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21.12.2020

GC Men Of The Year 2020 Winners: From TMJ to Ebit Lew

The full list of winners from the annual GC Men Of The Year Awards 2020, in association with Bon Zainal.

By Raja Izz

It’s been an extraordinary year like few others – the unexpected resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a global COVID-19 pandemic the world was ill-prepared for, and the global Black Lives Matter movement. As a result, a multiplier effects that included the collapse of global GDP growth, rocketing unemployment, and a persistent racial inequality around the world. 

But in a world on its knees come the people determined to step forward. In absolute class. And the GC Men Of The Year Awards, in its 2nd year, has provided us with an opportunity to celebrate the people who made Malaysia a better place over the past 12 months, when we've needed them most.

During the darkest stretch of the pandemic in March, when health workers were putting their lives on the line on a daily basis, Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah began announcing the COVID-19 cases everyday without fail. He soon found himself at the centre of a media storm, as one bright spark in an era defined by death, anxiety and fear. Four months later, he was awarded the distinguished title of ‘Tan Sri’, in conjunction with the Malaysian King, HRH Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s official birthday celebrations.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Here is the full list of this year's winners…

Posthumous - Lifetime Achievement Award:  Professor DiRaja Ungku Aziz Abdul Hamid 

Royal Professor Ungku Aziz who passed away on 15 November 2020 was a giant among Malaysian men. He was a monumental figure in academia, an outstanding economist, a truly public intellectual and a man of culture and the arts. He was a thinker first and last and a man who helped define academic excellence.

Chivalry:  YBhg Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah

Malaysians are thankful to the significant role of the Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in managing and handling the Covid-19 epidemic in the country. Until now, Dr Noor Hisham and his men at the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) continue to work tirelessly to provide the best treatment to patients who are found positive as well as work hard to break the chain of epidemic transmission.

Their hard work has finally allowed us to control the spread of the epidemic quite effectively compared to foreign countries including developed countries such as the United States which are still struggling with this epidemic. Indeed, Dr Noor Hisham came on time to prove that the civil service is also not short of gentlemen.

Classy Lifestyle: KDYMM Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah ibni Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah 

It is refreshing nowadays when gentle Prince like Tengku Hassanal touched our lives. His manner that elevates discourse, openness, respect and a willingness to elevate all people on Pahang state is truly inspirational. By leading with courtesy and humility, it is a legacy which we understand Tengku Hassanal will continue to uphold. And we believe it will not be Tengku Hassanal alone, but also his children and grandchildren, who will continue the legacy of gentleness.

Sports Icon:  DYAM Mejar Jeneral Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ)

If there is one man in Malaysia that is able to bring sports prestige to the nation, it is TMJ. TMJ sees football as a unifying factor for his people and he has a built a brand that Malaysian can be proud of. Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) FC’s metamorphosis from struggling nobodies to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Club of the Decade is monumental. In line with the the focus on the younger generation, TMJ led the recent collaboration between JDT and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in South-East Asia to carry the humanitarian mission of children in providing educational, physical and mental health needs, as well as nutrition and safety. Sensational.

Most Elegant Man: Tengku Fahad Mua'adzam Shah

There are always arguments when GC team sits down to debate who is Malaysian best-dressed men of the year. That’s unavoidable when menswear is as broad as it is right now. But while we admire the trend-setters and the rule-breakers, dressing like Henry Golding or Tunku Abdul Rahman is only really possible if you happen to be Hollywood A-list or Tunku Panglima Johor. We always end up coming back to someone who wears clothes that are, well, wearable.

For us, nobody has bridged the worlds of fashion and everyday style better this year than Tengku Fahad. He’s dabbled with trends (double-breasted suits) and fallen back on classics (baju melayu). Occasionally he’ll do something majestic, but more often he’ll abide by the ethics that govern everybody.

The colours suit him, the fits are always right and – importantly – he wears the clothes, they don’t wear him. As menswear gets braver and louder, that’s worth remembering.

Youth Icon: YB Syed Saddiq

Syed Saddiq has a vision for the country. He believes that young Malaysians’ values are determined by their capabilities to contribute to society, not simply the year they were born in. He believe that allowing young Malaysian to hold top positions in corporations and government, would result in a more “diverse decision-making process” beyond traditional factors of race and religion. Moving forward, expect his new youth-led political party the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) to gain traction as a movement that galvanises the Malaysian youth into a political force in the future.

Inspirational: Faizul Ridzuan

Amidst Covid-19 and National lockdown, many Malaysians fear recession is coming. One man thought of a solution to get Malaysia to be out from this recession faster from anyone else. His solution: automatic 3-6 months loan moratorium. Not long after Faizul's idea pitching, Bank Negara Malaysia announced an automated 6 month loan moratorium for borrowers automatically during the Movement Control Order (MCO). Faizul's idea and initiatives help millions of Malaysia from Non Performing Loan (NPL) and bankruptcy because of this move.

Actor: Henry Golding

Henry Golding has become a serious name in Hollywood over the past two years. He burst onto the scene in a big way with Crazy Rich Asians, playing the endlessly charming Nick as the movie became a pop culture sensation. Since then he's starred in various Hollywood movies such as The Gentlemen, and Last Christmas. Golding is currently in production for the upcoming American superhero film and spin-off of the G.I. Joe film series. He’s a man to keep an eye on because he’s about to be one of the biggest stars in the world.

Entertainer: Alvin Anthons

Alvin's innovative contribution to make a lot of people entertained amidst the Covid-19 is truly astonishing. The show, named 'The Nite Nite Show with Alvin Anthons - is the country's first entertainment programme made available live on Instagram. It was the first time a show was able to configure a Live-Multi-Output that included simultaneous broadcasting of visuals of both parties, along with the host's audio, the remote guest's audio and live music. Thank you for making us entertained, Alvin.

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