2012 has been an intense year for me. Not least because I turned 30 without any warning – I have been too busy in the past few years to care for my own biological schedule. 2012 was intense because I was extremely honoured to be selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. It was intense because I managed to check one of my wishlist to publish a book by the time I am 30. My first book, The Audacity to Think: An Invitation to Rethink Politics was launched in June this year. Intense because in my second term as a local government councillor, I have assumed a larger role in the Seberang Perai Municipal Council, not only servicing my constituents in their daily municipal grouses, but I am also sitting in the important One Stop Centre Committee which reviews and approves developments. I have also initiated a new community project, “BetterPenang” aiming to promote local democracy in Penang. It is still at an initial stage, but one of our projects, the MPSP Watch-BetterPenang mobile app have gained more than 1,000 participants who are actively engaging the local governments in Penang.
But I want to come to the end of this highly intense year telling you that 2012 has been good.
Recently I told a friend, democracy is a mega project. It will take a lot of people, a lot of energy, a lot of resources. At times, this project may seem impossible. This year, I took up running, and ran my first 21km race. I learnt some important lessons from running sport- just like a marathon, politics is a long-haul race. Sometimes when I run, the pain is unbearable and the distance unending, but really the only person who can stop me from completing the race is myself. And staying fit is crucial because only when I am healthy, can I run well.
My friend, I am more determined than ever to continue this journey through 2013 and beyond. Would you join me?
Here is to a great year ahead for all of us….cheers!
Happy New Year