Swinburne Sarawak Computer Science student Elwin Chan Kok Wei recently won a consolation prize in the Maybank Foundation – Perdana Leadership Foundation Writing and Photo Contest 2020 “Empowering Youth for a Better ASEAN”.
Elwin, who confessed that he was more of a reader rather than a writer, was “happy and shocked” after he found out that he was one of the “Fiction English Category B” consolation winners when the results were announced on March 23.
“I never thought that I would ever win an award in a writing contest, as I am someone who likes to read but rarely dares to write,” said the 2020 Swinburne Sarawak Green Club President and this year’s Vice-President.
“Personally, I am not really a good writer, so it is necessary for me to spend my time and effort on all the writing, revising, and editing. Writing a story is easy, but writing a good story is not. It might take up your effort, your time, and your brain cells but the outcome is surely satisfying.”
His short story entitled “The World at 50°C” is set in a dystopian world in which sea levels have risen to such heights that only the peaks of the Petronas Twin Towers are visible and global warming has made the atmosphere almost unliveable. The protagonist, a human-android hybrid, works in Borneo Highlands where his job is to plant as many trees as possible to increase oxygen levels and plant cover in a barren land.
Swinburne Sarawak Green Club members were encouraged to take part in the contest as its theme “Climate Action” was relevant to the club’s objectives.
The contest, in its sixth year, seeks to encourage and reward articulate and creative expression via writing or photographs, as well as to raise awareness on environmental issues. With “Climate Action” as its theme, the contest is open to Malaysian youth aged from 13 to 23 years old, wherever they are in the world. The contest seeks stories, essays, and photos that would inspire the youth to reflect on shared environmental concerns and ultimately, take action.