Malaysian undergrad gets invite to Trump inauguration

GEORGE TOWN - Asher Paul Ang may be just 18 but the undergraduate from Rawang, Selangor, could well be the youngest Malay­sian invited to the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

Ang, who is in his third year of a four-year Political Science bachelor's degree programme at the Dal­­las Baptist Uni­ver­sity in Texas, re­ceived an exclusive ticket to tomorrow's historical event at the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

"I am blessed with this lifetime op­portunity to represent my university's College Republicans Club, of which I am the newly-elected president.

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"Over a million people are expected to attend the inauguration. But, the ticket I have permits me a seat at Union Square which is right behind the VIP area for congressmen.

"This ticket is usually priced at US$600 (S$850) or more," he told The Star in a telephone interview from Dallas yesterday.

Ang, who joined the club when he entered the university in 2015, said it was a gratifying reward because he and fellow club members had worked as volunteer telephone canvassers during the presidential election campaign.

He said apart from taking snapshots and videos of the historic event, he hoped to be able to network with fellow College Republicans and possibly meet some notable VIPs.

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"It may be difficult to meet Pre­sident Trump but if I get the chance, I'll ask for a 'wefie' with him.

"I also hope to ask him about his perspective on strengthening diplomatic relations with Malaysia and other ASEAN countries," he said.

Ang, who will be taking a three-hour flight from Dallas to Washing­ton, said he was also invited to attend three balls this evening.

The first is in conjunction with the College Republicans National Con­ven­tion, the second is the Asian Pacific American Presidential Inau­gu­ral Gala, and the third, the Black and Gold Ball hosted by the Young Republicans.

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"I will be graduating in May next year. After which, I plan to attend law school and to specialise in civil law. But, my ultimate dream is to become a diplomatic ambassador and political adviser.

"I strongly believe that politics is an excellent way to influence policies for people, as well as to bring about positive changes that can be­­nefit the masses," he said.

Being able to attend the presidential inauguration and being exposed to the US political scene will be an educational experience, he said.

He hopes to apply what he learns from it in Malaysia.