Source: Kosmo Digital
PMOA President Aims to become Malaysia’s First Female Orang Asli Senator
BY: Michelle Liew
Shereen Ajani is not afraid to take steps to make changes without having to wait for others. The 30-year-old admitted that because of her courage to make changes, she has achieved amazing success.
With lineage of Orang Asli from the Temuan tribe, Shereen lives in Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Lanjan, Damansara, Selangor. Despite having some bitter memories during her school days, Shereen still attaches significant importance to education.
For her, only education can change the perceptions and narratives of others towards the Orang Asli community.
As a result of her hard work over the years, Shereen has successfully continued her studies in the field of law at the University of Malaya (UM), thereby becoming an inspiration to other Orang Asli communities.
“My journey to further my education in this field was not an easy one. I started quite late when I was 26 years old.”
“Previously, after finishing my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), I chose to work first to help my family. This is because at that time, my two sisters and brother were continuing their studies,” said Shereen who is the youngest of seven siblings.
After almost six years of work, Shereen decided to continue her studies in the field of law.
She continued, “I chose to do law after seeing many issues related to Orang Asli come. So, I needed to know legal matters and maybe in the future I can be a lawyer representing my own community." Shereen also has ambitions to become the first Orang Asli female senator in Malaysia.
She added that if given the opportunity, she would like to pursue a master's degree in the field of public policy and administration, or international relations.
Before this, Shereen also had the opportunity to do practical work at the New Zealand Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. It is because of this, that her interest in learning about international relations, international policy and more, grew.
Shereen is the Founder and President of the Malaysian Orang Asli Student Association (PMOA).
“Only through education can we change the destiny of the Orang Asli community in this country. Through this association, various programmes are organised including student service where we go to Orang Asli villages. There, we encourage students to continue their studies and to be proud of their lineage," explained Shereen who is also the secretary of her village's development and security committee.