Why 28-Year-Old Michelle Ng Returned To Malaysia To Run As Pakatan's Candidate This GE14
"Can you forgive yourself if you don’t go back to Malaysia? My answer was No."
For many people, migrating or working overseas is a privilege they would jump at the second they are given the opportunity
However, not for 28-year-old lawyer Michelle Ng, who despite her parents encouraging her to stay on, made the decision to come back to Malaysia after finishing her studies in London.
"I've always wanted to help Malaysians and not coming back felt very selfish. I basically asked myself, 'Can you forgive yourself if you don't come back?' My answer was No. So, I made the move back," she said in a recent interview with SAYS.
Michelle seems to have some pretty big shoes to fill running for Pakatan Harapan in Subang Jaya, a seat which was previously held by state assembly speaker YB Hannah Yeoh
It all started when she first studied law with intentions of using it to help Malaysia. It eventually led her to begin her political career in 2014.
When asked how she knew it was the right time to run for elections, she said:
"To be honest, when I was first approached, I thought that it was far too early. My initial plan was to work in law for 10 years and then only consider working in politics."
However, the team believed that her time had come to take on the role; one of the reasons being that in 10 years, things would have changed.
She took some time to decide and eventually concluded that, "If other people believe in me, there's really no reason why I should doubt myself. I'm young and if this doesn't pivot, at least I'll have time to make a change," she added.
Michelle exudes a maturity that goes well beyond her years. It is evident in her ability to compartmentalise, believing that it is one of the most important qualities a political leader needs to have to stay grounded.
"Inevitably, there will be people who for the smallest reasons will find something to say. You need to really filter and not let it affect you. Keep the good, chuck the bad. If there is constructive criticism, take it in, and try to improve yourself because there are bigger battles to fight."
With that said, she's driven to transform Malaysia for the better. "We have fallen so far behind and a lot of it to me has been constructed to serve ulterior purposes that doesn't really benefit the people," she said.
Adding that, she wants transformation from the inside out and to put our country back on the right track. "That would be the ultimate goal."
Sometimes it takes small steps to make things happen and Michelle hopes that by improving the quality of life in Subang, it can then become a model for Selangor
However, none of it will matter without a solid foundation to rely on. "I'm grateful for the leaders around me who have been cheering us on and providing good counsel and support that has allowed younger people like me to flourish," she shared.
Michelle will be up against another newcomer, Barisan National's Patrick Chong Ah Watt, who is Kelana Jaya MCA's assistant treasurer.
Much to her surprise, Michelle also notices young school kids getting more involved and engaged with the things that are going on around them
She explained that on one particular occasion, she had encountered an 8-year-old boy with his mum. Much to his mum's amazement, she shared with Michelle that he was the first to inform her about Michelle's candidacy for Subang Jaya.
"The atmosphere is such that even children are engaged as well. If our future points us in that direction, we as voters should take that mantle and run towards that goal because I feel that’s what our children want too," Michelle added during the interview.
There is a sort of calmness and genuineness behind her voice as she explained her conscious efforts to not take the usual path of shaming or criticising the opposition.
"I want to focus on what I can do for Subang. We're less interested in all the theatrics and people are wanting more substance."
She closed off by saying that, "In spite of what has happened in the past, many probably feel defeated. But things can change for the better and we need to hold on to that hope. I want to tell Malaysians to keep holding on."
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