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 2020

Prof Dr Zabidi A. M. Hussin

Prof Dr Zabidi A. M. Hussin PSK

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic

Professor Dr Zabidi Azhar Mohd Hussin is the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Professor of Paediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, International Medical University. With extensive experience in teaching, research and leadership, Prof Zabidi’s field of specialisation lies in Paediatric Neurology and Medical Education with special interest in bioethics and communications skills. Actively involved in research related to child health, he published extensively in numerous acclaimed international journals and received numerous awards for his research papers both locally and internationally. He is also the honorary editor for the Advances in Medical Education and Practice and was recently awarded the Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Neuroscience Excellence Grant.

Prof Zabidi is a Council Member of the Malaysian Medical Council, member of the Ethics Expert Panel for the European Research Agency, member of the Malaysian Qualification Agency’s accreditation panel for Malaysian and International Accreditation, Head of Child Health Cluster, Malaysia’s National Professors Council and visiting professor for Universitas Jeneral Soedirman, Indonesia and American University of Sovereign Nations, USA.

Prior to this, Prof Zabidi was the Director of Postgraduate, Research & Innovation with MASHA University. He was also the Vice-Chancellor of Perdana University from 2017-19 and held senior roles in the University Sains Malaysia as Dean of School of Medicine (1999-2005) and General Manager of the USAINS Tech Services (2005-16) while serving as a Professor in Paediatrics at USM.

Prof Toh Chooi Gait

Prof Toh Chooi Gait

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Industrial Partnership

Professor Toh Chooi Gait is the founding Dean of Dentistry and Professor of Restorative Dentistry at the International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur. Prior to joining the International Medical University, she was a professor in the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya and had served in various capacities including Deputy Dean and Head of Department of Conservative Dentistry.

She was the President of the South East Asian Association for Dental Education (2000-2002), President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) South East Asian Division (1977 – 1999), Founding President of Malaysian Section of IADR (SEA Division) (2000-2002), Founding Council Member of the Malaysian Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry (2004-2008) and member of Board of Directors, International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations (2007 – 2009). She is a member of the editorial boards of Operative Dentistry, the European Journal for Dental Education and had served as a reviewer for other local and regional journals including Malaysian Dental Journal and Asian Journal of Aesthetic Dentistry. She is a member of various governmental technical committees including the National Committee for Oral Health Manpower Development, Task Force 2 on Dental Education, Qualifications Evaluation Committee and Specialist Sub-Committee on Restorative Dentistry.

Mohd Firdaus Abdullah

Mohd Firdaus Bin Abdullah


Mohd Firdaus Bin Abdullah graduated from the International Medical University (IMU) with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) in 2018. He is now working as a Pharmacist in University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). Having certificates and knowledge in Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM), it led to him aiding people with disabilities, specifically the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in Malaysia. In 2017 till 2019, he was actively participating in a community service under Signing Angels Fraternity that had worked on several tasks and benefits towards deaf people such as giving free tuition to deaf high school students, free medical camps, legal and health consultations and visitations to poor deaf people. In 2019, he contributed and organized a Medical Sign Language Workshop for Pharmacists for the Malaysian Pharmacy Student Association (MyPSA) and another Sign Language Workshop and Exposure in Deaf Culture in UMMC with the help of Malaysia Federation of The Deaf (MFD). This year, he and a few pharmacists in UMMC are working on a quality improvement project that focuses on deaf patient service in outpatient pharmacies in hopes of creating a more deaf-friendly environment that incorporates visual aids and technology on labelling and dispensing. At the same time, he also started as a Pharmacist volunteer team leader for a charity refugee clinic in Selangor (Klinik Amal Muhajir).


Aflame Student Award 2020 Winners

During the E-University Day which was virtually held on 24 July 2020, it was the first time in the history of the Aflame Student Award, under the provision of “Judges’ Special Award for Aflame Student Award”, that there were three winners for 2020. The judges saw that it was fair for everyone to be winners as all three finalists were equally and exceptionally good for their contribution to the community.

The recipients of the award were given the opportunity to nominate a beneficiary of their interest to receive a donation of RM2,000 in hopes of continuous support to aid the community.

Karishma Kaur a/p Rajinder Singh Gill

Karishma Kaur a/p Rajinder Singh Gill

Beneficiary of Donation: Dentistry for The Needy

“People often think you need a lot of time dedicated to do extracurricular activities but in reality, I think it’s just a matter what we choose to prioritise. Some prefer other forms of extracurricular activities such as playing sports, hiking, reading etc. I just chose to use my free time to volunteer. It felt rather second nature to spend my free time as such – serving other has very much been a way of life I have adopted.”

Karishma is a final year dental student in IMU and she noted that the most treasured lesson gained from her experience in community service was how big of an impact small changes can bring. She has a passion to be volunteered for community services which mostly involved in providing oral healthcare such as dental treatment or oral hygiene education to the communities.

Other Link:

Mr Tan Chen Liang

Tan Chen Liang

Beneficiary of Donation: Persatuan Untuk Anak Kita (PUAK)

“All I need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian. We have to teach them. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. These are the changes that I hope to realize in the future.”

Tan Chen Liang is a final year student pursuing her medical degree in International Medical University. He is keen to serve the minorities in Malaysia and strongly believes that education improves lives, motivating him to be a part of a Rohingya refugee project. He is also worked with a team of data scientists, medical professionals, designers and developers in setting up the CoronaTracker which provides the latest news and developments of the 2019-nCov.

Other Link:

Miss Shinah Saeed

Shinah Saeed

Beneficiary of Donation: MERCY Malaysia

“I believe that part of what makes me a better healthcare professional is the ability to be empathetic towards people from all walks of life. However, this might be a bit difficult if I never had to survive on RM 20 for two entire weeks or if I had to hold off going to the clinic even when I am sick, just because I could not afford that. Therein lies my passion to be kind to everyone I meet. Being a student on scholarship and knowing my parents could not afford to send me money whenever I am broke, I have had to do both and much more. Therefore, when I see a patient considering not getting a certain medication just because it is expensive, I am able to empathise with them because I have been there, and I have done that.”

Shinah is a final year student pursuing her medical degree in International Medical University. She believes that the experiences during these activities developed her being empathetic towards people from all walks of life and made her a better healthcare professional. She is involved in Dream Bigger; Reaching Out – DBRO which gave her the opportunity to explore the humanitarian side of herself more and at the same time helped to open her eyes to those who were less fortunate.

Other Link:

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).

Other links:

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.

Other links:

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.

Other links:

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.

Other links:

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.

Other links:

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.

Other links:

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