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SMK Iskandar Shah wins the fifth national ‘DIY Made Simple’ competition

  Students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Iskandar Shah in Jasin, Melaka emerged as the proud winners of the 5th `DIY Made Simple 2021’ competition, jointly organised by Malaysia’s favourite home improvement retailer MR D.I.Y. Group (M) Bhd (“MR D.I.Y.”) and Universiti Malaya’s Community & Sustainability Centre (UMCares). The winners of this national competition were announced at a closing ceremony held at Universiti Malaya (UM) today.

DIY Made Simple is an annual competition supported by the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia. It calls for secondary school students to find ways to improve their schools’ facilities through do-it-yourself projects using recycled materials.  The winning school beat 105 other schools from 13 states in this year’s competition, themed, “Green School - Reimagining Plastic Waste For the 21st Century Classroom”.

The 10-member team from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Iskandar Shah took home the Gold Prize of RM4,500 cash for their ‘Mobile Recycle Bin’ project. Kolej Profesional Dungun, Terengganu and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ade Putra, Melaka had a tie in second place to win the Silver Prize of RM3,000 each. Aside from cash prizes, trophies, and certificates, the 5 finalists who entered Phase 3 also received RM500 in MR.D.I.Y. vouchers while the Top 3 teams received RM1,500 MR.D.I.Y. vouchers each.


This year’s ‘DIY Made Simple’ competition was launched in January 2021 in four phases. The first phase had 105 teams registered and submitted their video entries. Then, a panel of judges comprising representatives from Universiti Malaya (UM), MR D.I.Y. and the MOE evaluated these submissions and shortlisted 28 teams for a proposal presentation in Phase Two. Eight finalists were then selected for Phase Three where the teams worked with lecturers from the UM’s Faculty of Built Environment to transform their ideas into reality. Phase Four, the Grand Finale, was held today to announce the winners. 

Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony held at UM today, MR D.I.Y. Group Chairman, Dato’ Azlam Shah Alias said, “We are delighted with the results of our successful collaboration with UM over the past 5 years and it has been a gratifying experience. We are proud to be part of the competition and its achievements to inculcate the awareness of going green as well as the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture among young generations, in line with MR D.I.Y. 's sustainability goals, under the environment pillar. Our thanks to UM for organising this brilliant competition and MOE for coming on board to support the competition. All in, it’s all about educating our young generation and creating a better environment for a better Malaysia, and we hope to do more of that in years to come.”


Citing that the ‘DIY Made Simple’ is not just a competition, Dato’ Azlam also emphasises that the students and schools benefit from it the most. This competition not only challenges students’ creativity and critical thinking skills to innovate out-of-the-box sustainable inventions but also encourages soft skills development such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. “Throughout the competition, I’m happy to see students gaining personal growth, as they improve on their soft skills. In line with our DIY culture, we also hope the students can contribute to the betterment of society. This starts from helping to improve their schools’ facilities, and always preserving the environment in which we live. As they grow, we hope to see them becoming individuals with a strong sense of community, who are ready to help those who are in need,” said Dato’ Azlam.


Universiti Malaya Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Innovation, Prof. Dr. Sabri Musa said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many hindrances to student development activities, especially when movement restrictions took place on a nationwide scale. Since last year, we have modified the ‘DIY Made Simple’ Competition and despite the pandemic, we are happy to still receive responses from schools throughout Malaysia. We are impressed by the students, who had demonstrated courage and determination to excel in any situation. Kudos to the organising committee, for making these adjustments swiftly while continuing our mission to encourage creativity and innovation among the students.” 


Today's event is made even more historic with the launch of the book, titled "DIY Projects: Design Ideas For Community", which features the winning projects of the DIY Made Simple competition from 2017 to 2020. The publication of this book is a commemoration of the close-knitted collaboration between MR D.I.Y. and Universiti Malaya from 2017 until today. 


“We hope MR D.I.Y. will continue to collaborate with us as their academic partners, to develop programmes for the benefits of the community. Community projects like ‘DIY Made Simple’ would not be successful without the support of various parties. As we continue our efforts in developing the nation, we look forward to working with multiple parties under the "quadruple helix collaboration", which involves universities, communities, industries, and ministries in the implementation of such programmes in the future,” added Prof. Dr. Sabri Musa. 


At the closing ceremony, the organisers also announced that the 6th “DIY Made Simple 2022” will be happening next year.


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