Social Advocate & Environmental Activist
A lot of people know that I don’t have a team of people working for me. I like to do things by myself, and I find that very rewarding, and I’ve always believed that we should be the best versions of ourselves.
Her Royal Highness Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor is woman who wears many hats. From being the Make-a-Wish Malaysia patron to initiating the #zerofoodwastage campaign, spearheading the #SayNo2Plastic campaign to being a strong advocate against bullying in school, Her Royal Highness shattered every stereotype of a princess you might have.
With her formative years structured by British boarding school and early adulthood shaped in both Spain and France, Tengku Zatashah returned to Malaysia with a goal that’s rooted in progressiveness and aiding society. “For me, it’s a natural thing for me to help society. I’ve been doing charity ever since I was 10. It’s something that’s been very natural to me. When I got back to Malaysia, I really wanted to do more and give back to society.”
“Whatever causes that I’m passionate about, I’ll go out and dedicate my time to it,” she states.
Whether it’s Make-a-Wish Malaysia, the #zerofoodwastage campaign, or the #SayNo2Plastic campaign, to say that Tengku Zatashah keeps herself busy would be a severe understatement.
“I’m happy that many people have come on board. I do a lot for youth, women empowerment, wildlife, etc. A lot of people would say that I have too much on my plate. But hey, if I can do it, I’ll do it,” says the Selangor princess when asked about her thoughts regarding the exponential success that each of her projects has been receiving.
While Her Royal Highness is undeniably passionate towards her projects, she is equally vocal about advocating kindness. In 2018, #StandTogether, a nationwide campaign that aims to end bullying through promoting kindness in school, was created.
In Malaysia, eight out of ten kids are bullied. 80% of it is in the form of verbal bullying, and a lot of it is coming from classmates. So it’s from people that you know. This is something that we really need to address, and not sweep under the carpet.Tengku Zatashah
The passionate royal also shares that it’s crucial that children take a stand for themselves. “The whole idea of National Kindness Week is to show kindness. This year, we are letting the kids empower themselves. We are conveying the message to the kids that you have to stand up, speak up, and be strong when handling these kind of things.”
The Selangor Princess states that living an “ordinary life” has always been essential to her. “I’ve always lived a normal life. I’ve always taken care of myself. I was sent to boarding school at the age of ten. And boarding school leads you to be very independent in life.”
Tengku Zatashah’s determination to be ordinary is apparent in many aspects of her personal life. She does not have a team working for her, nor does she have a personal assistant running errands for her, none of which conforms to the stereotype of being a royal. “I like to do things by myself, and I find that very rewarding, I’ve always believed that we should be the best versions of ourselves.”
Her Royal Highness stresses that it’s important for one to find the passion within. “My advice is to go out there and do what you really love. If you have that dream, don’t let anyone take that away from you. If it is your dream, go out there. But you’re going to have to work hard, it’s not going to come for free.”
Tengku Zatashah is also the recipient of the Prestige achievement award in 2018.