Alumni Awards 2021-22 Malaysia Finalists  ©

British Council, Malaysia 

When outstanding individuals receive a world-class education in the UK, the effects can last a lifetime. The Alumni Awards shine a light on the impact that alumni of UK higher education institutions are making in their chosen field, and how this was sparked by their studies in the UK. The British Council has launched the eighth year of a prestigious award celebrating the outstanding achievements of the UK’s international alumni around the world. 

The Study UK Alumni Awards are open to alumni living anywhere outside of the UK. Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, industries and countries. The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education and raise the international profile of UK alumni and their former universities.

The awards are open to alumni currently residing in any country outside the UK, who have either studied in the UK, at an officially recognised provider of UK university degree level study for a minimum of a term or semester, or who have been awarded a full UK degree level qualification (or higher), by a UK university through a local institution overseas, within the last 15 years. 

There are four award categories:

  • Science and Sustainability Award recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through their career and achievements in the world of science and sustainability, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond. Areas of work could include: Climate action, clean energy, medicine, sustainable cities and communities, engineering, industry and construction. 
  • Culture and Creativity Award recognising alumni who have carved a career for themselves in arts and culture. We are looking for individuals who can demonstrate their artistic ingenuity, influence and creativity. Areas of work could include:  Arts, design, media, video, TV, music, bloggers, vloggers, Youtubers and the humanities. 
  • Social Action Award recognising alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others. Areas of work could include: Reducing inequality, poverty and hunger. Education and upskilling.  Peace and justice.
  • Business and Innovation Award recognising alumni who are active in initiating and contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities, that have the potential for growth.  Areas of work could include: Entrepreneurship, business, technology.

Meet the 2021-22 winners, finalists and judges

Among stiff competition from a variety of strong applicants, these candidates stood out. Find out what makes their story unique.

Social Action Award

Izza Izelan (Winner)

Institute of Education (IoE), University College London (UCL)

Izza is a journalist, advocate and the executive director of Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis (WOMEN:girls), a non-profit organization that develops programs to support women and girls to reach their potential and become agents of change within their communities.


Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib
University of Kent at Canterbury
Dr Fauziah joined the Malaysian Diplomatic Service in 1983. She was assigned to Brussels, Washington DC, Fiji Islands and the Netherlands. Upon her retirement in 2015, she became a consultant to a UK  firm and was invited to join an international legal team in a high profile case, Prosecutor v Hashim Thaci et al at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers based in The Hague.
Kenneth Chai
University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Kenneth runs an education social enterprise that does two things – affecting public policies at the frontline through forums, dialogues and collaboration with ministries, gov’t agencies and political representatives and feet on the ground, organizing community outreach programs, setting up associations, and providing infrastructure and incentives to underprivileged schools and communities.
Zaim Mohzani
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Zaim is a public policy professional with a mission to eliminate youth unemployment in Malaysia through a youth job guarantee. Through his work, Zaim has impacted over 30,000 youths in Malaysia by providing them employment opportunities for a better future.

Science and Sustainability Award

Justin Jing Ho Chin (Winner)

Imperial College London
Justin is the Managing Director of Gamuda Engineering, the largest infrastructure developer in Malaysia and has spent his career building tunnels for Kuala Lumpur’s metro lines with multi-award winning engineering innovations.
Fatimah Ahmedy
Cardiff University
Fatimah is a rehabilitation physician and an associate professor at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She devoted her work and research to treating individuals with disabilities, including spinal injuries, stroke, and cerebral palsy.
Fatin Aliah Phang
University of Cambridge
Fatin Aliah is a Professor at the School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). She mainly teach and deliver research in STEM education and environmental education, actively design, organise various education, awareness programmes and projects to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at local and international levels.
Muhd Siv Azhar Merican bin Abdullah
London South Bank University

Azhar has amalgamated key knowledge and experience in the UK to achieve the highest international LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for his Hospital, the first in the country.

Culture and Creativity Award

Nur Izzati Jamalludin (Winner)

King's College London
Dr Nur Izzati Jamalludin is currently an academic staff at Universiti Teknologi MARA where she lectures music at the College of Creative Arts. Her specialization is in ethnomusicology, where she focuses on the music of northern peninsula Malaysia.
Chen Kiong Gan
Northumbria University, Teesside University
After completing his law studies, Chen Kiong volunteered in the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections movements and the National Legal Aid Foundation. He was later appointed Chief of Village in recognition of his services to the people.
Adeline Wong Jingyi
Teesside University, University of Bedfordshire
Adeline established Adeline Dance Academy with the notion that dance will greatly alter the lives and positively impact her community providing them with the joy of experiencing a fulfilling personal growth with the wonders of dance.

Business and Innovation

Melvin Poh (Winner)

Imperial College London
Melvin is the founder of the Empirics Asia. Empirics Asia is a knowledge crowd-publishing platform that seeksto gather and provide open-access to the collective knowledge and experiential insights of Asia through all social scientific fields. To date, he has published over 1 million open-access articles and have been instrumental in democratizing and facilitating the exchange of knowledge throughout Asia.
Amirah Afina Binti Johari Faisal Stephen
Northumbria University, Newcastle
Amirah is an engineer and a businesswoman benefitting billions of Malaysians get clean and odorless air by helping clients and authorities implement safe and cost effective technologies. She is actively encouraging people to build wealth by investing in Gold as a hedge against inflation and provide financial cover during macroeconomic uncertainty.
Weng Keong Kong
University of Salford, University of Cambridge
Weng Keong founded Telford Group of Companies in Year 2006, with a humble start up loan of RM 20,000. Today, his business project footprints largely spread nationwide, with a Group sales turnover of over RM 85 million last year.
Shaun Adam
University of Edinburgh
Shaun leads the World Economic Forum’s regional and global cooperation between governments and businesses in the Asia-Pacific region to shape sustainable and inclusive development agendas. He was previously attached to the United Nations working on trade policy and socio-economic development in South East Asia(inc.Malaysia), Africa and Eastern Europe. He formerly worked for the Malaysia Government to advance the productivity of local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).


Jazreel Goh
Country Director, British Council Malaysia
Jazreel joined British Council China in June 2004 where she led on the UK’s largest education marketing and partnership initiatives in mainland China. Jazreel returns to Malaysia in September 2020 to take up the role as Country Director for British Council Malaysia.
Dr. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin
Chief Executive Officer, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD)
In her 25 years with Sime Darby, Yatela has held major roles in the Group Corporate Assurance department as well as the Values & Culture department; which saw her manage internal controls and corporate governance strategies, and their implementation. However, half of Yatela’s career has been in YSD and philanthropy, and this is where her heart is.
Danial Rahman
Director, CEO's Office at Sunway Education Group
Having started his career as a human rights and constitutional lawyer, Danial’s professional journey has traversed policy, education, media and technology. He has worked at three government ministries (Education, Higher Education and Finance) and served two Federal Ministers. Most recently, Danial was Press Secretary to Malaysia’s Finance Minister, managing strategic communications as well as local and international media engagements. Prior to that, he was communications head of an Australian education technology start-up which underwent a successful IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2019.
Tom Shepherd
Political Counsellor, British High Commission, Kuala Lumpur
Tom Shepherd has been Political Counsellor at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur since 2021. Before taking up his position in Malaysia, Tom worked on the Afghanistan desk in London, and was posted to the Middle East for eight years (Turkey, Syria and Kuwait). Tom holds a Masters degree in Conflict, Security and Development. Outside work, Tom is a keen fan of Liverpool Football Club.