The Team

EcoKnights comprises of the Board of Committees and its Management Team.

The Board of Committee members for 2015/2016 are:

President  : Yasmin Rasyid
Vice President  : Amlir Ayat
Treasurer  : Puan Mariam Osman
Vice Treasurer  : Ir Azwan Rasyid Abdullah
Secretary  : Rubindar Dharmen Singh
Vice Secretary  : Fadly Bakhtiar
Ordinary Members  : Khaidi Kamaruddin (Development)
Y.M. Tengku Edrace Petra Ibni Al-Marhum Tengku Tan Sri Indra (Liaison and Communications)
Alvin Cyril Williams (Fundraising)
Khaize Kamaruddin (Government Liaison)
Nurdelila Wahab (Quality Assurance)
Syed Dzain Syed Mokhsein (Membership)

The EcoKnights Management Team

Yasmin Rasyid, President and Executive Director

yrYasmin Rasyid is a marine biologist by profession and an environmentalist by passion. She has a degree in Marine Biology and a minor in Contemporary Religion from Duke University, a M.Sc from University Malaya in Biotechnology and is now currently pursuing her Ph.D at University of Malaya at the Faculty of Sciences.

She has experiences working in environmental NGOs, the corporate industry and also as a sustainability consultant. Her career started off in WWF-Malaysia in 1997 where she was a Scientific Officer and was part of the “Forest for Water, Water for Life” project in which she head the water quality research effort of the Selangor river basin. Her duties then were to analyses the condition of the river based on land use patterns and to provide reports, documentation and recommendations to advocate for an integrated river basin management system. She has presented many scientific papers on this topic in various national conferences. She later took up the role of Scientific Communications Officer within the same organization.

When she left WWF-M in 2002, she joined Profound Vaccine Sdn Bhd and was the Head of the Research and Development department where she spearheaded the research and development of the world’s first intranasal vaccine against pneumonia for livestock. She left the corporate world after taking a break and starting a family while still consult on environmental projects and programs on a freelance basis to clients such WWF-Malaysia and UNDP.

In 2005, she founded EcoKnights, a not-for-profit environmental organization (www.ecoknights.org.my) which focuses on environmental education and awareness, community empowerment and development, and environmental communication.

Her main areas of passion are environmental education for youths and children and mobilization of communities towards sustainability. She has presented and been invited to speak on many platforms on EcoKnights’ efforts and her experiences in running NGOs, social businesses, corporate social responsibility and also in youth and community empowerment. Her expertise includes training on sustainability and social responsibility.

Yasmin Rasyid is also the 2013-2015 Chairperson for Malaysian Environmental NGOS (MENGO), a national coalition of 26 environmental and social NGOs in the country. In her capacity as the chairperson, she deals with environmental issues and matters related to governance, legislation and national policies. She is also the current Chairperson for the Duke University Alumni Association in Malaysia. She is also currently lecturing at University Kuala Lumpur campus in Kampung Bharu, and serves as a mentor in the Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program under MaGiC. Yasmin is also a prolific speaker in sustainability, and a sustainability consultant and some of her clients include SBC, Malaysia Airport Holding Berhad, among others. 

In the last 8 years, Yasmin has helped design and create community-based projects with international and local funders and donors and some of the notable projects are as follows:

  • Community-based Protection and Conservation of Sungai Bunus with DBKL and PEMANDU under the River of Life program
  • Community Resilience Program in Pulau Tioman – funded by United Nations Development Program
  • Alternative Livelihood Program in Pulau Mantanani, Sabah – funded by Shell Sarawak
  • Alternative Livelihood Program for Orang Asal Seletar at Kampung Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang – funded and supported by MHB
  • Sustainable Island Management Community Dialogue in Pulau Langkawi – funded and supported by the Kedah State Government
  • Paint Back, Give Back Program with Akzo Nobel
  • Waterful Sharing Campaign with Laniege Malaysia – volunteer-based construction of rainwater harvesting systems in marginalized homes
  • Nationwide environmental competition for youths (Anugerah Hijau Malaysia, or Green Awards Malaysia) with the support and endorsement of the Ministry of Environment

In Malaysia, Yasmin is known as a very passionate supporter, advocate and “doer” in community engagements in promoting sustainability. She works closely with government agencies advocating for change within government policies on sustainability, and she is also rather popular in her work and effort in creating impactful social responsibility programs for the corporate players. On the side, Yasmin is tireless in her effort in engaging young people, whether in high schools or universities, in talks, and workshops on sustainability. 

Some of her credentials published online are as follows:

 

Mariam Osman, Community Development

Mariam Osman, or also very commonly known within our EcoKnights family, as Aunty Mariam, is the eldest and most practical of all the green Knights. She is a walking and talking practitioner of green and sustainable living as demonstrated in her daily life. Her role in EcoKnights involves providing assistance and expertise in workshops related to sustainable living and also women. Mariam has many years of experience conducting workshops and imparts her knowledge through government, and non-government seminars, events and workshops. Mariam is also the current Secretary of the Lake Edge Residents’ Association (LERA) and has benefitted her immediate community with various environment-related activities such as backyard composting, DIY mud balls to remediate their polluted lake, health and safety talks and so forth.

Khaize Kamaruddin, Business Development

Making business sense in today’s conservation efforts is pertinent in ensuring the success of eco-projects. This is why we have Khaize, or affectionately known as Jojo, on our team. An alumna of Drexel University, Philadelphia, Khaize has 8 working years of experience in doing what he does best, developing business programmes. With his love for the outdoors and traveling, Khaize also heads the annual EcoKnights Luau.

Dane Omar, Website and Creative

Dane as he is affectionately known is EcoKnights’ IT guru. He’s so important that everyone has his number on speed dial. Seriously Dane’s role is important and that includes taking a whole lot of crap from us and churning it to interactive materials on our website. It’s something we don’t like to (or rather don’t know to) do so thank the man above, we have Dane.

Deep Gill, Communications Advisor

Deep is EcoKnights experienced communications officer. He guards the EcoKnights gateway to the media and ensures that all publicity materials are managed accordingly. An ex-journalist with a leading newspaper for the last 8 years, Deep enjoys the finest things in life from good food, music and parties. With his sidekick, Homes Randy, Deep epitomizes the “soul” of EcoKnights. Deep also has his own blog, COCKTALES , which just recently won Juice' Magazine's BEST BLOG 2009. This guy will always surprise you.

Rubin Singh, Events, Promotions and Production

The original "crusader" for the environment, Rubin is an avid birdwatcher, of the natural kind. As an Associate producer of one of the country's best production houses, Rubin has contributed many creative ideas in the creation of the EcoKnights website. He travels to the East coast often, in search for the natural high and indulges in the local communities efforts.

Fadly Bakhtiar, Programme Director

Fadly Bakhtiar is the Programme Manager for Eco Film Festival and deals mainly with the organisation and logistics of running a film festival. An active "Komodo Ninja", Fadly is also an aspiring musician and has produced many of his original dance tracks on the World Wide Web. Fadly's daily tasks involve communications with partners of the annual Eco Film Fest and also in strategic programme management of the Festival. He is an avid music lover and in his spare time, doubles up as EcoKnights' events deejay. Very talented this fella.

Mazro Mazlan, Event Specialist

Mazro, or YO, as we all call him, is the technical guy behind most of EK's communication outputs. He also doubles up as a videographer and photographer during our events. Mazro provides production expertise in all of EcoKnights print materials.

Zaha Izrin, Volunteer Outreach

Zaha Izrin provides assistance in volunteer outreach for EcoKnights. Zaha advises EK on production matters related to print and publication, and is also in the forefront of advising EK on events and activities.

Khir Johari Abu Bakar, Finance and Accounts

"Jo" as we like to call him, manages all the administrative and financial aspects of EcoKnights. He is the ultimate gatekeeper in ensuring that funds are disbursed according for our flagship programmes. With Jo, the office is a complete mess so we really, really, really appreciate his assistance with us

 

EcoKnights Advisors

Dr Rasidah Hashim - Sustainability and Sustainable Development

I grew up in the 1970s in a village in Peninsular Malaysia. Being a Minangkabau means acknowledging that women play central roles in a community, such as owning land and managing family and clan affairs. These values have proven to be very essential in providing a good sense of self-worth throughout my life.

In 1980 I started school at a nearby primary school (Sekolah Kebangsaan Jempol) and in 1986 I became a student at Tunku Kurshiah College. I did very well for my Sijil Penilaian Malaysia but luck was not on my side as I contracted Tuberculosis in 1991 and so had to wait for a year before furthering my studies.

In 1992 I flew to the United States. Being far from the family and outside of the country for the first time I learned to appreciate many things Malaysian. It was also a time for many self-discoveries and my professors at Duke University were some of the great teachers of my life. It was at Duke that I started to enjoy interdisciplinary learning because my undergraduate program encouraged it. The courses I took included primatology, human evolution, cellular and molecular biology, history and philosophy of science, Islamic mysticism, art history, and microeconomics.

Upon graduating from Duke University I was ripe for new adventures and so I went to Borneo to conduct mostly independent fieldwork. This was when I picked up tropical forest taxonomy and GIS analysis. I also began to appreciate the diversity of peoples in Malaysia.

Then in 2001, I set myself up for another challenge; I enrolled at the University of Cambridge and earned a PhD degree in 2006. Since then I have been a lecturer on the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Supervising and teaching students are my main responsibilities - these responsibilities have allowed me to grow and mature as a person as I enjoy learning and sharing knowledge/ experiences with my students.

My research interests are diverse but all of my research activities are linked to the theme of sustainability / sustainable development. These broad-ranging research and intellectual interests are due to the fact that I have always been interested in understanding how humans have shaped and managed our environment, particularly our natural resources. I have worked mostly in the tropics: firstly an MSc research on inland forest ecology in Sarawak (Borneo), and this was followed by a PhD research on the diversity of riparian forest ecosystems in the Malaysian peninsula. To address the research objectives I employ various techniques including field surveys and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis.

Unlike during my student days when I was working mostly alone, my current projects are carried out with the help of post graduate students. I am also increasing aware of the need for academicians to make their contribution to ensure that development is sustainable in Malaysia. For this reason, I have been involved since 2006 in several of projects (headed by Dr. Naziaty Mohd Yaacob of Universiti Malaya) to raise awareness and accessibility for the disabled and elderly people and it is my conviction that when we create an inclusive and learned society we will achieve a good quality of life for everyone, including for other species.

Mr. Amlir Ayat - Community-Based Conservation/Education Advisor

Amlir started his career at WWF Malaysia as an education officer designing and implementing educational programs at schools, universities, local communities, and government and corporate sectors. He has many years experience in capacity building of rural communities, particularly in biodiversity, ecotourism and water management. Some of his projects include Projek Penchala, a river management community project, Kenong Community Development Project, a biodiversity management and ecotourism initiative, and Human - Tiger Conflict Resolution Project in Terengganu. Apart from being a guest environmental writer in some magazines and newspapers, he has also appeared on the television to rant and mumble about about the local environment scene. At EcoKnights, Amlir serves an advisory role on all matters related to community-based conservation. He can be contacted at amlir@ecoknights.org.my.

Mr Khaidi Kamaruddin - Strategic Business Advisor

Khaidi is a marketeer extraordinaire and helps EcoKnights in setting the strategic direction for all our programmes. Khaidi also represents EcoKnights in seeking for strategic partnerships with key business players to synergize efforts to embark on renewable energy efforts. In his spare time, Khaidi reads and indulges in motorsports. Khaidi is also a big fan of renewable energy and has adopted some of the technology in his projects. Khaidi is currently the Managing Director of Bulb Malaysia and offers his professional expertise in the field of advertising, branding and marketing.

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