Social Documentaries : A Vehicle of Change

Social Documentaries : A Vehicle of Change

FreedomFilmFest is now calling for film submissions


FreedomFilmFest is now calling for film submissions


In a world where people connect at a touch of a screen despite distance and differences in time zones, it is hard to imagine any community living off the information grid. With little to no internet connectivity and only three national channels on tv to provide them with all they need to know, this is the reality of most Orang Asli or  indigenous communities in peninsular Malaysia. While this may seem idyllic to some, ignorance is not always bliss, according to Tijah a/p Yok Chopil the coordinator of the Network of Indigenous Villages in Peninsular Malaysia (JKOASM) .

Speaking at the launch of FreedomFilmFest(FFF) 2016 in Petaling Jaya recently, Tijah attributed the lack of quick and easy access to information through the media, as one of the reasons why the Orang Asli were not exposed to current social and political issues affecting their community and the nation. However, this scenario has changed with the increase in the production of social documentaries such as those made through the FreedomFilmFest and their effective dissemination amongst the Orang Asli communities.

Tijah who is from the Semai tribe shared how Orang Asli communities in Peninsular Malaysia were empowered through films produced by the FreedomFilmFest that documented their community’s  struggles and realities such as Hak DiNafikan and Lot Umah Am that were uploaded on YouTube and brought from village to village in the form of DVDs. She added that the Orang Asli are more aware not just of issues that affect their communities, but also the nation as a whole. “Now you can even see the Orang Asli at BERSIH rallies” says Tijah with pride.

FreedomFilmFest director, Anna Har stressed the importance of film as a vehicle of social change during the launch. At the launch which took place on the 31st of March at PJ Live Arts, in Petaling Jaya, many instances of the impact of social documentaries were shared by a panel consisting of  Tijah; Indrani Kopal (winner of Best Student Documentary Award at the American Pavilion’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase in Cannes, 2015) Jules Rahman Ong (filmmaker and independent journalist), and moderated by Har.

FreedomFilmFest, an international human rights documentary film festival is NOW calling for film submissions in line with this year’s theme ‘What Lies Beneath’. The festival will be held from 20 – 28 August 2016 at PJ Live Arts, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya. For more information on film submissions and to apply for a film grant, visit

Easing the financial burden of higher education

Easing the financial burden of higher education

Easing the financial burden of higher education

Nilai U provides a number of scholarship and financial aid schemes to facilitate higher education.

Nilai University understands that funding a tertiary education is a significant financial investment. Even with the loan provided by the Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Negara (PTPTN), it is still a struggle for many families to fund their children’s studies to fulfil their dreams of university graduates. This is especially so since PTPTN does not cover the fees for the Foundation programme.

To help ease the burden, Nilai University has introduced a special financial aid scheme to help the SPM/O-Level certificate holders to achieve their dreams through the foundation to degree pathway.

The scheme is offered to all students who meet the entry requirements for the Foundation programme with tuition and accommodation waivers of 20% at the Foundation level. Upon progress to the degree programme, students are eligible for a 10% waiver of the tuition fee for the first year of degree studies.

“In this tough economic climate, schemes such as these are indeed welcome, especially for families who have to finance more than one child through higher education,”

says Dr Saw Sor Heoh, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Nilai University.

In addition to this special scheme, Nilai University offers the Education for All scheme which is meant especially for diploma and degree students with a family income of RM4000 and below. This scheme grants waivers of up to 50% of the tuition fees that are not covered by PTPTN as well as accommodation fee waiver of 50%.

Added to the financial schemes are the various scholarships offered to students with outstanding results. Students with 9As in SPM / O-Level, 3As in STPM / A-level or 6As in UEC are automatically eligible for the High Achiever Scholarship where 100% waivers of both tuition and accommodation fees are granted. For those with 5-8As at SPM/O-Level, the waivers granted amount to 25% of the tuition and accommodation fees. Both scholarship schemes are applicable to foundation + degree, diploma, degree and the American Degree Transfer programmes.

Scholarship schemes are also offered to those who are progressing to the advanced diploma or degree programs. Students with a CGPA of 3.5 and above from any foundation or diploma programmes accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency and intend to progress to the Advanced Diploma, Degree or American Degree Transfer programmes are eligible for tuition fee waivers of between 20 to 30%.

“Nilai U has always recognised students’ extra-curricular achievements, believing it to be crucial toward producing well-rounded graduates,”

says Dr Saw. Hence, students who have represented Malaysia at sporting events will be entitled to 100% waivers of tuition and accommodation fees while those who represented their state are eligible for 50% waivers.

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Similarly, those who have exemplary extra-curricular records at school level can apply for the Enrichment for Life award. Students who have been office bearers of clubs and societies, been a prefect or represented their school at the district level will be entitled to a 15% waiver of tuition fees for the foundation programmes, 10% for diploma programmes or 5% for degree programmes. “All this is to encourage well-rounded students to further their studies,” emphasises Dr Saw. (The Enrichment for Life award is only applicable for the first programme that a student enrols in and the positions must be held in the previous academic year).

Nilai U is appointed the Centre for Sports Focus – Fencing by the Ministry of Higher Education and has among the best training facilities in the country for this niche sport. In an effort to support national and state fencers further their education, Nilai U has also introduced a special scheme for fencers who will be eligible to 100% waivers of tuition and accommodation fees.

“I believe there is something for almost every category of students. All these scholarships and financial aid schemes are designed to encourage students to continue their personal development and growth in an institution that has been rated as Excellent in the SETARA rating exercise by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency,” explains Dr Saw.

The MAY intake is in progress.

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Practical Tips for Working Professionals to Combat Mental Fatigue

Practical Tips for Working Professionals to Combat Mental Fatigue

Mental fatigue is something that everyone has experienced at different stages of life.

Do you experience burnout, exhaustion and fatigue when you step out from the exam hall? If yes, These are symptoms of mental fatigue. Mental fatigue is something that everyone has experienced at different stages of life.

Today, life seems to be as hectic as ever. We are often required to multitask all the time in order to get works done. With such busy lifestyle, no wonder working professionals are mentally exhausted before the day is over.

Here are a few tips to overcome mental fatigue:

1. Change Unhealthy Eating Habits to Combat Fatigue

A healthy and balanced diet is the most important factor when it comes to preventing mental fatigue. Your food intake has a direct impact on your mood, your energy levels, and overall health. A healthy diet is important for your health, but in order to sustain energy throughout the day, you need health food supplement.

2. Get Sufficient and Quality Sleep

Sleeping well is undeniably a vital way to beat fatigue. Sleep allows our body to replenish energy, strengthen the immune system, and build up the appetite. When we are suffering from lack of sleep, it will affect our learning, memory, mood, and alertness. Sleep deprivation has been linked to hormonal imbalances and greater susceptibility to illness. Experts suggest that adults should get at least 8 hours of sleep to beat fatigue efficiently.

3. Take a Quick Power Nap to Revitalize Your Mind

A quick power nap in the middle of the day is a great way to revitalise yourself and boost your energy level. Quick power nap reduces exhaustion, sharpen your working mind, improve your mood, and make you more alert. Experts suggest a 30 minutes power nap can even decrease your risk of cardiovascular diseases by 30%. Feeling anxious? Take a deep breath, exhale slowly, close your eyes, and take a short nap to revive your mind.

4. Exercise Regularly to Boost your Metabolism

Exercise regularly is essential to keep you healthy. Physical activity helps to improve blood circulation, supply oxygen to your tissues, and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Additionally, exercise helps strengthen your bones, and most importantly, reduce your stress level. Want to get fit and healthy? Start your fitness regime today!

Life tips:

Studies show that daily consumption of BRAND’S Essence of Chicken helps to improve concentration, memory and reduce tiredness during work or studies. BRAND’S Essence of Chicken is the popular choice when it comes to health supplements. Drink BRAND’S everyday for a healthy body and sharper mind!

Real-Life Working Experience at Nilai Springs

Real-Life Working Experience at Nilai Springs

Real-Life Working Experience at Nilai Springs

Hospitality and tourism students at Nilai U get to taste real-life working experience at Nilai Springs Resort Hotel and Nilai Springs Golf and Country Club

“In the hospitality and tourism industry, hands-on experience is highly valued,” states Edward Felix Joseph, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism at Nilai University (Nilai U). Nilai U offers an added advantage in that hospitality students hone their craft at the nearby Nilai Springs Resort Hotel and Nilai Springs Golf and Country Club, both of which are part of the Nilai Resources Group to which Nilai U also belongs.

Edward says that having a four-star hotel and 27-hole golf course a stone’s throw away from campus is hugely beneficial to his students.

“They get to learn first-hand how these organisations function. The Nilai Springs staff makes sure that our students are exposed to real-life working experience, adding responsibility and building confidence, thus making internship placement highly fulfilling.”

Senior staff of Nilai Springs Resort Hotel and Nilai Springs Golf and Country Club serve as Adjuncts for the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism. This allows for greater and faster feedback from them which is immediately used, especially for the practical portion of the curriculum.

Students complete their On-Job-Training at Nilai Springs. GK How, General Manager of Nilai Springs Resort Hotel, points out that students get to experience working for a variety of events.

“From weddings to corporate team building sessions, students experience what it takes to plan, organise and successfully run events at a four-star hotel. Hands-on experience is invaluable in this industry. This is a win-win situation for both the university and Nilai Springs. For the hotel, we get a first- hand look at potential employees.”

Nilai U’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism has been in operation since 2003. It currently offers a BA (Hons) in Business and Hospitality Management and three Diploma programmes in Hotel Management, Tourism Management and Culinary Arts.

All the programmes are designed to have good balance of theoretical and practical skills. Students initially learn the basics at the on-campus Flamme Restaurant as well as the mock hotel room and check-in counter before moving to the hotel and golf resort for the real-life working experiences.

Edward says that employers in the hospitality and tourism industry prefer graduates with working experience.

“Having real working experience such as provided by Nilai Springs highlight to employers that Nilai University graduates are career ready. ”

Students from Nilai U’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism are also entitled to earn added certification from the Malaysian Food and Beverage Association (MFBEA), further boosting their employability. For more information, please visit or call 06-8502308.

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Going Pro

Going Pro

Going Pro

Nilai U’s Faculty of Business offers a number of professional certifications to boost graduate employability

Nilai University’s Faculty of Business offers a number of professional certifications to complement students’ degrees and diplomas. These are linked to professional organisations which many students aim to join in the future. The latest is from the Malaysian Financial Planning Council. Students from the BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance and the BBA (Hons) in Finance will be able to become a Registered Financial Planner by completing just one module (the students will receive exemptions from six modules). In fact, students will be able to complete the remaining module at Nilai U and the requisite training will be provided on campus, allowing the students to leave as a career-ready graduate.

As registered Financial Planners, students will be entitled to apply for a Financial Advisors’ Representatives license from Bank Negara. They will also be eligible to apply for Capital Market Services Representatives license from the Securities Commission Malaysia which is required to provide financial planning services to the public.

“A key factor in attracting students to Nilai University (Nilai U) is the number of professional certifications athta are designed to boost the graduate’s employability,”

explains Prof Dr Sivakumar Velayutham, Dean of the Faculty of Business. He says that many students already have a firm idea of their career paths. Hence, Nilai U has arranged for a number of professional certifications from the relevant organisations to be available to these students. They will highlight that these students have undergone extra training in specific areas.

The areas where added certifications are available:


The BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance and Diploma in Accounting are two of the most popular programmes at Nilai U. Many of the students join these programmes with a view towards becoming professional accountants. Students are entitled up to nine exemptions from the three major accounting bodies – Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Chartered Institute of management Accountants (CIMA) and Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA).

The latest initiative is the ACCA Accelerate programme which will allow students to complete their professional qualifications at the same time as they are studying for their degree. This time-saving programme will allow students who want to become professional accountants to fast track their careers. “Being able to complete their studies during their undergraduate years is an advantage. It is much easier than having to work and complete the ACCA papers part-time,” says Prof Siva.

Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

“Chartered Secretaries are highly trained corporate professional with a unique set of skills allowing them to work with a company’s board of directors and the management team of a company. Their areas of specialty include corporate law and practices, corporate finance, corporate governance and corporate secretarial practice,” explains Prof Siva.

Students from Nilai U’s Diploma in Business Administration will be entitled to six exemptions from the Professional Diploma in Corporate Administration programme, awarded by the Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA). They will only need to complete two papers during the final semester of their Diploma in Business Administration programme in ‘Corporate Compliance and Practice’ and ‘Law and Practice of Meetings’.

Accounting and Finance degree students will be entitled to four exemptions for Part 1 of MAICSA’s International Chartered Secretary and Administrators (ICSA) programme.

Human Resource

“Human respurce is a key component in any organisation and students from the BBA (Hons) in Human Resource Management will undergo 64 hours of training with specialist human resource trainers to have them career ready in this highly specialised field,” says Prof Siva

The training is conducted by the Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management (MIHRM). Other Business faculty students can also earn enhanced certification from MIHRM by completing the relevant modules.

These enhanced certifications allow students to gain specialist knowledge and also act as a time-saving device. By the time they graduate, these students will have both academic qualifications as well as specialist knowledge in key areas allowing them to forge an exciting career. “We firmly believe in equipping our students with all the necessary qualifications to allow them to carve out a successful career. After all, that is the gist of higher education,” says Prof Siva.

All of Nilai U programmes are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. The institution is rated ‘Setara 5’ by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
For more information, please visit or call 06-8502308.

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Innity To Host Magical Forest Charity Run in Support of FRIM

Innity To Host Magical Forest Charity Run in Support of FRIM

Join the Magical Forest Charity Run for a good cause

Proceeds from the run will go to FRIM for their reforestation efforts

Be part of a fairy tale at the Magical Forest Charity Run next month. Besides learning about the importance of protecting the environment, runners will be able to meet famous fairy tale characters such as Snow White, Peter Pan, Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty too. Stick around after the run as light refreshments will be given out to the runners, and a lucky draw session will be held.

Proceeds from the run will go to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to support its reforestation efforts.

Let’s All Participate In This Magical Forest Charity Run!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Been planning to have your friends or family members be more productive and active or maybe you yourself need a little outdoor fun? Then we’ve just the thing!

Innity will be organizing a Magical Forest themed charity run to kickstart an active lifestyle whilst helping the environment and having an immense amount of fun! Of course, alongside creating awareness on preservering our planet as proceeds from the run will go to Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).

Although it is a 7KM Fun Run, of course, the event will be focused on how much fun you’ll have together with your loved ones rather than at what speed you’re running at! So families with children will guarantee to have the time of their lives in this Magical Forest with little magical obstacles along the way.. *wink wink*

Participants will get a medal, bib number, light refreshment, running tee and more than RM 400 worth of goody bag. There will also be activities that includes taking photos with the mascot as well as a lucky draw!

For more information on where to register you can check out their official event page


Since I am a long time publisher for Innity, I am helping them to promote their Magical Forest Charity Run happening next month.

If you are wondering, Innity is the leading digital media network that provides interactive online marketing platforms and data driven technologies for advertisers and publishers.

Innity, the leading online media and advertising technology provider in APAC, will be hosting a 7km Fun Run Magical Forest Charity Run on Sunday May 29, 2016 at Taman Botani Negara, Shah Alam as one of their CSR initiatives to give back to society and the environment.

As its name suggests, the Magical Forest Charity Run is a themed Run not only to provide a fun and magical environment to the runners, but educating them on the importance of protecting the environment as well as running for a good cause.

The cost of the registration is RM69 per person. Upon registration, each participant will be given an official Magical Forest Charity Run TShirt, a number bib and a medal for completing the route. The Fun Run starts at 6.00AM, with the flag off time at 7.15AM. Proceeds will be channeled to support Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to support their reforestation efforts.

Phang Chee Leong, the Chief Executive Officer of Innity said, “The purpose behind this run is to raise more awareness for the environment and to emphasize the urgency for all of us to act immediately to safeguard our Earth.”

Interested? Details are as below:

Date: 29th May 2016, 6am to 11am
Venue: Taman Botani, Shah Alam
Registration fee: RM69