Success is measured in different ways. When we foster a community that praises success, we find ourselves inspired. Over the years, our fellow Malaysians have made a tremendous impact both locally and internationally.
With their achievements, they successfully put Malaysia on the map. But even more so, they remind us that the sky’s the limit and inspire us to reach for greater heights.
Here are just a few Malaysian inspirations making an impact globally:
#1: Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai
With over 20 years of experience in the medical field, Dr Muruga Raj is also the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA)’s president-elect. In March this year, Dr Muruga left for Poland to ensure the safety of his children when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Upon ensuring his family’s safety, Dr Muruga was quick to offer his medical services at the Warsaw Central Station, Poland where he served until March 19 2022. Today, Dr Muruga is back in Malaysia. The 55-year-old inspiration is a full-time general practitioner at Poliklinik Anggerik, Johor.
#2: Dr Jemilah Mahmood
Former adviser to the Malaysian prime minister on public health, Dr Jemilah Mahmood has a true passion for humanitarian efforts and organisations. In 1999, she founded MERCY Malaysia, a non-profit organisation offering medical services recognized globally. She’s also the co-founder of the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) and has held several positions in international organisations such as the United Nations.
Her contribution of over 30 years in the health sector has brought Dr Jemilah to greater heights and experiences. In 2021, Dr Jemilah was appointed pro-chancellor for Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. She’s also a professor and the executive director of Planetary Health at Sunway University.
#3: Dr Amalina Bakri
Since 2017, Dr Amalina Bakri has used her social media platforms to share medical knowledge and to put an end to medical misinformation. A glance at her Instagram page is akin to WedMd – thorough and precise medical information. The 34-year-old graduated as a medical doctor in 2013 from The University of Edinburgh.
She’s the co-founder of Girls4Girls UK, a globally recognised NGO empowering women to develop the vision and skills to take on public leadership. Dr Amalina is also a Surgical Registrar and a Clinical Research Fellow in breast cancer surgery at Imperial College London.
#4: Dr Meena Veena Pillai
Dr Meena Pillai is a medical doctor and a researcher with her primary focus being on marginalised communities. Since 2020, Dr Meena is affiliated with Doctors Without Borders, an organisation providing health care for stateless Rohingya and refugee communities in Penang.
In 2021, she had the privilege of providing healthcare hands-on in Bangladesh. This experience allowed her to truly understand the plight of healthcare among refugees. Today, Dr Meena is back in Malaysia where she aids refugee communities in Penang.
#5: Raudhah Nazran
Raudhah Nazran is the founder and chief executive officer of Accelerate Global, a youth-led social enterprise launched in 2019. The organisation tackles youth unemployment and offers programs to upskill youths. The law graduate from the UK is driven by social entrepreneurship and was recognised by the UK parliament in 2018.
Raudhah has contributed to the cause of youth unemployment both locally and internationally. In May 2022, Raudhah bagged a spot on Forber’s 30 Under 30 Asia list for social impact, proving that hard work and determination always pay off.
#6: Dr Ravinder Kaur
Since 2006, Dr Ravinder Kaur has been a wildlife biologist and is big on conservation projects. She works alongside her husband, Sanjitpaal Singh, a wildlife photographer. Together, the duo work hard to raise funds for conservation projects through Sanjitpaal’s artwork. She holds a PhD in Ecology and has contributed in-depth research on hornbill conservation.
Her tremendous work has been recognised by local and international partners. In 2020, Dr Ravinder won the Terrestrial Conservation Leadership Award from the Marsh Christian Trust for her contribution to sustainable biodiversity. Today, she works closely with the local NGO Hutan -Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme ( KOCP), protecting endangered wildlife and habitats in Sabah. She’s also a lecturer in Biological Sciences at Sunway University.
#7: Poh Si Teng
Born and raised in Malaysia, Poh Si Teng moved to the United States to pursue a career in Journalism. Having experienced multiple setbacks as a minority in Malaysia, she seeks to explore issues of power dynamics and several others close to her heart. Over the years, she’s made a tremendous impact through her work as a journalist and a filmmaker.
She’s the voice standing up for minorities and Poh also holds experience in several newspaper publications in different parts of the United States. Poh has settled down in America and is currently the Program Director at IDA Funds and Enterprise, an organisation supporting the filmmaking and journalism industry.
#8: Woon Heng Chia
The food we consume impacts the environment. Switching to a plant-based diet or reducing meat consumption reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By eating sustainably, we lessen the negative impacts of climate change.
Woon Heng Chia is a Malaysian who advocates a plant-based lifestyle. With over 660 thousand followers, she’s famous for videos of her plant-based recipes on Instagram, which are mouthwatering. She also runs a blog, sharing more vegan recipes for others to try out. Woon’s vibrant recipes attract audiences from all over the world. She also contributes to Food52, a community-based in New York, testing and redefining healthy meals and their recipes. If you’re ever in the mood for delicious vegan meals, check out her page!