MSDM Student Profiles

MSDM Student Profiles


Title: Permeating Sustainability through Commercial Spaces


By Darren Chear Weng Yew

As part of the Sunway Malls team, I drove sustainability by partnering with an arts institute, The One Academy, to deliver immersive educational experiences to mall-goers as a vehicle to increase awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Chear (third from right) and the Sunway Malls Team


Interactive installations were set up, each designed by students and highlighting a unique social issue. Urban poverty, environmentally-friendly behaviours, gender inequality, and light pollution were some of the issues presented.

This initiative garnered us the honour of being the sole Malaysian finalist at the United Nations’ SDG Action Campaign's Global Festival of Action in Germany. Such an outcome was especially gratifying, as it signified a small victory for sustainability awareness in Malaysia.


Chear (front row first from right) with The One Academy student designers at the exhibition to raise awarenss on the SDGs to mall-goers


Separately, the attainment of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Leadership Award also acknowledged Sunway Malls’ role in advocating, educating and bringing awareness towards the role of the private sector to make decisions which acknowledge the importance of forests.

The most ordinary things, done well, can become extraordinary. In the journey towards sustainability, substantially more in both thought and deed have to come together to awaken greater understanding and change. To this end, the year 2019 was a significant milestone for Sunway Malls.



Title: Waste Machine Travels to New York City


By Mae Ooi

“Less Wasteful, More Useful” – this statement has initiated the development of an innovative composting technology, which has since converted 4.7 million kilograms of food waste into compost. The year 2019 marked an encouraging milestone for MAEKO.



My team and I were shortlisted as part of 10 global sustainable solutions makers to present at the United Nations Solutions Summit in New York City. This recognition uplifted my spirit and spurred on my continuous effort in helping communities to divert food waste from landfills.


One of the machines in the MAEKO composter series


As an alternative to landfilling, food waste is placed in a machine which turns it into soil enhancer for further use in crop cultivation. As a result, validating a truly circular and closed-loop solution in enabling waste producers to transition into sustainable waste management.



Title: Redesigning Cities for Improved Resilience


By Murali Ram

In redesigning our cities for better resilience, it is crucial to anticipate and recover from a wide range of issues threatening city functions, the wellbeing of its citizens, its environment and its ability to compete now and into the future. Building resilience in a city relies on an understanding of the systems that make up a city — analysing how they are interdependent, and examining potential risks to the city and its people.



In my work with Think City, I develop local solutions with a special focus on supporting vulnerable communities while looking at interdependencies, identifying gaps, and assessing risks. On-ground fact-finding such as perception audits, surveys and interviews forms the foundation of each programme’s design. All proposed interventions aim to increase a sense of belonging, safety, and welcoming, and are co-produced with community and stakeholders. 2019 saw free migrant health screening, self defense classes for women and individualised support for people sleeping in the rough by linking them with local businesses to complement each other to achieve change in city centres.





By Oh Ying Ying

I have been spreading the awareness in wastes related issues for over two decades, providing waste management solutions which Malaysia and some of the Asian countries lacked. Through the years, I found that littering and badly managed wastes remain the big problems. There is a need for wider awareness and action to tackle the problem at multi-levels.

I was really happy to support our Government through SIRIM Berhad in drafting and issuing an Eco-Label Guidelines for biodegradable plastics (one that biodegrades when left in the open environment common to plastic pollution). With the business sectors, promoting SDGS and sustainable packaging to their supply chains filled our hearts.


A volunteer putting coastal trash into a d2w® bag in Selangor during the International Coastal Cleanup Day 2019


Equally important has been the engagement with communities through coastal clean-ups, such as the International Coastal Clean-up Day (‘ICC’) in collaboration with Reef Check Malaysia. In ICC 2019, we saw over 12,000 volunteers picked up 37,000kgs of rubbish from Malaysian beaches. Many shared that they just began to realise the overwhelming adverse impacts on our environment and wildlife – on land, rivers and seas.



Title: Transitions: From NGO to Freelance


By Anthony Tan

2019 was a transition year for me in every sense of the word. I had officially become a full-time student on Valentine’s Day when I my resignation from CETDEM took effect. I had served as Executive Director since 2007 at CETDEM, an environmental NGO. This move also marked a change in my long-time relationship with the local municipal council, MBPJ. No longer was I an NGO collaborator, instead, I was now rebranded as a freelance sustainability consultant.


Working at my own time and pace allows me to take up my own combination of projects. I currently work with MBPJ on two projects: the first on calculating the reduction of GHG emissions from transportation and electricity; the second on reducing plastic pollution in oceans.

As with all sustainable transitions, my transition is still ongoing!









Sunway University, Malaysia

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    Bandar Sunway,
    47500 Selangor Darul Ehsan,
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