By: Supriya Sivabalan
Throwing it back to a year ago, he is no unfamiliar face to Malaysians alike. Yup, you guessed it! It’s the ever-legendary Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Malaysia’s 4th and 7th Prime Minister, receiving two of our Biji Biji bags. Tun M was gifted with the limited edition Meranti seat belt bag from the Seat Belt Collection (for himself) and the Tsubaki clutch from our Kimono collection (for Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, Tun M’s darling wife) during a Chamber of Social Entrepreneurship Development (CSED) meeting with the Prime Minister’s Office. Both gifts handpicked by Nora, Ambika and Hannah, who are part of the Biji Biji family!
It was such an exciting spur of the moment thing for the team as Hannah and Ambika recall the night they were tasked to retrieve the gifts for the PM and Tun Hasmah. The two said they were driving back from their office in Klang at roughly 10pm when they received a call from the Group CEO, Rashvin Pal Singh, where they were asked to pick out two gifts from Biji Biji’s very own walk-in-wardrobe (aka inventory) and bring it over to KL. Both Hannah and Ambika immediately thought - “Sure, why not?” and gladly jumped at the chance of being able to pick out gifts for these two prestigious figures of the Malaysian political scene. “We drove back to the office, spent another hour or so, picking things up, before driving back to KL and passing them to our CEO.”
The gifts were presented by Rashvin himself who represented Biji-biji Initiative in the CSED meeting where they had the grand opportunity to engage in a discussion on the development of the social enterprise (SE) scene in Malaysia with Tun Dr. Mahathir. Rashvin also currently holds the position as Vice President in CSED. Ideas were exchanged on how SEs can help tackle social and environmental challenges using innovative models and solutions as well as become a medium to create inclusive businesses.
Rashvin Pal Singh, Group CEO of Biji biji and Me.reka (left) presenting the Meranti seat belt bag from seat belt collection and the Tsubaki clutch from our Kimono collection to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (right).
Upon receiving the bags, Tun M inspected the interesting feel of the seat belt material (trust us, it’s a natural reaction when you first get a hold of these unique bags!). This is the second time Tun M laid eyes on our products (Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah was gifted a Momo Kimono clutch back in 2017). He is still very much impressed with the creativity and prospect of utilising repurposed materials to produce durable items as he complimented the build of the gorgeous bags that were presented. He expressed his distaste for wastefulness with an anecdote that explains how we should refrain from throwaway culture and commended this practice of up-cycling!
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