2019 TEDx Kenyalang: The Best Speech In My Life

Photo Credit: Ho Jia Yiing
Last November 17th, I delivered the best speech of my life on the TEDxKenyalang stage.
Guess: How much time did I have to prepare for my TEDx opportunity?
a) 1 month          b) 3 months          c) 1 week          d) 3 weeks

TEDxKenyalang is held on 17th November every year. I got an invitation email on 30th October, barely 3 weeks before the biggest speaking opportunity of my life. I almost said no.

When I got the email, I was fully occupied with supporting my Form 5 students for their SPM English paper on the 5th. After that, there were a bunch of documents I had to compile or "create" for my annual keberhasilan evaluation & I had to complete numerous online data entry nonsense that Guru Tingkatans can relate to. Then, I had to run a workshop about the new Form 4 curriculum for 2020 on the 15th for the English panel at my school. Also, I was drafting proposals & writing letters to get the funds to send a good student from my school to an academic excellence workshop in KL so that this kid can share what he learned with his peers next year to help my academically deprived students do better. How do I fit the prep for a TEDx talk into all that?

Photo Credit: TEDxKenyalang
A lot of people asked for a video of my talk, but it'll only be available on the TEDx YouTube site when approved by TED. Let's hope that they approve of what I have to say. I'm a little afraid because I used some Iban & I was speaking specifically for Sarawak. Also, they've only approved 11 out of roughly 36 talks from 3 past TEDxKenyalang events, so the odds are not in my favor! We shall see come December 12/13th. That's the date previous talks were uploaded onto YouTube.
Then, I heard that still small voice in my heart. "This is what you were brought back to do. This opportunity was provided for you to speak up for Sarawak." And speak up I did, powering through sleepless nights & crippling self-doubt (The fear is real. I'm just a low-ranking DG41 teacher given the opportunity to speak on an internationally recognized stage. What if people didn't like my message or if they can't be bothered like this dude?). During my TEDxKenyalang talk, I asked the audience a simple question, "is education important to you?" & challenged them to put their money where their mouth is. Show me your action. In fact, let's act together.

This is the same invitation I'm extending to you. Join the movement that moves Sarawak upwards in Education & transforms it into a beacon of hope in Malaysia &, perhaps even, the world. Here is a platform for concerned citizens in Malaysia to actively mobilize, organize, start small, take simple baby steps, and contribute to change & improve our education system for the good of all Malaysians, starting with Sarawak, the state that's too often at the bottom of all academic rankings. If what we're doing can work in the worst situations, it can work anywhere. Join Allies of Education (Sarawak) https://www.facebook.com/groups/554046128744139/

Wouldn't you rather contribute to change than just sit around commenting furiously about education on your phone? Talk is cheap. Time to walk it. If you care, prove it. Let's work together. Lest you be left out of the most important movement of your life.

More Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2351868424942556

As a speaker, I was given 2 complimentary tickets. I decided to use one on the best student at SMK Tabuan Jaya in hopes that he will be inspired to dream big & do great things in his life. I challenged Chris to speak on that red dot one day. I tried to ask for 2-3 more tickets so I could bring more students, but I was sadly rejected.

Later on, his mother sent me a message thanking me for involving him & I invited her to work with me to ensure that Chris does his best in SPM 2020. I really love parents who are aware & concerned about their child's education. Is there any wonder why Chris is the best student at my school?
Photo Credit: TEDxKenyalang
Amazing people who shined & inspired on the 2019 TEDx Kenyalang stage.
Photo Credit: TEDxKenyalang
Can't thank this amazing team of volunteers enough! Thanks for including me in this year's edition of TEDx Kenyalang! Thank you, Ali & Nigel for suggesting me, Zaiwin for inviting me, Wanni for holding my plagiarizing self to the deadlines & answering all my questions kindly, Ariff & Garry for coaching me, & all the volunteers who were so helpful in helping me deliver my talk.
Keep in touch & look me up for collaborations!

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