10 Inspiring Malaysian Women to Look Out for in 2017

I love to highlight people’s work and achievement, particularly those who are not in the mainstream media. Here are the 10 inspiring Malaysian women to look out for this year.

For this year’s International Women’s Day, I celebrate women’s achievement – to #BeBoldForChange and applaud social, economic, cultural and political women role models + reinforce and support women’s triumphs.

I managed to get in touch with these 10 amazing women and they were willing to be part of this compilation. To make it more impactful, I asked for their advise or inspirational message for everyone looking to be inspired.

The 10 Inspiring Women Are:

1. Adlyka Anuar

“I’m an Astrophysics PhD student at Durham University, UK, currently searching for hidden supermassive black holes in the local universe to help us understand how black holes grow and affect their host galaxies, including the one in our own galaxy.

Don’t succumb to social pressure and let anyone belittle your dreams no matter how big or how small they are.”

2. Abir Abdul Rahim

Full time doing Actuarial Pricing and Projects at Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad. Part time runningLean In Malaysia as Co-Founder/Director – championing the #leanin movement in Asia whereby we educate, enable and empower women to harness their full potential into leadership. This platform is independently driven by Asia Women Circle.

A quote I live by “To never ever let anyone tell you what you cannot do just because they can’t. You have a dream, you protect it and go for it. You should never ever quit on yourself….and don’t let others give you a reason to.”

3. Jocelyn Coco

Founder of Dailyhomerental. 7th year in property and it’s just the beginning of the journey. She created a platform for the public to maximize profit with their space and provides a full solutions for property investment.

She’s also doing good for people in need. Jocelyn says “I would like to urge the public to reach out to the needy. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”

She continues “YOU CAN’T is more powerful than YOU CAN, because I WILL.”

You can help the needy here:


4. Nina Othman

Founder of Grow the Goose. A Social Enterprise that runs Financial Empowerment Workshops for Kids & Teens to help them be Financially Disciplined by 18. (Social angle is when we run similar workshops for free for the marginalized kids & teens)

Her quote – “Failure is like biting into a piece of Cardamom. Those few seconds of unpleasant experience and after taste shouldn’t discourage you from devouring that entire plate of Beriani”

5. Putri Hamzah

“I have been a tailoress since Jan 2014. I’m mostly doing custom-made clothing for curvy size women but I still cater for normal size women and kids. I’m planning to launch my own label – HATASIA CURVY into a ready-to-wear for curvy women either by end 2017 or early 2018.

It is our rights and prerogative to have AMBITIONS and DREAMS. Be fearless to chase and make them a reality, no matter who or what you are and age shouldn’t be an issue too. Go for it!

However, when you have made them reality, don’t lose your kindness and humility. It is so beautiful when you see a woman that is successful and humble. That’s what I called POSITIVE IMPACT.”

6. Siti Rahayu Baharin

Siti Rahayu Baharin is a mother and a teacher who believes that education is a fundamental right of every human being, and it needs be provided for everyone.

Passionate about everything education and societal empowerment lead Rahayu and group of friends to co-founded Buku Jalanan Chow Kit – an organization which upholds the idea that knowledge through education is the most vital food for humansif they are to thrive.

The questions and issues as to whether humans need to eat to live, or to live to eat, are what, Buku Jalanan Chow Kit (BJCK) team, work with, and mindfully and critically unpack as they engage with the urban poor of the area in Kuala Lumpur known as Chow Kit, through education, specifically educating the young minds of the children from urban poor families.

7. Ana Jonessy

“I’m the founder and creative director of ORKED MAG, a Sabahan indie zine for young creatives to get their work published, and learn how to network and organize community art events that are both fun, educational, affordable and accessible for all.

I also co-founded TAPUK TAPUK with my friend, Anna Alisaputri. It’s a community collective and our mission is to get as many Sabahans (and hopefullybeyond!) to learn and communicate in sign language to bridge the communication gap between the hearing and the deaf / Deaf / Hard of Hearing community.

We teach sign language through performance arts (poetry, storytelling, songs and games) together with our deaf / Deaf / Hard of Hearing friends.

I feel that it’s really important for us to learn to listen to other people—people with different dimensions than ours—because it can really help reconcile our differences, and we get to see things from their perspectives.

It’s really cliched but this is especially true for the deaf community, because they live in a hearing world, and oftentimes things can get pretty awkward for a lot of people because there’s this huge communication gap between us.

And if we could just open up to a different kind of language, one that is more visual (sign language), we’ll all get to be really good friends and open up creative opportunities for both communities.”

8. Hayati Ismail

Hayati Ismail is the Director of Operations for Food Aid Foundation.

It is a non-profit governmental organization (NGO) that is a ‘Food Bank’ where manufacturers, distributors, wholesaler, retailers,companies or people can donate their unused or unwanted foods which will then be collected and distributed to charitable/welfare homes, volunteer welfare organisation, refugees community, poor families, destitute and soup kitchen.

They are currently advocating people to reduce food wastage.

Hayati’s message to all – “Meaningful success is the positive difference that you have set for someone else’s life and it works well.”

9. Koggelavani Muniandy

“We have seen some youth who have been labeled by the society as a hopeless individual transform into a confident person who takes lead in our programme.

It is not them who are hopeless, it is us who are clueless on how to provide them with the right opportunities to learn.

GoodKids opens them up these learning opportunities and helps them build self confidence.

The only limit to your capability is yourself. Go crazy and try everything that you have ever wanted to do.

The worst thing that can happen is that crazy thing going wrong, and you learning from your mistake.”

Co-founder GoodKids Malaysia

10. Yasmin Rasyid

“I do a multitude of “stuff”. If I have to describe myself the first word that comes to mind is a mum.

I’m always mum. Then comes the social and environmental effort that I contribute to EcoKnightsand MENGO. I’m also a struggling entrepreneur.

My message to all women out there: It’s ok to mess up sometimes, or to say, “stuff this, I want a break”, don’t get too hard on yourself.

Take it with stride and get over the heartaches and move on. Time waits for no one so to get ahead you need to pick yourself up fast and positively to move you forward.”

I hope they have inspired you.

If you have suggestion on who should also be included in the list, please leave your comments below or contact me.

Share this and inspire others!

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