So I woke up on Christmas morning and got a call from a friend who told me to flip to page 8 and 9 of the day’s Berita Harian (Singapore’s Malay-language Newspaper… no, not the Malaysian version). So there I was, slated as one of the 50 Malay/Muslim individuals that would likely to be playing an influential role in the community as well as for the country in general. *GASP*
It was quite a surprise and totally unexpected, though its nevertheless nice that whatever little contribution I am making related to the environment is being recognised. It was also a nice plug for the United States Institute of Environment (USIE) (a programme of which I was the pioneer batch in 2009. Click here to read about the USIE Reunion).
Such contributions and mini-successes are of course not without help from many people who I owe their guidance and support. Guidance from the Almighty, family and friends have been crucial in every stage of my development. As for my professional development, I owe much of it to Assoc. Prof. Mely Caballero Anthony, whose tireless nurturing and support as a boss and dissertation supervisor has been most significant in the past 4.5 years. I am grateful also to have had the various opportunities that have come by my way – whether it be USIE, speaking at various forums such as the World Islamic Economic Forum, or participating at the 6th International Session of Asia and the Middle East in Paris in 2010.
While these events have been exciting and deeply influential in my development, this is only the beginning. 2011 promises to be a jam-packed (and somewhat taxing) year. But hey, no pain no gain.
I look forward to various things including work at the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, the regional chapter of the Marketplace of Creative Arts, and of course, the development of Project ME: Muslims and the Environment. We have a long way to go, but as the old saying goes — Sedikit-dikit, lama-lama menjadi bukit.
Here’s to 2011. Happy New Year, folks!