Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Candle 18: Lim Wei Meng

I'm currently on holiday in New York City and had the privilege of meeting an outstanding BBGSian who is working in the Big Apple. In fact, her office is in the same art-deco building as Clark Kent a.k.a Superman. Cool!

Lim Wei Meng is the Deputy Director for the UNHCR in New York. She left BBGS after Form 6 in 1972 to read Law at University of Malaya, and joined United Nations after practicing law for a few years. It was an exciting career switch as Wei Meng soon found herself helping refugees on the Thai border with bombs exploding around her and being chased by Sri Lankan navy patrol boats!

Fun and games aside, I was struck by Wei Meng's passion about refugee protection and "making a difference" in the lives of those who have endured much suffering. Her work has taken her from the frontlines of Thailand, Somalia and India to the halls of power in Geneva and New York.

Having just moved to New York a year ago, Wei Meng and her family are adjusting to life in the Big Apple although she prefers the quiet comfort of Geneva. Still, she's obviously doing something right to be in a high-powered international role, working from a corner office in Manhattan with a view of the Chrysler building and rubbing shoulders with Bill & Hillary Clinton who are her neighbours in West Chester. Well done!

Despite all the accolades, Wei Meng is still a true BBGSian at heart. Over a delicious Japanese bento lunch, we were united in enthusiasm for Project Revive and Wei Meng's excitement is clearly demonstrated in the fact that she'll be flying back to KL to help Sow Yoong with the project. Her parting words to me were, "I'm surprised and very glad to know that the younger BBGSians are just as passionate about the school as those of us from the 70's".

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