12 Malaysians That Did The Country Proud In 2017

Their actions made 2017 a year worth celebrating about.

  • Cover image via SAYS

1. Nor Safuan Nordin, an MPSJ enforcement officer, who displayed exemplary character and became an example to civil servants across Malaysia to always be professional in their jobs

Image via Malaysiakini

Nor Safuan received a certificate of appreciation from Subang Jaya Assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, Kinrara Assemblyperson Ng Sze Han and MPSJ Acting President Zulkurnain Che Ali, for displaying exemplary manners while dealing with a woman who yelled at him and threatening him with a steering lock.

2. Mohd Faiz Subri, who created history by becoming the first ever Malaysian to win the prestigious FIFA Puskas Award

Image via squawka

His swerving "knuckleball" goal against Pahang in the Malaysian Super League match was so spectacular that it catapulted him to international recognition.

He received his nomination from FIFA last November alongside other footballing greats like Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The 29-year-old footballer, who adores The Beautiful Game, defeated Brazil's Marlone and Daniuska Rodriguez of Venezuela to clinch the award for goal of the year.

3. Nur Adlyka Ainul Annuar, a Malaysian astrophysics student who is part of a team of astronomers who discovered the evidence of black holes situated close to the Milky Way

Adlyka, who is currently pursuing her PhD in Astrophysics at Durham University's Centre of Extragalactic Astronomy in the UK, made the nation proud by making the discovery that the galaxy has a thick group of gas hiding the central black hole.

4. Heidy Quah, a 23-year-old who was chosen as the sole Malaysian recipient for the Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II this year

Image via RFTR

The co-founder of an NGO called Refuge for The Refugees (RFTR), which supports 35 schools, caring for over 2,000 refugee children, hopes to help raise awareness about the state of refugees in Malaysia and provide aid to refugee schools in terms of education and sustenance.

5. Sapno Tukijo, a bilal at the Taman Free School surau in Penang, who helped around 70 flood victims by letting them seek shelter in the religious building

The 50-year-old's act of kindness toward the flood victims was praised by netizens. And while he also faced criticisms, Sapno stood by his actions.

"As long as their lives are saved (I don't care). I would be left feeling guilty if I had ignored their plight."

6. Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the founder and former President of MERCY Malaysia, whose story this year about how she stitched herself up after being shot in her hip and then performed an emergency C-section on an anaemic woman, left us all in awe

Dr Jemilah's unwavering commitment and selfless desire to bring relief to those who have, or are going through human or natural disasters are truly outstanding. You can read more about her on SAYS here.

7. Corporal Rizal, a traffic police officer in KL who went to great lengths by braving the rainy weather and traffic congestion just to make sure that a lost bag was returned to its rightful owner

He would have lost his valuable belongings if it wasn't for Corporal Rizal's honesty.

"There are still honest people like him. If other people have stumbled upon the item, I'm not sure if they would be as honest as him. I gave him a little reward but he refused and repeatedly rejected my offer," wrote the owner of the bag.

8. Rizal Khalif, who has just qualified to become the first ever Malaysian to join in the Fjällräven Polar 2018 dogsled race

Image via Rizal Khalif

The Malaysian adventurer wants to show the world that there is no limitation to practising Islam, no matter where and in what condition.

9. Julian Yee, who became the first-ever Malaysian to qualify for the Winter Olympics after placing sixth at the 49th CS Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany

Image via Zimbio

The first Malaysian to participate at the World Figure Skating Championships, and the first man to win SEA Games figure skating gold, Julian, a charismatic figure skater, has sealed what is arguably his most prestigious first: Olympic qualification.

Read more about Julian, the "hottest" man on ice on SAYS here.

10. Cheong Jun Hoong, the national diver who won Malaysia's first-ever diving gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships

Image via AP

The 28-year-old national diver from Perak, who created history, had never expected to beat the Chinese, who traditionally dominate the diving competition.

"My god, I’m a world champion! I hoped for a medal, but I didn't think I could beat the Chinese divers," she said as quoted by Malay Mail Online.

11. Khairul Hafiz, who broke the oldest record in Malaysian Athletics at the 94th Malaysian Open Athletics Championship

Image via stadium

The 19-year-old sprinter from Melaka smashed the 200m national record of 20.92s set by Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

12. Muhamad Ziyad Zolkefli, the shot putter champion broke his own world record and won a gold medal by setting a new world record at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championship in London

"I came here to bring something back to my country," Malaysia's favourite Paralympian said after giving the country its first medal in the biennial world meet earlier this year.

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