Just got back from Malaysia last Wednesday. I attended the Youth Engagement Summit 2009 (YES2009). How did I get there in the first place? Lucky I guess…

As simple as answering Air Asia question on if you could change one thing in your lifetime, what would it be, and who will it be for? Yourself, your community, or your country? And how will you contribute to it?

I answered: 1thing I’d like to change is to make people to stop litter. So the environment will be a healthier & comfortable place to live in.

Submit it on Thursday, then on Friday I got to know that I was one of the 30 lucky winners! Yeay! Thanks Air Asia! Though they don’t provide transportation & accommodation, I still want to go there. So I booked the cheapest flight (It’s Air Asia for sure :D) and stayed at my friend’s house there.

So I arrived Sunday (15/11) in LCCT (No delays) at 11.30 am and not long after that my friend, Natasha and her friend, Hanum, pick me up. Natasha is my childhood friend back when I was living in Sydney. We went to Natasha’s family house in Taman Kencana. There I met Auntie Jo and Uncle Wan. We didn’t stay long there. We then drove to Sungei Wang and Bukit Bintang to have lunch and window shopping. I didn’t bought anything there..quite a surprise :D. I fell in love in a Vincci shoes but they didn’t have the number. Too bad Around 5 we went back to Taman Kencana, have some snacks and drove back to Natasha’s house at Seri Kembangan.

The YES2009 took place in Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC) in Putrajaya. Luckily it’s near Tasha’s house. Hanum drove me to PICC on Monday (16/11) morning; I went to Air Asia booth for registration and waited for the gate to be open. It was supposed to start at 9.00 am, but in fact starts at 10.30 am. Here’s my resume of the speakers in the 2 day summit:

* Lorraine Hahn – former CNN and CNBC presenter

She was the MC for the 2 day summit. She’s a very clever lady indeed. In the opening speech she said, “Its youth who build the future, not future build the youth.

* Biz Stone – co-founder of Twitter

So he’s cute. LOL. Who doesn’t know twitter? Anyway my id is @shizuoka. Follow me .. I love the way he made his speech. He made the audience listen to him.

Many people think Twitter is an overnight success, but actually it’s a 10 years worth of work. His team actually planning on creating something bigger than Twitter. Then the idea of Twitter came out when there’s some flood in his house, he’s busy cleaning the mess and suddenly his friend texted him saying, ‘Sipping wine in the lake. So relaxed.’ And he’s like WTF? I’m busy here and you’re like relaxing on the lake? So Twitter was born.

One tweet can change a lot of people. Open exchange information (not just Twitter) can send positives global impact. Tiny information can be such a useful info. Why Twitter only can write 140 characters? Because a text messages is 160 characters and they leave 20 characters for names.

‘Twitter is about the triumph of humanity, not the triumph of technology’

Being the youth and eager to success we mustn’t be afraid of failing. Biz said happy mistake are the best kind and creativity is a renewable resource.

* Dr. Mamphela Ramphelle – former managing director of The World Bank

She is surely one of a genius woman. She’s from South Africa, in her youth time there is no many choice for black people. Even in their own country. Both of her parents is a teacher, but she wanted to be a doctor, but don’t know where to go. No one go to college at that time. But with effort and hard work she made it.

She talks about ethical engagement, political conflicts, gender stereotypes, inequality. Talks about Nelson Mandela engaged people to fight apartheid, how Mahatma Gandhi paid the change by his own life, Martin Luther King; the assassin’s bullet that kills him never kills his dream, Obama believe youth can change what’s happening.

Her advice for the youth is use all the opportunity that you got.

* Narain Karthikeyan – F1 driver from India

Supposed is Amitabh Bachchan sitting in this summit. But for some reason he cancelled it..too bad. I wanted to meet him. But c’est la vie. Narain is cute though…LOL

When Hahn asked Narain why F1? He simply answers when you’re young, brave, stupid just catch your dream. Stupidity helps He learns to drive by driving tractors in the rice field. It’s not an instant success. He encourages youth to never give up, when there’s a will there’s a way. If you start something finish it. Plan your strategies.

* Bob Geldof – founder of Live Aid and Live8

Lookin’ good Sir! I’m in love with him. I always have something with rebel and mature (not to say old ) looking man. He comes out on stage wearing a sleek grey suit. Didn’t expect that from him..LOL

Anw he starts his speech by talking about his childhood. His father sells towel from house to house, his mother died when he was 6, his first sister didn’t wanted to take care of the family so she married and get out of the house, and his other sister was the type of women who don’t stop studying. So no one actually took care of little Geldof. There was only radio. He listens to the radio every single day, and gets to know rock music. Why is rock music so universal? Rock band is an accurate example of the real life. From rock bands he knows about Africa, that was when he was 13 years old. He didn’t get to college, he didn’t want to and he cannot go, because of his marks. So he travels the world, gets some money, and got back to Ireland and formed a band, The Boomtown Rats. It became a hit!

‘Nobody is less than another. Everybody is equal if they got the equal opportunity.’

He also set an anti-Apartheid move in Ireland. He recognized there’s only 8 mile difference from the richest (Europe) and the poorest (Africa). We must get something to do with this and he did it through music.

The common language of the world is not English, it’s Pop Music.

Politic and economic is the structure of poverty. He said, ‘It’s not my generation who feels the impact, it’s yours.’ One’s country can’t solve the problem alone. We as an ASEAN country should get together and solve this problem. As Gandhi once said, ‘If you want to change, be the change!’

* Garry Kasparov – Russian living legend of chess

My favorite speaker in the summit! Didn’t expect he would give such a great speech. I thought chess player? He must be a serious type. What will he talk about? But amazingly his speech was great!

He talks about strategic thinking. As the youth of today we need a constant change, and always create something new (innovate). Strategic planning is important –> plan and analyze. Knowledge and experience is not enough.

There’s changes from the past until now. Wright bros -> Boeing, Wang lab -> Toshiba, Altavista -> Google, Rio MP3 -> Ipod. To survive we must evolve. Changes are taking risk. 0% risk is impossible. What is happening today is a catastrophe of debt, status quo. The changes have slown dramatically. Most of the innovations are made before 1970. Vertical innovation means growth, while horizontal innovation means dead.

Vertical -> Creation, New, Experimental, Risky, Growth, Jobs

Horizontal -> Incremental, Existing, Imitation, Safe, Debt, Revenue

Vertical innovation is what drives the world.

Mark Twain said, ‘The average man is proud to be “consistent”, unchanging, immovable, and fossilize, where it should be his humiliation’.

Mr. Kasparov also talks about tactics and strategies. They are two different things. Tactics is an adjustment and reaction of something, no goals. Meanwhile in strategies there is a goal. It is knowing what to do when there is nothing. Without intuition we’re only spectators. The man who knows ‘Why’, will always be one’s boss. We have to ask why all the time. Everybody can be great. You just need to prepare something before they needed it. Things moves too quickly nowadays. Our goal now is to innovate.

‘Recognize your strength and improve your weakness.’

* Donald Trump – do I really need to explain this man?

He didn’t attend the summit physically, but we’re interacting live with him via satellite. I love technology! Mr. Trump talks about success. The meaning of success never change, was it 100 years ago or the next 100 years. It’s a simple word with complex meaning. The tip is never quit.

A quitter will never be successful

Also don’t trust everybody. Pick the best people to trust. If somebody screw you, screw them back. His tips to be success are:

* Stay focus at all time
* Believe in yourself
* Able to handle pressure
* Master your subject

Not everybody got good instinct. If you don’t have that instinct, it’s alright. Just work for somebody and you’ll be great. Talking about second chances, if they’re good and smart it’s OK. But if they cheated on you, most likely they will do the same thing again.

People don’t change that much

Work ethic is very important for entrepreneurs. To be leader we must do our job properly. People will respect you if you do something properly.

* Randi Zuckerberg – Director of market development at Facebook

Randi is a very humble person. She’s such a great person and always smiles to us. The talk of Facebook is basically about the Facebook itself. Who doesn’t have Facebook? The Chinese maybe. But her team never stops trying to bring Facebook to China.

In social networking action it very crucial. She has led the company’s US election and international politics strategy, as well as pioneered several large media partnerships. Many social movements from the youth start in Facebook. Social networking impact is so big. About Twitter, she said it’s not a competition. She even got a Twitter account.

As long as it’s spreading positive news and making the world more positive, it’s a terrific action.

There’s one story about a burglar in the US who log in to Facebook in the victims house and forget to log out. Bummer! The house owner just looked into his profile and the burglar easily got caught. Or about a young girl who is trapped in a collapse house and people can find her just because she updated her Facebook status from her mobile.

* David Magliano – Director of Marketing for London 2012 Olympics

Many might not know him, but he is the one who brought London to become the Olympic host in 2012. He talks on how he engages young people to get ‘London 2012’. London submits the entry last minute. The final 5 city is Paris, Moscow, New York, London, and Rio. Paris and London was the last two.

We get to see all of the city’s 30 second video. Lucky us! All four cities brought its cityscape while London’s video is about the youth in the entire world who wants to take part on the Olympics. It has nothing to do with London.

* Long Yangtu (China’s former Vice Minister of Trade) and Yashwant Sinha (Former Finance Minister of India)

This session is a round table discussion which was moderated by Lorraine Hahn. Talking about China and India economics. How China became that big in economics.

* Tony Fernandes – founder of Air Asia

This is Malaysia’s own. The Malaysians are very proud of him. Standing ovation for him as he entered the stage. Two people got tickets to London just by running to the stage wearing anything red. Envy you!!!! I really enjoy his speech. He is such a humble and down to earth person.

How Tony get into this business? Actually he was in the music business for so long, and he starting to have thoughts about quitting his job. He was working in NY and and couple of countries in Europe. Flying to Europe countries back and forth get him to know there are so many budget airlines in Europe. And he thought he can bring this business back home. It wasn’t easy. But he is not afraid to fail.

Don’t be afraid to fail. The failure is not to try.

Why Air Asia fly to Bandung? There is no airline fly there. But Air Asia dares to fly there. Aceh? After the tsunami he thinks we have to do something there. So Air Asia opens new route to Aceh. Bali? After bombing many people are afraid to go there, but Air Asia still opens their route to promote Bali even more.

Do you know there is Miss Thailand flying for Air Asia Thailand? Yes. Tony met this girl and she said she wanted to be a pilot. She took the test and now flying for Air Asia Thailand. There are a total of 35 female pilots in Air Asia.

Tony said, ‘You can’t be a great leader, if you don’t go to the ground.’ Tony likes to be in his employees shoes for every each other time.

Don’t look for protection

In the end of his speech he said: ‘One day I’ll buy Singapore Airlines!’ We’ll be waiting Tony! 😀

* Nando Parrado – Andes plane crash survivor

It’s the last speaker for the summit. And he did a great closing. He shares his very touching story about his plane crash in the Andes Mountain, that took his mother, sister, and friend’s life.

He showed us slides of pictures about the plane crash. 72 days in the mountain with no food, no drink, no clothes. How did he survive? It was 37 years ago, when he was just 19. He came home from being rescued, his father is only family left. His father said to him; go on do anything that you want with your life. You have had experienced the worst.

When something goes wrong with you life, the universe just doesn’t care

Not everybody have access to success, but go forward. The mistake is saying later. You never know when is too late.

In the end he showed a clip about his family and it really droves me into tears. He is now living happily with his wife and two kids. Continuing his father business and giving speech to all over the world about his experience.

Well, that’s what I get from YES2009. I learn new things. All the speakers were great on sharing their story. Now is time for us, youth, to give something to make the world a better place. Oh, and btw YES2010 is plan to be held in Indonesia. Hope I can go there again.




  1. Senthil Durai Reply

    I am sure Tony will win more Awards !
    He is Tourism Minister for all the SE Asian countries.

    Wish him more success on Airasia’s new routes to india


    Chennai , Bangalore ,Hyderabad !

  2. Hopefully, all the great leaders will know how be great to other peoples. They will share their power, supports and thousand ideas of their excellence.

    Mr. Tony F.
    Warm regards from IAA091680!

  3. Wow!! nicely written. You are good!! But we all have the responsibilities to make it happened!!
    All the best!!

  4. WHAT AIR ASIA DID NOT SEE IN CEBU?…from cebu…i went to kuala lumpur, malaysia via singapore taking a low cost airline carrier…taking another flight is so difficult if flight delay occur because the time to catch a connecting flight to final destination is big factor to consider… filipino loves travel especially if the trip is affordable as what air asia recogized as the BEST… WHY NOT AIR ASIA FLY DIRECT to cebu from kota kinabalo, jakarka, kuala lumpur and bangkok which is not currently served by any low cost airline or even some route still dont have a flight from any airline…cebuanos surely love to travel…not passing manila or clark anymore…hope to see soon air asia land in cebu…and i will surely book a flight…more power air asia!

Write A Comment