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29 June 2009

A boy named Sebenaran

By Derek

This post is about a boy…

Well, take a good look at him. His name is Sebenaran. He is a survivor of the tsunami and was left an orphan from the tragedy. Sebenaran comes from Batam, Indonesia and lives in an orphanage. So what does Sebenaran have to do with the AirAsia story?

In fact, everything.

Sebenaran came by for a trip to our Academy at Sepang last week and he was here on a pathway of a dream. You see, since the age of seven, the only constant in his has been the fact that Sebenaran wants nothing more than to be a pilot. AirAsia was there to say, yes, like us, Sebenaran is here to tell his story, that nothing is impossible.

In this picture, seen with Sebenaran are his caretakers who made the trip from Singapore, Janet Tan Mui Hwa and Ivan Lee Yuan.

The group were down with us in Kuala Lumpur. Now, Sebenaran has never been on a plane, in fact never left Indonesia and in one day, he’s been to two countries, been in two cockpits and who knows, is one step closer to living his dreams in the skies. The social media team was there to witness and maybe be a moment in his life and his dreams. This is his story.

Batch 90 was on hand at the academy to show Sebenaran some AirAsian ‘hospitality’.

Sebenaran was invited to be with us here last week to have a go at most of our childhood’s dream, to actually fly a plane. Upon arriving at the LCCT, he was ushered to our academy within a stone’s throw away to see for himself what reaching for the skies meant. He was slightly dazed perhaps at the first flight in his life but nevertheless excited by the entire intrigue of being here and being exposed to an opportunity to live his dreams.

Sebenaran only knows a few words of English and a thread of aviation knowledge but he has never let this be an excuse for him not being able to be a pilot. He knows that financial sense is not on his side but he does not lack faith. He knows the road is long but here he is agianst all the odds, having a peek at his dreams. Standing by his side for that short glmpse at his ambition and his determination to make it a reality, we say that we are privileged to share this moment in him living his dreams.

Sebenaran before stepping into his ‘dreams’. The simulator beckons.

All smiles with Gavin Andrews, the standby engineer before takeoff, we swear that Sebenaran was never nervous. In fact, he was all the while raring to go. Sebenaran took us on a ride through rain, thunderstorm, turbulence and at the end, bursting through the sunshine. Can anyone doubt that this kid will make it one day? :)

It was an experience to remember and we were glad to be the bystander in this experience. We remember Sebenaran saying and summarising it best, “Saya takut tinggi. Tapi lain kali saya nak terbang beratus-ratus nyawa dan saya tak boleh takut. Oleh itu, saya beritahu diri sendiri bahawa saya perlu berani.” (I am afraid. I am afraid of heights. But if I am to fly the lives of hundreds of passengers, I can not be afraid. Because of that, I told myself that I have to be brave.) With this conviction, AirAsia says yes, we can get there together. Now, everyone can truly fly.

Social media team signing off with lots of love for Sebenaran and Batam.

Believe the unbelievable,
Dream the impossible,
Never take no for an answer.

  • Rahamat Tulla

    really inspiring

    Believe the unbelievable,
    Dream the impossible,
    Never take no for an answer.

    this true AIR ASIAN SPIRIT

    always amazing

    :)