18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
A Malay Union Leader That Speaks Mandarin and Loves K-Pop

Zaid is a person that is full of surprises. He literally embodies Singapore’s cultural melting pot – born Malay, speaks mandarin and loves Korean pop. A common misconception among the general public is that a Union Leader should be someone stern, and generally, doesn’t go to concerts.

We shatter these misconceptions with Zaid. Here's how Zaid strikes the balance and in fact, you will eventually realise how charismatic and big hearted this young Union Leader is.

1.    What’s your daily work like?

I have been with The American Club for the past 8 years. On a daily basis, I manage the operations and member enquiries for the Business Center and Library. My job scope revolves around responding to members’ feedback in an appropriate and timely manner and also provide assistance to members enquiries pertaining to library reading materials, movies, reservations, library events, etc.

2.    Since you’re working in Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union (AREU) indsutry, does your job scope require you to be outgoing and extroverted? Do you have any tips for introverts who would like to try out your kind of job?

As the AREU industry is heavily customer-oriented, it definitely requires the person on the job to be outgoing. That being said, an introvert could still try out the job if he/she is willing to break out of their shell as the job requires them to network and interact with different people on a daily basis.

One tip that introverts can use to become more outgoing would be to find one extrovert friend and they will path a way for you! ;)

3.    What do you do as a Union Leader and how long have you been volunteering at Young NTUC?

I have been volunteering at Young NTUC for almost 4 years now. What I do as a Union Leader is to champion for youth-related issues. One of the championing activities I’m a part of right now is to create a partnership with nEbO, the junior membership arm of the Labour Movement (NTUC). It is a lifestyle club that actively reaches out to youth aged 12-25.

By partnering and creating a synergy with the youths in nEbO, hopefully, they will join Young NTUC when they leave nEbO at 25 years old. This ensures they will always have a supportive community with them as they go through the different life-stages.

4.    Please share with us some of your highlights volunteering at Young NTUC.

In my earliest years volunteering at Young NTUC, one of my service learning journeys was to volunteer in an orphanage in Vietnam where my team was tasked to plan some game activities for the kids in the orphanage.

My team planned a simple game of bowling for the kids. My highlights came when I saw the kids with their overjoyed faces, enjoying the game we planned for them. Through the games, I come to realize how simple joy could be achieved. That afternoon was definitely a day I hold close to my heart.

I am sure many of you has seen how COVID-19 has brought about many disruptions to our lives, and I am really thankful for the frontline workers who have been contributing their all to keep Singapore running. Together with the Labour Movement, I was able to join in many volunteering opportunities to help pack care packs and sanitisers for our taxi drivers, private hire drivers, healthcare workers and migrant workers. It is times like this that we must stand strong together. Each of us can play a part!

5.    What do you wish to see more in Young NTUC?

I wish to see more active participation and to bring more youths on board with us. It will allow us to get to know them better and to build camaraderie.

6.    So, we heard you like IU. Why do you like her and does she in any way impact your life?

Well, I like her because she is cute and a very down to earth person as she came from a poor family background. During her initial days of being a singer, she tried to audition many times but failed, and eventually managed to get into her current agency after countless tries.  

Her resilient attitude has impacted my life, so I strive to be resilient in whatever I do.

"There is nothing permanent except change." – Zaid’s favourite quote.

Editor: As Zaid is a self-declared “hardcore fan” of IU, we decided to give him a quiz to test him on his knowledge of his favourite idol. Well, let’s just say that he rightfully earned his title. You can find the quiz that we prepared for him at the end of this interview.

7.    Please complete this sentence “To me, Young NTUC is...”

To me, Young NTUC is like a second family. As cliché as it sounds, whenever I need someone to talk to, they will reply me almost instantly whenever I drop them a text. Together as one family, we joint hands to extend help to those in need. We worked hard to ensure our young workers stay protected. We play hard too, outside work, we gather to have fun (haha, I love mahjong! It's a good time for me to catch up with them too). During these times, it really feels like we are a family!


Here's the short quiz we tested Zaid on!

1.    What is IU’s Real name?
Lee Ji-eun (Correct)

2.    What was IU’s cast name in Hotel del Luna?
Jang Man-wol (Correct)

3.    Tell us any 3 films or drama that IU acted in beside Hotel del Luna
Dream High, Persona and You Are the Best Decision (Correct)

4.    How tall is IU?
164cm (Correct)

5.    How many auditions did IU try before she got into by her current agency?
(Zaid guessed 13, but the correct answer is 20!)