UNAM’s Biennial Prime Minister Dinner 2017

Prepared by: Afif Ridhwan Roslan
Photos by: Mirzan Mustafa Kamal

The 2017 UNAM Prime Minister Biennial Dinner was an auspicious gala dinner that was hosted on the 30th of October at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur. The fundraising dinner entertained various corporate figures, diplomats, public leaders and our very own UNAM Youth members.

Two of our members looking spiffy

We began the evening with a meeting led by Arfan Othman, where he briefed us on our tasks for the night prior to the dinner. The role played by UNAM Youth in this dinner was subtle, but pertinent. We handled the ushering of guests and registration of media.

Registration staff ready for duty

The dinner began with pre-drinks by the foyer of the Sapphire Room. As drinks were served, so were smiles as guests enjoyed the company of each other. UNAM Youth members did not miss out on the opportunity, as we mingled amongst ourselves, some of us did so with their partners they brought along for the dinner.

After pre-drinks, everyone was seated in the Sapphire Room, while UNAM Youth Members and Dato’ Zainal Abidin await the presence of the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. As the Prime Minister arrived, so did the cocassion begin.

The dinner began with an address from Tan Sri Razali, who commented on the need for moderation to prevent rising extremist sentiments within the nation. He recalled several UN missions of the past where moderation was crucial towards the success of these missions. The author recalls Tan Sri Razali leading the UN envoy to Myanmar to negotiate the release of Aung Suu Kyi from house arrest.

As food was served, so a string quartet accompanied the dinner. From classical arrangements to covers of contemporary local songs, the ambience of the room was magnificent.

Of course, the highlight of the dinner was the speech from the Prime Minister himself. On the topic of governance, Prime Minister Najib Razak began by highlighting the achievements of Malaysia in terms of economy and security. Prime Minister Najib noted Malaysia and China’s recent partnership as a prosperous one, and Malaysia is in the time of prosperity.

Moving forward, Prime Minister Najib Razak highlighted the coming of fake news within the Malaysian media circle. Noting statements made by a “former leader”, according to the PM, the PM mentioned that Malaysia is not as corrupted as claimed by the former leader, citing a statistic from an international organisation. The author would note that the World Audit ranks Malaysia as the 44th country in their Corruption Rank table, and 55 on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The dinner soon ended following the closing remarks of the Prime Minister. Guests enjoyed their time and UNAM Youth, the committee and volunteers both, had a great time mingling with Governing Council members. The dinner ended at 11 PM.

Timothy and Yaya, President and Deputy President of UNAM Youth with the Prime Minister

The Grand 72nd UN Day at JW Marriott

The United Nations was founded in 1945 with the hopes of bringing peace, security, human rights and development. To celebrate the 72nd anniversary of its founding, the UN Country Team in Malaysia organized a celebratory event at the JW Marriott hotel in Kuala Lumpur. UNAM Youth members were invited to attend this special event.

The day was filled with speeches from various influential figures. Stefan Priesner, the United Nations Representative in Malaysia spoke on the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being the driving force behind it. Malaysia was congratulated for its proactiveness and forward thinking in taking strides towards achieving the SDGs. We would like to note that this is largely due to Malaysia’s strife in incorporating SDGs into the Transformasi Nasional 2050 plan, of which the most recent incorporation was the TN50xSDGs huddle held at Sunway University (Tan Kian Leong wrote a brilliant piece on this that can be found here). That said, Mr. Priesner emphasised that the pace can and should be accelerated, a view shared with the current Sec-Gen of UN, Antonio Guterres

The Guest of Honour, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department elaborated on Malaysia’s efforts towards realising SDGs, and the enactment of legislations to achieve these goals. Datuk Seri further highlighted that the UN is of pertinence in Malaysia, noting that three UN bodies have their Regional Headquarters here.

UN Malaysia Awards 2017 followed thereafter. We congratulate PACOS Trust, Zero Waste Malaysia and Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria for receiving the award. PACOS Trust is an NGO that engages in the social work of empowering indigenous peoples of Sabah. Zero Waste Malaysia is a community-focused NGO focused on sustainable and zero-waste living. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria is an academician, hailing from University Kebangsaan Malaysia, who has wrote several papers on analysing and recommending policies based on sustainable development challenges in Malaysia.

The UN Day ended with high-tea in the Grand Ballroom.

Prepared by: Afif Ridhwan Roslan and Timothy Wong

For UN Malaysia’s official report: http://www.un.org.my/1710240512%C2%BBUN_Calls_on_Malaysia_to_Champion_Sustainable_Development_Goals.aspx



By Wan Arfan Wan Othman

Over the summer I was blessed to be able to attend the Young Diplomats Forum (YDF). An intensive week long programme of practical sessions, workshops, policy exercises and institutional visits delivered by world leading experts. Set up to recognise, enhance and develop the next generation of diplomats.

YDF London 2017 Delegation

The forum held in London, United Kingdom with participation of more than 90 delegates from all walks of life and backgrounds. I had the pleasure to meet diplomatic staff, international relation students and even lecturers who were all there to learn on the diplomacy on the 21st century.

The main objective of the forum was to come up with a policy idea on the given topic. The topic my group was assigned was Management of the South China Sea. The others consisted of UN Reform, Post ISIS Middle East, Regional Integration in the African Continent, and the Future of the EU. By end of the week we came up with a working group one very similar to the Arctic Council. It’s main objective is that this working group will consist of the countries involved in the South China Sea crisis and discuss on a mutual topic. The sole purpose of this policy is to get the nations involved in the crisis to sit down and talk. Therefore this working group will focus on an agenda that everyone agrees on, such as environment and climate change, which will get all the parties to be in consensus. From there on this working group can also discuss other issues in the region and specifically on the Management of the South China Sea.

Over the course of the week there were plenty of activities involved that led up to our policy idea. There were many speakers that we had the chance to listen and apply in our thought process. The forum was addressed with a keynote speech on the topic “Diplomacy in the 21st Century” by Lord Hannay, Former Ambassador of the UK to the UN.

Lord Hannay, Former UK Ambassador to the UN and member of House of Lords

Then we went to the European Union Representation where we had a fruitful discussion on Brexit. Few blocks away we then had the opportunity to meet Her Excellency Patricia Scotland the Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations at Marlborough House. She enlightened us with the developments and works of the Commonwealth of Nations secretariat. Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) the think tank for the British Government that focuses on defence and national security, taught us the procedures on how they research for policy makers to implement in foreign policies.

HE Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations

Lastly we visited the Facebook Headquarters of Europe, Middle East, Africa. Where we had a session with the Head of Government & Policy, Sean Evins and discussed how he helps heads of governments and governmental institutions to maximize their capability using the social media platform to promote their policies. With the recent British Elections he talked about the steps he took to help the leaders throughout the period and the importance of digital platform.

Sean Evins, Head of Government & Politics of Facebook EMEA Headquarters

The forum would not be complete without a visit to the Houses of Parliament where we had a session with the Members of House of Lords, Lord Anderson and Baroness Smith, and Member of House of Commons, Daniel Kawczynski on U.K. Foreign Policy Priorities and Parliamentary Diplomacy.

Members of House of Lords, Lord Anderson (Second from Left) and Baroness Smith (Second from Right), and Member of House of Commons, Daniel Kawczynski (Right) discussing on U.K. Foreign Policy Priorities and Parliamentary Diplomacy at the House of Lords, Parliament House
Group Policy Presentation

Not to forget the trip was thrilled with fun activities such as climbing the O2 Arena, sightseeing the prominent locations of London at Westminster, Cutty Sark, Greenwich Meridian Line, and the Old Royal Naval College also known as University of Greenwich.

Closing Ceremony

The forum as a whole was a satisfying experience which I encourage all aspiring diplomats to go for this forum in the future because it was worthwhile through the knowledge gained and friendships made.


UNAM Youth is partnering with Taylor’s University Model United Nations Club for their yearly Training Day and Mock Conference on 15th April 2017 (Saturday) at Taylor’s University – Lakeside Campus from 9 a.m. cheap nike trainers uk to 5 p.m.

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  • Taylor’s University Model United Nations Club will be charging RM 10 for both the Workshop and Mock Conference per delegate for materials and trainers. New Balance 997 damskie UNAM Youth will also be conducting a Town Hall with participants.

    UNAM-MUN League Statement (26/4/2017)

    Dear MUN-ers, First off, ADIDAS Yeezy 350 Boost we would like to thank all of you for the feedback we have received regarding the UNAM-MUN League. We may have been unable to reply to your queries directly, but rest assured, we have read through all of your comments, and moving forward, we will be taking your input into consideration to make any changes that are necessary. At this point in time, we would like to clarify that we have no ulterior motive behind the implementation of the League beyond helping the local scene grow, Scott Kazmir Authentic Jersey and to assist us in our selection process for Team Malaysia-UNAM. Nike air max 90 pas cher As some of you may be aware, the majority of the UNAM Youth Committee is drawn from MUN-ers both former and current, and these initiatives are borne out of a genuine interest on our part to help in any way that we can – in this case, it appears that we have broached a particularly charged issue for the community, and for that, we apologise. It was certainly not our intent to upset anybody, Fjallraven Kanken Infantil and please know that we do very much value the input that each person has put into the local scene, newcomers and veterans alike. Given the comments that we have received, the Youth Committee has come to the conclusion that we will continue with the implementation of the UNAM-MUN League, albeit with changes so that it may be better suited for everyone’s purposes; we maintain the belief that the League has something to offer to the local scene, AIR MAX 2016 and that with sustained effort and input from others, this will be a success in the long run. Womens Air Jordan 3 To that end, Yunel Escobar Baseball Jersey we would like to invite you to join us as stakeholders in this initiative of ours at a Facebook Live Townhall Session with UNAM’s MUN Task Force, for us to be able to start anew and as a platform for you to air your concerns and how you believe we should move forward. Further details regarding this session will be posted up soon, and we strongly encourage you to either write in your questions as comments under this post, fjällräven kånken Laptop 15 or message our Task Force members directly through Facebook at Afif, Eshaan, and Kian Leong. While we may be unable to answer all of your questions during the Townhall, Nike Hypervenom homme we will do our utmost best to clarify as many doubts as we can. While we are somewhat overwhelmed by this response, it has been heartening to see many MUN-ers come out strongly in favour of what they believe to be values that are intrinsically bound to our local scene, and we have no doubt that this is the culmination of the very best things that have been cultivated over the past few years. Air Jordan 1 This has been a learning experience for us, and we promise we will come out stronger for this; until our next post, we hope to continue working with you for the betterment of the MUN scene in Malaysia,

    UNAM-MUN League Updates

    A very warm welcome to each and every one of you individuals who have taken the time out of your days to read this blog post! As you may already know, the UNAM-MUN Task Force has been putting the League as well as a lot of the core ideals of the Task Force through a lot of rigorous and structural change in recent weeks. new balance 1300 femme Following the introduction of the UNAM-MUN League and Monash Model United Nations International Conference, we received a vast amount of feedback and concerns from the Malaysian MUN community at large. Matthew Stafford UGA Jersey Based on the comments and input from the community in the comment sections, town hall session, and the first official UNAM-MUN League Report, we felt that it would be appropriate to get up to speed in terms of the changes, progress and direction that our collective efforts have led us towards. League Changes Summary To summarise the changes that we have made to the UNAM-MUN League and Task Force, we began with making some crucial changes with the chair rating system that we have implemented. To highlight them, co-chairs are now an integral part of the system, as well as the presence of a significant emphasis on qualitative and quantitative feedback that will be relayed back to the dais of the recognised conference. Adam Wainwright Jersey Furthermore, thanks to contributions made by Ethan Wong, the judging criteria for the MyChairs system have been amended according to suggestions and feedback provided by Malaysian MUNers. Robert Griffin III Baylor Jerseys The League criteria for Chartered or “Verified” Chairs have also been tweaked and adapted to encompass the myriad of concerns represented by MUNers. New Balance 247 męskie In short, Chairs and Co-Chairs will no longer be ranked according to an aggregate score, but will rather receive an average score across all partner conferences attended. The intention of the League Chair table has also migrated from a ranking system to a recognition system that displays the top 25% of Verified UNAM Chairs with their consent. baskets ASICS Moreover, we are elated to announce that the UNAM-MUN League is now accepting applications from non-partner conferences to collaborate with us in an effort to promote inclusivity. This means that any and all conferences will have the ability and opportunity to sign up and apply to join the League, should their application get accepted. New Balance 446 damskie Applications will be overseen and evaluated on a case by case basis to ensure that conferences are considered with care and attention. goedkoop air max 2017 We would like to encourage conferences of all backgrounds and nature to sign up in an effort to make our resources accessible to all! Last but not least, individuals who do not wish to take part in the UNAM-MUN League for any given reason have the option to opt out of participation at any point in time; this means that all public scores will be removed from public scrutiny. However, it is important to note that the act of opting out manifests itself as an indication that you would no longer like to be eligible for the selection of Team Malaysia-UNAM come 2018. Additionally, if you are a chair who has opted out of UNAM-MUN League participation, your scores will remain tabulated in our private database, which will not be discloses to the public in any degree. Moving Forward To conclude this post, we would like to personally thank all the individuals that have aided us in our efforts to provide a sustainable, efficient and effective platform for Malaysian MUNers to thrive in; this includes all who commented, posted and contributed towards our town hall and posts, as well as the individuals that took the time out of their days to improve and adapt our approaches at our very first official UNAM-MUN Task Force Meeting this month. We would like to remind you that we couldn’t have come this far without the community, and that we highly recommend that you continue to put forward your input regarding the UNAM-MUN League as well as our other UNAM affiliated initiatives.

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  • It is absolutely invaluable to us, and we look forward to collaborating and working closely with the Malaysian MUN community as a whole.

    Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge

    The United Nations Volunteers Regional Office: Asia and the Pacific invites young people in the ASEAN region to join the challenge!
    Under the theme of ‘Impact ASEAN’, nike air jordan 1 mujer the Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge (YVIC) supports young volunteers to catalyse youth-led innovation for social impact and sustainable development. Canotte Los Angeles Lakers They will do so by providing youths the access to mentors, New Balance buty as well as the capital they need to scale up their projects.
    The YVIC are looking for teams in the ASEAN region whose projects have already been prototyped and are in the implementation and growth stage. nike air max 1 og femme 10 teams will be selected to receive further technical support during the regional workshop in June in Bangkok, nike pas cher Thailand. Fjallraven Kanken Kinderen After the workshop,

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    Should your projects address one or more of the following focus areas:
    • Localisation of the SDGs
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    • Development of skills for life and work
    Please do not hesitate to sign up by the 1st of May, Buty Adidas Damskie 2017.

    For more information about YVIC,

    UNAM Youth Election 2017: Calling for Nominations

    UNAM Youth will be having its first election since we began to be actively involved in Malaysian volunteerism and MUN/public speaking scene, Bradley Fletcher two years ago.
    A number of posts are available for contests, bns gold and we look forward to your nominations (be it self or otherwise) by the 30th of June 2017. nike tn pas cher We’d also like to remind you to go through the qualifying conditions before filling up your nomination form.
    The election will be conducted online within a week of the nomination’s deadline and voting will be restricted to only registered accounts via unamyouth.com. AIR MAX 90 Shoes
    To nominate,

    Invitation to YouthSpeak Forum Malaysia 2017

    The YouthSpeak Forum Malaysia 2017 is a platform for youths and the like, Nike Air Max 2016 Heren zwart to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. Nike SB Blazer These global goals are aspirational efforts established by the United Nations that dream to protect the planet we live in and ensure prosperity to its denizens. GS Air Jordan 9 The forum this year focuses on goals 4 and 12: Quality Education & Responsible Consumption and Production. nike air max 2016 grijs These goals and many others would be explored through a myriad of methods such action labs, Youngstown State Penguins Jerseys discussion with panelists and also a space for idea generation. Air Max 2017 Dames wit
    The details of the event are as follows: Date: 11th March 2017 (Saturday) Venue: International University of Malaya-Wales Time: 9.00 A.M. new balance 373 uomo prezzo – 6.00 P.M. new balance 1600 femme Fees: Early Bird Price: RM15 (All sign ups before 26/2/2017) Normal Price: RM20 *Deadline for Payment: 4/3/2017*
    There will be 350 youth delegates from across Malaysia engaging in the diverse discussions around the SDGs,

    Beyond Gender & Sexuality: The XX+XY Project Wrap Up

    Prepared By: Yaya Norazman

    Independence of gender is a prevailing discussion widely exchanged in forms of hushes and whispers when it comes to Malaysian audience in general. When one mentions gender equality, we tend to picture the worst possible images of extreme men-hating feminist movements, common stereotypes casted upon the queer community and in some cases, women finally being able to lead men during prayers. Discussions on the said topic seemed to be very poorly welcomed because apparently, moderation is key and empowerment of the ‘gentler’ gender equals to degradation of their counterparts. Let alone the topics of ‘ending patriarchy’ or LGBT+. Womens Air Jordan 4 As an observer in the mass, I could only go as far as taking down mental notes when the first KL Pride March themed ‘Courage in the Face of Adversity’ organised by a local private university was canceled due to religious bodies’ complaints. Every now and then, as I try to catch up with the ongoing news, my findings will be, more often than not, accompanied by unrestrained, demeaning—heck, even demonised headlines, fired up by condemnations from the conservatives and ambassadors of the P-word.

    On a quest to further understand the much-entangled topic, I decided to apply for the XX+XY Project upon the advice of UNAM Youth’s coordinator, Hafidzi. All I knew was the project is the brainchild of 3 YSEALI alumni (Farhana Zain, Kristine Madrelino & Worapot Yodphet) acting as an educational platform revolving around the 5th Sustainable Development Goal; gender equality and women empowerment. I was hours away from the extended deadline with no project proposal in mind. Nike Air Max 90 Femme Rose Alas, my lightbulb moment came about just in time. I then clicked ‘submit’ and let fate do its job. 1 phone interview later, I received an e-mail stating that I will be representing Malaysia along with 3 other delegates for the Kasarinlan Ng Kasarian camp. This is it, I thought. Time to leave the sidewalk and get to know the crowd.

    Over the course of a week, there were plenty of things worth noting throughout the project. Sitting in a circle with young advocates from Thailand and Philippines while throwing opinions back and forth at the end of each day revived the purpose that each of us had constructed for ourselves from the very beginning. Acknowledging the variation in circumstances in response to gender equality and violence against women-children (VAW-C) we have back in our home countries, we knew we had a safe space to ask a continuum of questions; from the basis of the advocacies to identifying disclosures post-VAWC acts to being a better ally to the general community, regardless of their gender expression. These questions then sparked discussions, facilitated by professionals of the field; Commissioner Percival Cendana; Chairperson of the National Convener of the Inter-Agency Group on Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health, Ms. John Lumapay; consultant and producer of PAGASA sa Makati, a community-based preventive education campaign on illegal drugs using integrated arts and Mr. Donn E. Gaba; senior researcher of University of Philippines Diliman Gender Office, simply to name a few.

    I find it interesting that the project was strategically designed to give us an extensive understanding of gender and sexuality first before we dive into its practicalities. I would like to quote a relevant statement concluded from our discussion with Mr. Gaba, which centered on gender expression of a person being embedded in his or her biological built; to which he explained it is indeed an ongoing research. “Ultimately, having or not having ‘gay gene’ does not matter when in the end, it does not justify how we treat people of different gender expressions as human”. His statement was made in reference to the discrimination of LGBT+ rights in most ASEAN countries. While in Malaysia LGBT+ rights remain as a behind-the-curtain topic, in Thailand it has been far-and-wide tolerated albeit not yet championed. As for the Philippines, its advocacy has so far played a vital role in pushing for the rights to be justified in the country’s policies. Air Jordan 4 Cement “It is important to distinguish the very fact that while we have gender-responsive system complementing the government initiatives for the people, what happens in the Philippines is not an acceptance of LGBT+ rights but more towards tolerance of their existence,” said one of the Filipino delegates, who is also an LGBT+ activist working with the Philippines Commission on Women.

    Gender Sensitivity Training with Mr. Donn E. Gaba

    Gender and sexuality discourses aside, we moved on to the topic of VAW-C and established our understanding on its subtleties.

    In many domestic violence cases, women and children are held back from responding out of fear of disclosure. These fears are then suppressed, which result in possible self-blaming and even self-harming. Ms. Lumapay, who was a nurse before she ventured into preventive education, presented to us cases whereby children who were groomed for sexual activities often have difficulties in expressing their discomfort. Most of the time it was due to parents being unable to see the indirect signs portrayed by their children, and sadly, it also because the perpetrators are often the people the children are related to. A simple case of trust could produce such a horrific experience for young children who do not deserve being harassed or harmed in any way. The session made us realised the importance of being a better responsive party for the survivors. “No amount of victim-blaming or shaming will solve the problem,” she emphasised, “and one must always bring forth honesty, earn the trust of the survivor and never make the mistake of compromising it.”

    To better execute our projects before the second camp in Kuala Lumpur, we had the honour of being guided by Ms. Morgan Martinez and Mr. Yang Villa on topics of social media advocacy and project management respectively. Ms. Canotte nba a poco prezzo Martinez is International Republican Institute’s very own Deputy Director of Public Affairs Division who has trained over 100 YSEALI participants on delivering innovative stories online.

    UNAM Youth member, Yaya (4 from the right) in a group photo after a Skype session with Ms. Adidas NMD Dames beige Morgan Martinez

    Mr. ADIDAS YEEZY BOOST 350 Villa, on the other hand, is a man of diverse experience in business-merging and development objectives in Philippines’ water industry. He introduced us to the idea of human-centered project design in order to optimize the efficacy of our project planning. We ended the Kasarinlan ng Kasarian camp knowing that we were already equipped with enough sets of knowledge, exposure, and training to begin our advocacy journey with.

    Out of the 3 outreach trips we did throughout the project, it is a sin for me to not include my observations throughout our visit in the rough district of Tondo. Tentatively, we had a scheduled visit to the Likhaan Women Reproductive Clinic in the afternoon. adidas neo Upon alighting our Uber, we figured that we are actually in an entirely different building from Likhaan’s headquarter.

    View of the rail track en route to Likhaan headquarter from our Uber

    As it started pouring outside, on top of a standstill traffic, we decided to brace the jet-black puddles and walk to the headquarter. It was a walk I will never, ever regret taking. Before my eyes, there stood a young girl who contentedly looked up to the gray skies, started taking off her t-shirt and played in the puddle by the roadside, next to the standstill. I passed by a group of 3 boys who were not slightly bothered by the signs of poverty lying all over the district—what mattered was now, they are able to shower while playing football on the heights of the crossover. Electric cables and poles in the streets looked as if they have not been maintained for the longest time. Jeepney honk blared as loud when half-dressed pedestrians started crossing the road without a care in the world. We were drenched, but we were also grateful. Out here in Tondo, there are families living in card box-sized shelters with their pet dogs, living off an average of 200 Pesos per odd job they have. If you ever wondered just how much 200 Pesos are able to sustain a person, it is roughly equivalent to RM20. Soon enough, we reached the headquarter, sat comfortably at the roundtable and had another introductory session with the founder of Likhaan and its community mobilisers. Air Jordan 1 For Kids Even then, it was beyond hard to digest let alone ponder on the images of humanitarian crisis we had just witnessed in the streets.

    Closing dinner in Urban Chick; Malaysian delegates and the founders of XX+XY Project

    There’s only so much that I can include in this write-up without exhausting your attention to the gems I found in between the rocks. To say the least, the XX+XY project was an experience I am glad I underwent. It changed my perspective on the things I thought must be fixated due to the faith I hold and the culture I adopted. With that being said, the project did not end the minute each of us reached our home countries. Our next camp is due in late September, where we will gather once again to summarise the outcome of our self-initiated projects. In my case, I plan to propose a creative approach towards the integration of traditional gender roles in our society. It might be an art exhibition, or a performance gig—who knows? If you happen to have suggestions or simply interested in getting more insights from my trip to Quezon City, Metro Manila, feel free to reach me at yaya.norazman@gmail.com. I would be happy to assist you in any way.