KUALA LUMPUR: A polytechnic, an anti-drug abuse association, a diplomat and a public relations guru are among the 10 diverse recipients of the inaugural Asean People’s Awards. The award was established to honors outstanding and inspiring organizations or individuals that have contributed significantly in the Asean community building. Persatuan Basmi Dadah from Bru­­nei was chosen as the country’s winner for its anti-drugs activities, carried out on the spirit of volunteerism.

The non-governmental organization’s aspiration for a drug-free community also went beyond Brunei and extended to other Asean countries. From Indonesia, PR icon Prita Kemal Gani aspired to build a strong alliance outside the Asean community to gain support in setting global standards for the profession. Singapore Polytechnic clinched the award for its Asean Outreach Thrust, which aims to foster a closer Asean community through building mutual understanding and awareness of Asean issues.

The polytechnic’s unique “Overseas Go Serve Programme ” has seen 84 community service work projects completed in other Asean countries, involving 1,885 participants. Former Malaysian Home Minister, the late Tun Muhammad Ghazali Shafie who was fondly known as ‘King Ghaz’, was named a recipient. The diplomat extraordinaire was honored for his contributions towards the founding of Asean.

His grandson Ahmad Nazmi Bakhtiar Ghazali received the award on his behalf. The trophies were presented to the winners by Prime Minister Datuk Seri NajibTunRazak and witnessed by Asean leaders. Other winners included Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (Cambodia), Thasano Rice and Seed Multiplication Centre (Laos), Parami Roundtable Group (Myanmar), Ray Paolo J. Santiago (Phillipines), DrSaisureeChutikul (Thailand) and Nguyen Manh Cam (Vietnam).

All ten recipients were awarded a financial grant of US$10,000 (RM43,800) and a trophy.