Aflame Student Award

The Aflame Student Award was created by International Medical University (IMU) to honour a graduating student from any one of the IMU programmes. The aim of the award is to emphasise, reinforce and enhance the importance of humane principles practices among students of healthcare school. The inaugural Aflame Student Award was conferred in 2012.

The award was named ‘Aflame’ as it signifies a fiery passion that encompasses doing good for humanity. The flames of gold reflect the heart of the doer whose pursuits ensure all humans receive compassion. Aflame is also a metaphoric translation of our President, Tan Sri Abu Bakar’s name, and was chosen to honour him.

The recipient of the Aflame Student Award will receive a cash prize of RM1,000 and is given the opportunity to nominate a beneficiary to receive a donation of RM5,000. The awards ceremony is held during University Day in IMU and the award recipient is invited to speak about the importance of humane principles.

Nomination and Selection Process

The IMU Humanities Committee oversees the nomination and selection process.

Step 1: Peer evaluation
Each medical/pharmacy/health science student of the graduating class will have the opportunity to nominate their peers.

Click here to download the Aflame Student Award Nomination Form

Step 2: Self-report
The candidates will be notified and required to submit a self-report. A selection committee will review the self-reports and identify the finalists.

Step 3: Interview
The finalists will be notified and required to attend an interview.

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be judged on the following selection criteria:

Peer Support
Exemplifies a caring, compassionate, and collaborative learner who will serve as a positive reinforcement to their peers.

Community Engagement
Demonstrates exceptional humanistic endeavours and interpersonal skills in the practice of healthcare and community service.

Aflame Student Award Judges 2019

YB Maria Chin Abdullah

YB Maria Chin Abdullah

YB Maria Chin Abdullah is a women’s rights activist and has worked for women’s rights for over 30 years. She played a key role in lobbying for the Domestic Violence Act 1994 in Malaysia and laws related to violence against women. She has been involved with the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) to advocate for gender equality.

A strong advocate for electoral and institutional reform, she led the massive Bersih 4 and Bersih 5 rallies for free and fair elections. YB Maria Chin Abdullah is a Member of Parliament after winning the Petaling Jaya constituency seat in 2018.

Dr Madhusudhan Shanmugam

Dr Madhusudhan Shanmugam

Dr Madhusudhan established the ‘Teddy Mobile Clinic’ in 2015 to provide free medical check-ups, food and clothes for disadvantaged people who cannot afford or access basic medical care. He was nicknamed the ‘Teddy Bear Doctor’ by his young patients who often received a teddy bear from him during their visits.

Dr Madhusudhan was honoured in April 2018 with the Commonwealth Points of Light award, bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II for his exceptional voluntary service providing free medical services to disadvantaged people.

Associate Professor Datuk Dr Soo Thian Lian

A/Prof Datuk Dr Soo Thian Lian

Dr Soo Thian Lian is a paediatrician who is currently the IMU Cares Coordinator in the Clinical Campus, Seremban and oversees the IMU Cares volunteerism activities of the clinical campuses.

Dr Soo was a founding member of the Sabah Child Welfare Association which worked on issues of underprivileged children and child protection. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the Sabah Thalassaemia Society which supports the thalassaemia patient community. Dr Soo also served as Medical Consultant on the Sabah SOS Heart Fund which worked to fund urgent heart surgery for cardiac patients.


Aflame Student Award 2019 Winner

Brenda Chin Huey Zien

Brenda Chin Huey Zien

Beneficiary of Donation: Refuge For The Refugees

“I have come to see that just as much as we cannot, perhaps we do not need to fix the entire world. I believe we do, however, need to actively play our part to seek to change as many ‘individual worlds’ as we can; to be as kind and intentional as we can, to do as much good as we can, to be as competent as one can be”

Brenda Chin is a final year student pursuing her medical degree in International Medical University. She believes that access to health and education should be the right of every person and has actively volunteered in initiatives supporting those causes. She is involved in leading the Kampung Sebir Education Project under IMU Cares where once weekly guidance classes are arranged for the children living there. She has also organised public health screening services and public health awareness campaigns through Asian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA).

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Aflame Student Award 2018 Winner


Mohd Firdaus bin Abdullah

Beneficiary of Donation: Majudiri ‘Y’ Foundation For The Deaf

“Mahatma Gandhi once said the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. The essence of what we really are is caring for others and if we act selfishly, we are not acting as our true selves.”

Mohd Firdaus has a passion for helping people with disability. He has volunteered at care homes for children with disability and the Society of the Blind Malaysia. He plays an active role as an advocate for the deaf culture and has completed three courses in sign language. Within the deaf community, he has tutored high school students and visited the sick to provide medical and household items. Mohd Firdaus graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) degree from the International Medical University in 2018.

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Aflame Student Award 2017 Winner

Aflame Student Award 2017 - Michele Fernandez

Michele Fernandez A/P Joseph Hath

Beneficiary of Donation: Dignity for Children Foundation

“Life is but a stage and we are all merely actors. I believe each of us have a role to play during our lifetime here. Let’s make our role something positive and impact the lives of the lost and forgotten. Don’t wait till you have experienced the pain of nothing to realise the value of giving.”

Michele was inspired from a young age by her mother to help others who are less fortunate. Since then, she has actively volunteered with various non-governmental organisations (Dignity for Children, Liter of Light, Street Feeders of KL). Issues affecting the urban poor, orphans and single mothers remain close to her heart and she plans to start her own social project that will have a long-lasting beneficial impact. Michele graduated as a pharmacist from IMU in April 2017.

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Aflame Student Award 2016 Winner

Auleep Ganguly

Auleep Ganguly

Beneficiary of Donation: Persatuan Kebajikan dan Pembangunan Modal Insan Selangor

“Honestly, it is not something that I was heavily involved in until I joined IMU. Growing up, I used to see my parents always donating their used clothes or items to orphanages or other such institutions. That was one of my first experiences of giving back to the community. I slowly began getting more involved in community work as I grew older and my passion for it grew.”

Auleep Ganguly from India became actively involved in giving back to the community on a regular basis since he joined IMU five years ago. For his efforts in these, Auleep who is an IMU dentistry student, was awarded the Aflame Student Award at IMU’s University Day celebrations on 11 March 2016 at the University’s campus in Bukit Jalil.

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Aflame Student Award 2015 Winner

Low Chia Yen

Low Chia Yen

Beneficiary of Donation: Malaysia Association for Welfare of Mentally Challenged Children

“Never in my life have I thought that I could play a role in the community, by contributing and giving back to the society. A simple smile, a simple delicate touch, a simple game activity and the amount of time and effort that was poured out all in exchange for the benefit of others is the greatest reward of all.

The most important thing that I have learnt through involvement in community service/activities was to appreciate life and to constantly be grateful for the things that I have. I have learnt to be selfless and to think of others instead of me, me and me”

Chia Yen is currently in her final year of her nursing degree and upon graduation, she intends to work as a registered staff nurse. She will continue her active involvement in community service especially in activities catering to children’s needs.

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Aflame Student Award 2014 Winner

Albert Ling Chuan Kai

Albert Ling Chuan Kai

Beneficiary of Donation: Pertubuhan Hospice Negeri Sembilan

“Gandhi once said you must be the change you want to see in the world. We must be the catalyst and an initiator to a change. With that, I joined Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) Seremban and started organising events to help the needy communities that I come across.

I hope in the near future, I’ll be able to mobilise more youths in community work. It is through interaction with the society that I have learnt so much about the local community, friendships and most importantly about myself. I hope to share the joy of volunteerism with them.”

Albert graduated as a doctor from IMU in Sept 2014. In 2015, he received the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) or Meritorious Service Medal by His Royal Highness DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus. The medal is given to reward meritorious service to the public.

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Aflame Student Award 2012 Winner

wilkinson tan yoong jian

Wilkinson Tan Yoong Jian

Beneficiary of Donation: World Vision Malaysia

“As a student, my early involvement in social work, caring for the elderly and children has enabled me to understand the needs of people and has instilled in me that care and compassion are an integral part of health care providers.

My experience in my work with people in remote areas has helped me to understand that every person has the right to proper medical care and help. Working in such areas has helped me to organize myself to be able to withstand hardships and barriers to reach people who need medical care wherever and whenever needed.”

Wilkinson graduated as a doctor from IMU in 2012 and is currently working as a medical officer in obstetrics and gynecology at Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital in Kota Kinabalu. He continues to be active in social work and is a member of the Rotary Club of Likas Bay. In 2014, he was bestowed as a Paul Harris Fellow for contribution made to the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club aids the local community by providing basic sanitation, medical aid, clean water, food and clothing for the less fortunate.

He also remains active in the scouting movement having recently joined the Kota Kinabalu Rover C Air Scouts Crew and undergoing leadership training to become a scoutmaster.

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Cert No: KLR 0500119