Journey to Antartica

THIS NOVEMBER, the All Women Expedition to Antarctica (AWETA) 2018 will embark on a journey to the southernmost continent as part of an initiative of Malaysia's All Women Empowerment To Accelerate Secretariat.

Th expedition will be led by Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir, the first Malaysian woman to complete the Polar Hat Trick, after conquering the South Pole in 2004, the North Pole in 2007, and Greenland in 2011.

A total of 19 candidates for the expedition team have been shortlisted from a pool of 70, and recently underwent a unique training simulation over the weekend at Snow World in Resorts World Genting.

The candidates set up a 'base camp' at Snow World, exposing themselves to sub-zero temperatures for a total of 72 hours, set at -6°C or lower, with fake snow released at night to siumulate the harsh environment they may potentially face in Antarctica.

The training camp at Snow World served as the first step of the expedition's intensive cold weather training programme. The candidates also underwent a rigorous set of challenges to test their strength and skills, which were recorded for a reality programme which will be broadcast at a later date.

The event was attended by the Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Genting Malaysia Berhad deputy chair Mohammed Hanif Omar, Cecilia Lim, wife to Genting Malaysia chairman Lim Kok Tay, and Noorizah Abd Hamid, project director of AWETA.

Mohammed Hanif said: "We are honoured to be chosen as one of the venues for AWETA 2018, as we at Resorts World Genting fully support the initiative to empower Malaysian women.

"The ambition of this initiative, which is to create new role models for young Malaysian women in the Malaysia Boleh spirit, is admirable.

"They say that 'women of the world support half the sky'. Well, now these brave women can now do their part in supporting the future of Malaysia underneath the Antarctic sky."

A total of five successful candidates, with two reserves, will be selected to undergo further intensive training, both in Malaysia for up to five months and overseas in Norway and Greenland for a month.

Expedition leader Sharifah said: "Achieving one's dream is no easy task. One will face challenges that will test their strength along the way, whether it be mentally, emotionally, physically, socially or spiritually.

"But by having a very focused mind, one will achieve their goals even in the coldest weather."

She added: "We are very pleased to partner with Resorts World Genting as this mission of four days three nights in Snow World will certainly help us find the top five ladies to join me at the Antarctica this November."

Upon arrival at Hercules Inlet near Base Camp Patriot Hills on the continent of Antartica, the expedition group will then traverse on a winter journey of some 1100km within 55 days to the South Pole.

There, they will retrieve the time capsule placed at the Pole by Sharifah in 2004, and place a new time capsule with the Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) mandate envisioned by Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak, to be retrieved by future generations of Malaysian women.