Gabriel Chua Chin Seng, a second-year student at Multimedia University (MMU) Melaka, is a budding social entrepreneur. Having observed the struggles of some of his fellow students on campus, he came up with a project to help them.
“There are many promising students but I can’t help but notice that they can be too hard on themselves in the pursuit of their goals. Some are reluctant to seek for help because they do not want to share their fears and negative thoughts,” explained Gabriel.
In April 2020 Gabriel and a group of his friends began the En-Light project. This is a social platform created to guide students through challenges in life and to develop future entrepreneurs.
“I wanted to start something that would help, and I’m happy that we started this project during these challenging times,” said Gabriel.
Since its inception, En-Light has hosted several webinars about various subjects, including money management, emotional intelligence and managing studies during a time of crisis. Moving forward, Gabriel and his friends hope that En-Light will be able to host more webinars and extend beyond the MMU Melaka campus so that they can help more people.
When asked about what he personally hopes to get out of En-Light, without hesitation, he said, “There are so many people out there who need help in many different ways. I want to be that person to help them. Right now, I may not have money to contribute but I have knowledge and experience to share. A lesson learned should be a lesson shared.”
Coming out of his shell
Looking at how confident and outgoing Gabriel is, you might be hard-pressed to imagine him being an introvert – a personality trait that Gabriel still insists he has until today.
As a child, he was afraid of people and tended to avoid them, even his peers. Concerned by his extreme shyness, Gabriel’s teachers encouraged him to participate more in school, especially in activities that required public speaking.
“It was scary for me at first but I obediently followed my teachers’ instructions and guidance. Eventually, I got over my awkwardness,” he recalled. “As I grew older, I learned how much I love working with others and being a leader.”
These days, it does not take much for Gabriel to volunteer to speak in public or to take up leadership roles.
“I still struggle with introversion sometimes but I overcome this by working hard so I can pursue the best opportunities offered to me,” he said.
One of these struggles came when he volunteered as a student leader for a 15-day International Students Exchange Programme with Universitas Mercu Buana, a university in Indonesia. As a student leader, Gabriel was responsible to help, guide and take good care of his peers.
Gabriel described that it was a tough position to hold.
“As a leader, I had to manage my responsibilities and be a good leader. At the same time, I wanted to maintain good relationships with my friends. I had doubts but I decided to keep a positive mindset throughout the trip.
I truly believe your attitudes and how you think will affect your actions or the outcomes of the decisions you make. When dealing with my peers, I needed to be objective and treat everyone equally whether or not I had a close relationship with any of them, and I behaved accordingly.”
Another proud moment for Gabriel was when he and his team represented MMU in the International Islamic University Malaysia Economics and Management Sciences Society (IIUM EMSS) International Challenge 2019. Gabriel and his team were one of 20 teams that participated, including those from Indonesia and Brunei. The teams were challenged to address real-world application of economics, business, accounting and finance.
“We placed fourth. Although we didn’t make it to the top three positions, it was a great experience learning from my teammates and the other teams,” said Gabriel.
Making PIDM Proud
According to Gabriel, he never imagined achieving so much despite his short time on campus.
“I used to think that life was just about studying and getting a good job,” said Gabriel. “Receiving a scholarship from PIDM has encouraged me to do all the things I’ve wanted to do and more.”
As a PIDM scholar, Gabriel does not hesitate to take on the role of a PIDM ambassador. Since receiving his scholarship in 2019, Gabriel has made it his mission to speak about PIDM and its role in the Malaysian financial system at every opportunity possible.
“A lot of people I talk to don’t seem to know about PIDM or what deposit insurance is about. I believe in sharing knowledge with others so when my lecturer asked if I would do a presentation on PIDM, I jumped at the opportunity,” Gabriel explained.
Gabriel is set to graduate in 2022. He aims to work in the financial services industry but dreams of becoming a motivational speaker one day.
“I love to encourage, uplift and inspire others. If there is one thing that being a PIDM scholar has taught me is to lift others along your way to success,” said Gabriel.