The People’s Princess: Tengku Zatashah Idris
How The Selangor Princess Is Advocating For A Better Malaysia
By Hana Maher
She may have royal blood running through her veins but, Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, is not your typical princess. Over the years, Zatashah has consistently proven that she was destined for greater things beyond the palace walls by being actively involved in charity work and volunteerism – inspiring fellow Malaysians to stand united for causes that contribute to the nation’s betterment.
In 2016, the Make-A-Wish Malaysia royal patron launched the #ZeroFoodWastage campaign after she learnt that Ramadhan buffets waste at least 270,000 tonnes of food. This unfortunate reality propelled Zatashah to encourage major hotels in the Klang Valley to direct their excess food to Kechara Soup Kitchen, where the organisation reheated and repacked the food to feed the needy. As a matter of fact, the woman with a heart of gold had even gone to ground zero to personally distribute the food to the less fortunate and spare a few minutes to converse with them.
But Zatashah isn’t just looking to put an end to food wastage as she, the President of Alliance Francaise Kuala Lumpur, turned heads when she brought along her tiffin carrier to the Ramadhan bazaar in order to avoid using plastic packaging. Her eco-friendly mindset was apparent, especially when she kicked off a social media campaign that highlighted how she lives her life to #SayNo2Plastic. The princess shared how she swapped plastic straws for metal straws; uploaded infographics on how plastics harm marine life and the ocean; and brought along reusable coffee cup wherever she goes. Her dedication and strong advocacy against plastic usage and pollution ultimately inspired Zatashah to simultaneously advocate for #SaveWildlife and #SaveOurSharks.
While the Selangor princess is calling upon fellow Malaysians to adopt a more sustainable and eco-conscious mindset, Zatashah also emphasised that she is passionate about #WomenEmpowerment, especially career development. The CEO of Light Cibles Malaysia stressed that it’s imperative for women and young girls to push forward in their careers, after she was named as one of the icons for Empowering Women Year 2018 (TMW18), and relayed that she will be aiding other women to achieve their goals and dreams. But her enthusiasm in uplifting Malaysians is also captured in her advocacy against bullying – underlining that the four walls of a school should be a safe sanctuary for children. In a collaborative effort with Star Media and R.AGE as well as in conjunction with #NationalKindnessWeek, Zatashah implored Malaysians to #EndSchoolBullying by #SayingNomore2Bullying, #StopCyberbullying and #StopBullying.
Her love for her country and its people is prevalent through her relentless commitment to making changes and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. It goes without saying that Zatashah is indeed the people’s princess and the princess we all need due to her humble nature and for being a beacon that reminds Malaysians and Malaysia that we can do better and be better, for our fellow countrymen and country.