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Felda Awards for Youth Icons

The Felda Sungai Tiang Pendang Youth Association came out tops today as the winner of the Youth Association Excellence Award at the 2008 Felda Malaysia Youth Award and Forum (ABFM) ceremony Monday.

The association received a cash prize of RM7,000, financial aid for activities worth RM6,000, funding for educational programmes worth RM25,000, trophies and certificates.

Second and third place went to Felda Aring Gua Musang Youth Association and Felda Pasoh 4 Jelebu Youth Association, respectively.

The prizes were given by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.

At the ceremony, 10 youth icons also received awards in recognition of their achievements and contributions.

Recipients of this award include world squash champion Datuk Nicol Ann David, national mariner Datuk Azahar Mansur, second national astronaut Mejar Dr Faiz Khaleed and polar explorer Datin Paduka Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir.

Other recipients include cartoonist Lat or Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid, volunteer Datuk Dr Jemilah Mahmood, motivational expert Datuk Dr Mohd Fadzilah Kamsah, national bowling champion Shalin Zulkifli, first Malaysian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest Marina Ahmad and contemporary nasyid pioneer Kumpulan Raihan.

Meanwhile, disabled youth Mat Jamil Ramli, of Felda Bukit Bading, Terengganu, was announced recipient of a new award, the ABFM Special Judging Panel award.

Mat Jamil, 24, who is a graphic designer for a leading supermarket here, is not only skilled in graphic design but also painting and drawing.

"It is not easy to go through life because people look down on us, but my strength to compete with those who are normal comes from my spirit and support from my family," he said when met by reporters.

Another disabled youth, Muhammad Mat Nayan, from Felda Trolak Timur, Perak, received the Special Personality Award with a prize of RM1,500, trophy and certificate.

Muhammad, 28, who is an educator at a community centre and active in sports, has won almost 20 gold medals in various sports competitions, including weightlifting and wheelchair racing.