PETALING JAYA: Azmil Zabidi is a man on a mission. The 36-year-old police officer has been travelling from school to school to give motivational talks against racial prejudice.
A video has been widely shared on social media showing him sternly telling schoolchildren to mingle with fellow pupils of other racial backgrounds, using a creative approach to engage youngsters and win over hearts and minds.
He can often be seen singing, dancing, and cracking jokes in a rowdy manner to gain the children’s attention.
Azmil’s repertoire includes warning school children about the harms of bullying and sexual harassment.
FMT attended one of his sessions, in which the stocky police officer, who posed quite an imposing figure, got up on stage and told students to avoid being cliquey or sitting only with others from their own community.
Azmil has not always had the responsibility to give these talks. He started off by assisting school liaison officers during their visits. “Sometimes they were not able to give the talks, so I began helping out. I didn’t expect it to turn out this way.
“This was my stepping stone into motivating students,” he told FMT.
Azmil attributes his close connection with students from different backgrounds to the fact that he can speak a smattering of Chinese and Tamil which has helped him in fostering unity among students from different backgrounds.
He said that his unique way of delivering positive messages has also allowed for students to feel more connected with him. He added that his background as a fitness instructor has made him develop this interesting method.
From aerobics to racial unity
“Initially, I taught aerobic exercises to schoolchildren, so maybe the loud vocal projection that I used during those sessions contributed to how I deliver my message now.”
His efforts have borne fruit as students he has spoken to now mingle more freely with their peers. Appreciative parents have also extended their gratitude, acknowledging the positive impact he has left on their children.
With Merdeka being celebrated today, Azmil’s hope for the country is for the rakyat to set aside their differences and fully focus on fostering unity and cultural diversity.
“Let’s briefly forget about politics and focus on Aug 31, which we only celebrate once a year. We need to show our children something positive.
“Remember, even our food can unify us. For example, everyone enjoys nasi lemak. Our country is unique, let’s not spoil it by being racially minded.”