She came back all the way from London for the sake of her beloved Malaysia.
She could have stayed over the pond, but she didn’t. In fact, she wasn’t just coming back to Malaysia to vote, but to actually run as a candidate in the recently-concluded election.
Despite her parents encouraging her to stay put, the 28-year-old Michelle Ng did not do so and returned to her home country after finishing law school in London. “I came back because the reason why I went there in the first place is that of Malaysia. When I was in the U.K, I came to a point where I had to decide whether to come back or not. My family encouraged me to stay there, but I had to be true to myself. So, I asked myself a very simple question, which was: “Would I forgive myself if I don’t come back?” And the answer was a clear NO. So, I decided to come home.”
There is No Better Time than Now
Obtaining a law degree from the London School of Economics in 2013, Michelle initially wanted to give herself a solid 10 years of pursuing her legal career before even considering whether or not to get into politics. When she was approached to run when the elections were announced, she had reservations that it could be too early for her. However, after giving it a careful thought, she eventually came to the decision of running as a candidate for the election.
“I assessed the situation and I thought to myself: I’m still young. If this ends up to be the wrong decision, then I still have time to correct it. That was the foremost consideration. But, surprisingly and very thankfully, we managed to finally make it this time around.”
Her recent victory is not the end yet. In fact, Michelle has some pretty big shoes to fill running for Pakatan in Subang Jaya – a seat which was previously held by state assembly speaker YB Hannah Yeoh. When asked whether she feels any pressure on that matter, she said:
“To me, this is a good problem to have in the sense that it is building on a good foundation. It is a good pressure in the sense of having the expectation that I would build on what Hannah has done. Comparatively, I’m quite blessed that I’ve been given a good problem to solve as opposed to the problem where the people may be dissatisfied with the previous administration. That is a much more difficult problem to solve.”
Of Fresh Ideas and Different Perspectives
Some might doubt her ability to carry her duty as she is quite young. But, for Michelle, being young has its own advantage. “Being young, I think, allows me to inject new perspectives into the things that are already happening. Having young blood, I get to try to table new ideas that have not been tabled before, especially in terms of using technology.”
“My experience living in overseas, for example. While living there, you observe how they run their council and the state government. You know that there are different kind of ideas that we can implement here. Experience-wise, although it may be lesser in terms of years but it is different in terms of perspectives. I hope that being young brings value to the Selangor state government”, she further explained.
Youths Need To Think Less ‘About Me’
The youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. To a certain extent, it is agreed upon that young people nowadays are always expecting to receive something from the government. It was evident through social media when many ‘reminded’ and – at one point – urged the new government to implement their PTPTN-related manifesto as soon as possible. As a youth herself, Michelle wishes to see more of youth involvement in contributing to the society.
“I think now, young people, whether you’re working or still in school, need to start thinking less ‘about me’ and more about ‘what can I do’. You are given a pair of hands and I’ve always believed that you should ask yourself ‘what can I do’ (with the pair of hands) instead of ‘what someone can do for me’ (receiving assistance from others). What I realised, at least, when people gather together and consolidate their effort, that is when change happens very quickly,” she shared.
Adding to that, she believes that everyone needs to contribute, especially the young people. “Because if we don’t, then – to a certain extent – we do have ourselves to blame.”
The ‘Light of Hope’ for Subang-ites
Although Subang Jaya City Council (MPSJ) is admittedly one of the best councils in Selangor, Michelle believes there is room for improvement. Besides addressing the common maintenance issues and improving the management system, as the new assemblywoman, Michelle wishes to address 3 main concerns, namely traffic, the quality of life, and land disputes.
Driven to transform Malaysia for the better, she is determined to improve the living conditions in her constituency and eventually makes Subang Jaya a model for Selangor.
Michelle Ng won the seat with a 55,354 majority in the recent GE14.
Did you know that Malaysian R&B singer Nyk hails from Subang Jaya? Find out more here.
*Images by UPPRE.
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