Thenesh Anbalagan, who is a 25 years old young talent has emerged as the pride of our nation. Thenesh, a Tunku Scholar, is one of only 180 individuals worldwide to be accepted into the LL.M. (Master of Laws) programme at Harvard University. Harvard University is a prestigious private Ivy League research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.
Established in 1636, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the most renowned universities in the world. The university consistently ranks among the top universities globally. It is widely recognized for its academic excellence, rigorous standards, and influential alumni. It has been ranked as one of the top universities in the world by various publications and ranking systems. Harvard University is well-known for its dedication to academic excellence and research. It has a distinguished faculty that includes leading researchers, scientists, and specialists in various specialties.
The challenging academic programmes of the institution emphasise critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Being a Malaysian Indian, it is not an easy job to get an opportunity to study at Harvard university. Only incredibly talented and deserving candidates gets the golden opportunity from thousands of applications. Thenesh got such an opportunity for his hardwork and dedication. As the top-ranked law school globally, Harvard offers the Muar-born lad an opportunity to further his interest in international trade law with aspirations to represent Malaysia in international dispute settlements and trade negotiations.
Rejection is never the end of the road for Thenesh Anbalagan. Coming from a single-parent household since his father died when he was 17, Thenesh had incredible tenacity and determination. Thenesh was unfazed when Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) rejected down his application to study law. Instead, he drove from Johor to Bangi to appeal his case until the denial became an offer. Thenesh also applied for the Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation’s undergraduate scholarship, which is a comprehensive leadership-based fellowship that empowers high-potential students, particularly those from low-income families. Similarly, Thenesh had applied for the scholarship twice before being accepted.
Thenesh succeeded academically and in other areas throughout his stay at university. Notably, he guided the UKM team to a stunning victory in the famous Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition 2021. His tremendous desire to give back to society inspired him to start Moot Club UKM in order to turn UKM law students into well-rounded individuals. Thenesh’s accomplishments were later recognised by prominent awards like as the Pingat Tunku and Tun Razak Awards. Following graduation, he began his career as a Legal Associate at Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership, where he was mentored by senior practitioner Datuk DP Naban.
Thenesh’s extraordinary story illustrates perseverance and tenacity. Despite initial obstacles in obtaining a scholarship to study law at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, he has been granted an extraordinary opportunity to pursue an LL.M. (Master of Laws) curriculum at Harvard Law School with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Scholarship.
“Ever since I could remember, I have always wanted to read law at Harvard University. I was unable to fulfil this aspiration for my undergraduate studies due to a string of rejections and roadblocks, but, I remained committed to pursuing this ambition. “The setbacks I faced became a journey of personal growth for me. The continuous
support of my mother despite the challenges she faced raising my siblings and I singlehandedly also fueled my desire to persevere on. Now, I am thrilled at the prospect of finally fulfilling my long-cherished dream at such a pivotal point of my life.” Thenesh shared.
Wan Nadiah, President of the Harvard Club of Malaysia, emphasised the Club’s dedication to assisting more marginalised students in pursuing lofty goals such as Harvard. “Harvard University’s mission has always been to advance new ideas and promote enduring knowledge,” she said, “which entails recruiting the best and brightest scholars from around the world.” The Harvard Club of Malaysia manages the Harvard Prize Book Programme in collaboration with ten secondary schools around the country in order to encourage more talented, young Malaysians to pursue a degree from Harvard University. The Harvard Club of Malaysia wishes to congratulate Thenesh and hopes that his path inspires other Malaysians to strive for greatness.
Thenesh had applied for multiple scholarships to assist him to bare the cost of his studies as he couldn’t burden his mother much. Finally he managed to get offer from the prestigious Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Scholarship that will fund his studies in the United States.
“Thenesh is truly an embodiment of the values we instill in our Tunku Scholars,” said Ida Thien, CEO of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation. His determination in the face of adversity, as well as his great desire to give back to the country, solidified our belief in his ability. We are encouraged to learn that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Scholarship recognises Thenesh’s strengths and express our heartfelt gratitude to the Scholarship for advancing his aspiration.” she added.
After completing his studies at Harvard, Thenesh wishes to devote his career to international law and use his expertise to advance Malaysia’s concerns. We are eager to see Thenesh bloom as a young leader who will help to build a society that is just and equitable. Our heartiest congratulations and best wishes for Theenesh on his new beginning!
Source: Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman