My name is Praba Ganesan,
Let me tell you about me, so you know what is important to me. My ideas are often off-pace with the prevailing ideas in Malaysia, but I am hoping a great society like ours appreciates diversity of ideas — even poor ones.
Is Malaysia a great society?
It should be, if all ideas have space.
Our society should emphasise on its people’s concerns and help them realise their potential as they feel fit, whether in the economy, political processes, civil liberties, technology and even perhaps philanthropy.
I was born in Selangor and raised initially in a Chinese squatter colony in Cheras, before to an Indian on in Kampung Pandan. In 1980 we moved to a government cooperative housing neighbourhood in Hulu Langat, Cheras side.
Primary schooling in La Salle Primary, Jalan Peel, and then my secondary education at the Victoria Institution. And then to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi for my first degree in Business Admnistration. My graduate studies was in Political Ethics at the Philosophy Department of the De La Salle University, Manila, here I was also employed.
I’ve taught in universities across Asia and worked in HR consultancy. In my uni years I captained the first Malaysian champions of Asian debating, and won the Best Speaker Prize for Australasia, the only Asian raised person to have ever won it. I coached debating for many years, before embarking in a career in media and social media. A reporter and sub-editor at Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider before assuming the role of social media strategist for Parti Keadilan Rakyat 2012-13 through the 13th General Election. We had a good run, a little more organisation would have got us federal power (though many blame other things for the loss).
Since then I run media and social media campaigns with Voices Consultancy, in both business and politics. At the same time I head Kuasa, an NGO seeking to increase the active involvement of Malaysians in their democracy.
But these are just staid facts. It does not tell enough of a person, as a living multidimensional character.
What helps is that my family is of working class roots, and my grandparents were general workers in the various municipalities of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. My dad was a driver for Jabatan Kerja Raya, and my mom a housewife. To allow my siblings and I to have access to a better life, my dad drove taxis in the evening.
We were taught as children to appreciate honest labour and not to want things just because other people had them. I take these lessons as my person ethos though living a life in KL can challenge even the most sacred of beliefs.
I am continuing a journey to serve, and in doing so serving reason to my own existence. The rest is for the rakyat to decide.