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International Relations & Politics Personal Statement

Growing up in Malaysia, the discussion of political issues always remained behind closed doors.

Talk of pursuing a political career was met with judgmental, suspicious eyes. Puzzled by the causations behind deafening news headlines, my curiosity of understanding the profound dynamics of political power from an international perspective propelled my decision to pursue International Relations and Politics. Since young, I was described to be overly inquisitive as to causation; I remembered my mind pondering over the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue; its reasons, its motives.

Similar to my readings of "The Prince", I was gradually able to grasp a better understanding of Machiavelli's thoughts by drawing parallels with current affairs such as the rise in authoritarian tyrannies such as Saddam's regime that maintain their dictatorship by fear. With the infamous application of power politics, this has made me expressly interested in the evolution and prominence of political thought.

Mary Wollstonecraft's "Vindication of the Rights of Women" was another source of inspiration; written in response to Charles Maurice's report to the French National Assembly, which stated that women should only receive a domestic education, I felt this was testament in showing the progression of human rights; as it points out "There must be more equality established in society or morality will never gain ground".

While I acknowledge that not all individuals enjoy the freedom of choice, it is undeniable that such political writings from the past were pivotal in casting a wave of change in history. Weekly editorials such as "The Economist" have rendered me more aware of neglected world issues such as the detrimental violations of human rights that arose from a failure of international initiatives as seen in the Rohingya Crisis.

My readings of political journals have galvanised my love of challenging doctrines, which was further crystallized in my trip to the Xinjiang autonomous region which I had the opportunity to speak with the locals to explore the complicated nature of this political canvas. Noting the austere political situation in China, I realised how political justice varied across nations.

Thus, inspiring my enthusiasm for writing editorials on my personal views of global situations such as the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Furthermore, my interests in the conflict between globalisation and conservatism have led to my choice of a comparative study of Western and Eastern governance during the downfall of the Qing dynasty in my Extended Essay; demonstrating my keen interest in understanding the link between discord and diplomacy.

As an adventure enthusiast, my experience of sailing in the Duke of Edinburgh Award has driven me beyond my personal boundaries and has made me more adaptable. With exposures to the complexities of MUN, I am able to be multifaceted and balance my views, having advocated for views that I do not share through seeking inferences from the point of view of a range of cultures. This has developed my cultural awareness of the ethnocentricity between differing factions.

The understanding of the intertwinement of language and diplomacy from my acquisition of Arabic through independent study has made me conscious of not only the choice of words, but tone and inflection. The transferable skills I have acquired from my course in particular HL History, have equipped me with strong traits of independence as a learner.

Moreover, my experiences in negotiation and resolving disagreements, both as the Student Council Vice President and the Yearbook Editor-in-Chief have accentuated my interpersonal skills and diplomacy which are essential for my future career.

The decisions of a governing body translate to either a stain, or a tinge in the future lives of people and I look forward to a deeper exploration and understanding of the realms of British politics that has very much influenced the policies of Commonwealth nations.

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Author's Comments

Got conditional offers from University of Edinburgh, University of Warwick, SOAS, King's College London
Still waiting from LSE

Thanks!

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