PETALING JAYA - Malaysians should address the increasing number of bullying cases, said motivational speaker Nick Vujicic.
"Eighty per cent of teenagers in Malaysia admitted that they have been bullied before," said Vujicic to a 500-strong audience at the Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel on Wednesday night.
"Words are powerful. It only takes three seconds of negativity to get into someone's mind," said Vujicic, who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome that left him without arms and legs - a condition that naturally made him a target of bullying in his schooling days.
At the age of 10, he attempted suicide but eventually learned to be thankful for life.
"I realised it's not the absence of arms and legs that prevents me from doing anything. Fear is preventing people with arms and legs from doing things!" he said.
"The biggest encourager and biggest discourager is you. Do not let others and circumstances dictate your life," he said, directing it especially at victims of bullying.
Vujicic, who has visited Malaysia a few times, kept the audience entertained as he imparted his message of hope that also saw the attendance of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.
"I am inspired by him as well and I think he conveyed the message of self-esteem to the audience," said Rohani, who expressed her appreciation to Vujicic for inspiring Malaysians.
She also launched Vujicic's latest book, Give A Hug.
The event was organised by StART, a non-profit organisation serving underprivileged children through visual and performance arts, with R.AGE as the official media partner.