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50 years, 50 stories, My Malaysia

When I stayed back in London for a few months last year after my studies were completed, I told my friend Ivy that I couldn’t wait to come back home where I can actually do things that are meaningful (to me).

Well, I’ve been back for just about five months now and I’m happy to report that I’ve been doing just that. Besides a little work here and there to pay the bills, I have been most proud to be associated with several projects that have brought Malaysians together. In May, together with RandomAlphabets, Zain HD, Juana Jaafar and myself put together #SayaMahuPicnic in a few short days. Last month, I joined Projek Dialog, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Rev Sivin Kit to organise #Fast4Malaysia.

Starting tomorrow, I’m embarking on another initiative with the same intentions, but manifesting very differently. 50×50 My Malaysia is a content-driven, non-profit initiative to bring Malaysians – at home and abroad – together through conversations and stories.

50x50logos BORDER

It is arguably the most ambitious, and extensive, project I have worked on that wasn’t part of “work”. For that reason, I am extremely excited and at the same time, very scared.

This initiative, like many of the others I have participated in, was put together in a short period of time but thanks to the support of Ngai Yuen and her team at Kakikreatif, I think we can pull it off!

There are many different elements to it – at the moment, I am currently curating stories that will be revealed over a 17 day period (from Aug 31 to Sept 16) on the 50×50 My Malaysia website. During the same period, I will make day trips to every state in the country in the hopes of having more conversations and finding more stories (If you have suggestions on things I should look for or people I should meet at the various stops, please let me know). I am also compiling pictures via social media (people can share them using the #50x50My hashtag) to be turned into postcards, which will be paired up with messages home from Malaysians living abroad. Finally, we will be launching an exhibition of sorts on Sept 16 in Kuala Lumpur where we will display some of these stories and documentation from the trip.

50×50 really excites me because it allows me to dive back a little into my journalistic roots, which if you know me is something I’m extremely passionate about. It actually lets me put my three loves together – journalism, digital culture and of course, my country.

I have been working with many people for the stories over the past few weeks, but the whole idea behind 50×50 My Malaysia, is to have more conversations and to listen to more stories. I’m hoping that many people – you included – will join in and contribute to any of the elements above. Just yesterday, I posted a picture on my Facebook and it started a short conversation with friends from different cultures and backgrounds which I thought was totally fascinating (click the image below for a larger, more readable version).

Bakul Sia conversation

Wish me luck, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey. You can drop me an email to discuss the project, or just get social conversations going via #50x50My. And visit the site tomorrow afternoon when it goes live at our first stop – Selangor!

p/s I need to thank some people who has helped me along the way – Low Ngai Yuen, Ivy Soon, Vivian Chong, Grace Loh, Lim Ee Loe, Wei Yung, Chris Tock and everyone else who have contributed and participated. Of course, 50×50 My Malaysia’s partners too – Kakikreatif, Amex, AirAsia and Pavilion KL.

9.14am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

1 Comment


Hi Niki, I think this is a great idea! I’ve been playing with this idea of doing a photo/video journal that’s a collection of short bios/videos of elderly Malaysians. There’s such a rich trove of knowledge and experiences among our older generation of Malaysians that is dying out. Anyway, I love the idea of 50×50 My Malaysia! Do you have a FB page, BTW?

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