dettol by Malaysian authorities when detained.
#2: Arwind Kumar
For years, Arwind Kumar has used his caustic wit to spread messages across numerous social media platforms. The 27- year -old is a big advocate of kindness and mental health. He emphasises that being the light to everyone we meet is a necessity, and does numerous volunteer works at Kriyalakshmi Gurukul, a school founded by his mother.
Through his persona of Mak Cik Rosmah who makes an appearance every now and then, Arwind stands up for a plethora of social issues such as bullying, abuse, and education. He calls out those accountable in his videos and keeps them on their toes, leaving no space for ignorance. In his most recent post, Arwind spoke on the case of Nagaenthran, who was hanged in Singapore without a chance to redeem himself.
#3: Adrian Edy
Better known as Edy, the 26-year-old actor and social changemaker uses his platform to showcase stories of his giving, and to encourage others to do the same. Inspired to give back during the pandemic, Adrian Edy has helped hundreds of families who struggled to make ends meet. As Malaysia transitions to the endemic phase, Adrian is still big on works of charity and continues to inspire through the simplest of deeds.
#4: Melissa Tan
Melissa Tan has a big heart for the environment and is confident that sustainability brings about drastic changes for the better. Through her Instagram page, it’s obvious that Melissa practices what she preaches through her eco-friendly lifestyle while pouring out wisdom on sustainability through her blog. An ambassador for EarthDay.org, she continues encouraging others to live a zero-waste lifestyle while proving that fashion can indeed give back to mother nature.
#5: Iqtodabal (Muhammad Iqbal Fatkhi)
Going by Iqtodabal on Instagram, this Malaysian currently resides in the USA and still fights for Malaysia while educating many through social media. He’s touched on issues such as Budget 2022, recent Malaysian floods, politics, and more. To ensure his audience can grasp his message, the wise lad makes videos in both English and Bahasa Malaysia. Through his social media postings, Iqtodabal is very much rooted in his country despite being thousands of miles away and does not use distance as a reason for ignorance.
#6: Deborah Priya Henry
Deborah Henry has been the voice for refugees for over 10 years and is the co-founder of Fugee, a non-profit that recognises the rights of refugees living in Malaysia and helps refugees through education, advocacy and entrepreneurship. Deborah wears many other hats including TV host, model and emcee. In 2017, Deborah gave a TED Talk on Providing Education for Refugees in Malaysia and has also made appearances on talk shows, advocating for refugees and is currently a co- host on TV3’s Women Talk programme.
#7: Apa Kata Wanita Orang Asli
Apa Kata Wanita Orang Asli is an NGO and community organisation that sheds light on the most forgotten community in the country. Through their Instagram, Facebook and Youtube pages, a vibrant mix of sharing sessions, educational videos, music, and stories of the Orang Asli(OA) are all promoted. Some of these stories are sold to sustain the community, the organisation, and the programmes held. The latest video on their Youtube channel promoted the concept of farming and its history among the Orang Asli, educating Malaysians in the simplest forms. Just recently, the organisation initiated school visits to 7 Chinese schools, shedding light on education within the Orang Asli women and spreading awareness on the fragility of the OA community.
#8: Maggy Wang
Malaysia ranked 112 out of 156 countries on the Global Gender Gap Report in 2021, calling for increased efforts on gender equality. The need to recognise and provide platforms for women to thrive is evident, and that’s what former radio host Maggy Wang has been working on. Over the past few years, Maggy has opened up doors for many women as she redefines what it means to be an independent woman in our ever-changing society. The founder of the Head Over Heels podcast talks about finance, mental health, and other topics which are usually shoved under the rug. An advocate for health, Maggy co-founded MotionLabMy, a fitness studio and initiated MoveWithMaggy, a movement community for women, encouraging them to feel empowered in their own skin.