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M’sian youth relishes policy exposure at US legislative houses

 | November 4, 2017

Kuhan Pathy, who is on a fellowship programme under the American Council of Young Political Leaders, gains experience based at US Senate and Tennessee state government.

Engineer-Kuhan-Pathy-malaysia-1PETALING JAYA: Engineer Kuhan Pathy has become the first Malaysian to complete a professional fellowship at the Tennessee state general assembly in the United States where he also received a formal certificate of appreciation from its governor Bill Haslam.

The 29-year old was selected from 150 Malaysian applicants for the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) Professional Fellows Programme, which is part of the White House’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).

“I’ve learned a lot through this journey and it has been enriching. I had never thought this would happen to me,” he told FMT.

“I am also able to share Malaysia’s standpoint in certain issues, including trade and investment, national security and North Korea, to sectors that are interested in an international relationship.

“Most importantly, I have highlighted the growth of Malaysia in Asean to many who have not travelled beyond Europe,” he said.

kuhan-pathy-cert-1Kuhan, who is from Kepong in Kuala Lumpur, also underwent a fellowship stint in both the US House of Senate and House of Representatives where he was primarily attached to Republican representative Dawn White.

Kuhan said he cherished receiving an official US-Malaysia lapel pin as recognition of his achievement from Prime Minister Najib Razak during his trip to Washington in September.

According to Kuhan, the fellowship experience had helped him to gain knowledge on best practices in policy-making that will be applied when he returns to Malaysia next year.

He added that he also looked forward to his next assignment in a company called Ingram Group in the US, where he would be exposed to big data analytics in politics.

He urged aspiring youths to always be willing to learn and step out from their comfort zones.

“Go beyond borders. Every experience is a lesson,” said Kuhan, who is also the co-founder of Masala Wheels, a local social enterprise aimed at empowering at-risk youths.

YSEALI provides participants with a month-long fellowship at US-based organisations, government offices or legislative bodies.

Fellows are expected to work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.

Kuhan completed his secondary schooling at SMK Taman Bukit Maluri in Kepong and furthered his studies at Universiti Teknologi Petronas, where he also received the Chancellor’s Award in 2011.


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