Young Malaysians write inspiring stories on conservation

KUCHING: Alyssa Yap Xin Yi, Adriana Aida Che Ismail and Jasmine Regina Fong won in their respective categories of the Wildlife Conservation Swinburne Sarawak English Microfiction Challenge.

The writing competition which aimed to inspire young Malaysians to think critically about conservation issues and write creatively in English was jointly organised by Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia) and Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus.

The 5-day English microfiction challenge kicked off with the release of the first daily prompt on the challenge website at 9am on Dec 26, 2017, ending the following day when the next prompt was revealed.

Participants were required to write and submit their stories within 24 hours.

Aspiring Malaysian writers could participate in three different age groups: Category A for those aged 13 to 15 years, Category B for 16 to 17 year olds and Category C for 18 to 24 year olds. Participants were required to submit their 500-word short stories online.

The environment and conservation-themed challenge included daily prompts such as ‘river’, ‘forest’ and ‘orangutan’ – all the focus of WCS Malaysia’s efforts.

The challenge concluded on Jan 1, 2018 with overall winners announced for the three age categories.

Alyssa Yap of SMK Green Road, Kuching wrote stories that won first and second place while Dylan Wong Yun Xian of SMK St Joseph, Kuching came in third under Category A.

Category B was won by Adrianna Aida from Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang, Miri, whose stories took both first and second places while Ling How Ken of SMK Green Road, Kuching was third.

‘A Wake Up Call’ won Jasmine Fong of SMK Pending, Kuching, top honours in Category C while two stories by Matdura Sivakumar of Brickfields Asia College, Kuala Lumpur won second and third places in the same category.

Winners were awarded cash prizes and certificates while the stories of the daily winners and those with honourable mentions were published on the event website.

Organisers received 164 submissions from schools and universities from nine different states throughout the country.

“It’s encouraging to see our younger generation take up the challenge. Their ability to write concisely and creatively on the themes given was impressive,” commented Dr Melvin Gumal, director of WCS Malaysia.

“We are delighted to give young Malaysian writers the opportunity to let their creative juices flow and to write inspiring stories in English about conservation of the environment and wildlife such as the endangered orangutan,” added co-organiser Christina Yin, Associate Dean of Swinburne Sarawak’s Faculty of Language and Communication.

The winning entries can be viewed on the challenge website at

The English Microfiction Challenge is supported by the US Embassy.

WCS Malaysia has been working with the US Embassy in running several education-based English workshops with Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and English teachers from all over Malaysia.

Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Programme is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia.

Presently, WCS Malaysia works to conserve the priority species – orangutans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers.

Go to for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at for updates.

For more information on Swinburne Sarawak, visit the university’s website (, Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).