| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 3 April 2017 | Asia Samachar |
By Anandpreet Kaur
Young Sikhs in Malaysia need to wake up and smell the roses. There are missing out on various internship opportunities that can greatly enhance their experience and exposure.
“Too few [Sikh youth] are applying. If you don’t, someone else will, and they will benefit from it,” Ishvinder Singh, a Perdana Fellow assigned to the office of a Malaysian Cabinet minister, told a Sikh Youth Convention in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.
“I’ve seen the application lists for many Government initiated programmes. You will be hard pressed to find Sikhs amongst them. Come on. If you don’t apply, if you don’t start engaging the Government and the agencies, how can you effect change?”
He was one of the speakers at the two-day convention organised by Gurdwara Sahib Pulapol and Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM), with Asia Samachar as its media partner. It ended yesterday (2 April 2017).
Some 100 youth, mostly late teens from the Klang Valley and a few from Ipoh, took part in the convention themed ëCreating Tomorrow’s Leaders to Serve the Community’.
Kuala Lumpur chief police officer Amar Singh, who heads the management committee at the Pulapol gurdwara, spoke on at the opening of the convention. Pulapol is the Malay acronym for Malaysian national police training centre.
In his presentation, Ishvinder said the most immediate opportunity coming the way of the Sikh youth was the Perdana Fellow Programme 2017, whose application closes on 17 April.
“If selected, you get a chance to work with Federal ministers. All you need to do is a write a 500-word essay and send in your application,” he said. of Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Sports and Youth.
Parmeet Kaur, a former Googler and investment executive, shared her experience in finding her path in the hustle-bustle of the job market and entrepreneurship.
“Find yourself. Understand who you are to know of what you can contribute and that becomes your career. Knowing yourself is so important and allowing yourself to express who you are through what you do. And then you just be great at it,” she told the participant, mostly in their late teens.
Parmeet, who graduated from the London-based City University with a degree in actuarial science, is today a budding social entrepreneur.
“I’m not afraid of falling flat,” she said.
But it took time before she came to this stage. She cautioned participants that it was no blind leap as she had prepared herself both financially and emotionally before leaving a stable job for an opportunity to strike out on her own. At Google, Parmeet was the partnership lead for travel and e-commerce clients in the region.
“While working in London itself, I was really kanjoos (stingy) with my money. I didn’t spend on expensive shoes and cloths. I saved, I invested,” she said.
Fellow speaker Jaspreet Kaur, a corporate trainer at Perodua Sales Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s largest automobile manufacturer Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad (Perodua), spoke on the importance of effective communication.
“To enhance our communication skills, we need to build strong relationships and start connecting.”
The other speakers at the convention included SNSM Jathedar Dr Jasbir Singh, teaching specialist Dr Gurcharan Singh, Hargobind Singh (Are We Sikhs?), Rashvinpal Singh (Social Entrepreneurship), and Reshminder Kaur (Creative Thinking).