Sparking hopes, thoughts and actions through talks

Thirteen Malaysian icons from various industries and backgrounds were present to share their thoughts and insights at the second TEDx Monash University Malaysia. Held at Monash Malaysia on 18 August 2018, the event revolved around the theme "Linking the Dots" and featured 13 esteemed speakers, including Monash School of Business alumnus Alphaeus Tan.

Tan captured the audience’s attention from the get-go when he ran onto the stage donning a red Power Ranger suit - with the theme song blaring in the background - and launched into a series of punches and kicks before beginning his talk titled, “Do you, really believe?”

Answering the question on everyone’s mind as to why he was wearing a Power Ranger suit, the dean’s list graduate shared that it was always his dream to be a Power Ranger.

His other dreams include speaking to former US president Barack Obama about the 1MDB issue facing Malaysia and joining The Amazing Race Asia television series – all of which he has successfully checked off his bucket list.

In 2015, Tan catapulted into fame when a video of him making a request to former US President Barack Obama, who was on a visit to Malaysia for the 27th Asean Summit 2015, about the 1MDB scandal, went viral on social media. Meanwhile, in 2016, Tan and his friend Brandon Ho joined The Amazing Race Asia season 5.

Sending a simple yet powerful message to the audience, Tan said, “I want you to realise that dreams start crazy and may not make sense to everyone around you, but most importantly, it must make sense to you.”

“Often, we are told about what is achievable and what isn’t, and this impacts the dreams we have for ourselves. So let’s get back to the basics - what to do about your dreams 101. You could do nothing, or you could do something.”

While admitting that it’s not as simple as it sounds, he added that “the core determinants of the success or failure of your dream is tied to belief. Hence, my question, do you, really believe?”

Likening one’s belief system to a car engine, Tan shared that before embarking on a journey, one should always check their engines to avoid breaking down or making a U-turn halfway into their adventure, and to ensure that one’s dreams become a reality. He also added that it is important to make impactful actions, adding that results act as a compass to one’s dreams.

“If the results are good, what do you do? You focus and repeat. And if they’re bad, you realign and redo.”

His parting message to the audience is to “embrace the unique dreams you have and believe in them, no less than anyone else, and take impactful actions”.

“So my question again is, do you, really believe? In yourself, your dreams, and your actions? You should, and I hope you find the Power Ranger in you.”

The other TEDx speakers include Dzameer Dzulkifli, Co-Founder and Managing Director of  Teach for Malaysia; Dr Felicia Chang, palliative care physician; Ras Adiba, newscaster; John-Son Oei, Founder and Group CEO of Epic Collective; Albert Nico, award-winning hair stylist; Justin Yap, chef; Amran Hassan, Head of Innovation at Maybank; YB Lim Yi Wei, Kampung Tunku state assemblywoman; Nirmala Devi Windgaetter, Secretary for Global Bersih; Dr Jason Leong, comedian; Abe Lim, entrepreneur; and Harsha Ravindran, social entrepreneur and founding member of nationwide youth empowerment organisation Ascendence.

TEDx Monash University Malaysia is an independent organisation run by Monash University Malaysia and the Monash University Student Association. It is a smaller version of a TED-style event and designed to help communities, organisations, and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences.