Through teenage eyes

By Anita Devasahayam

GERALD Tan, despite his tender age, has designed a lot of websites.

Gerald says that as a child, his preoccupations included examining textures and observing the impacts created by light — preoccupations which he translated to the homepages he designed.

Viewing Gerald’s repertoire of websites, one can detect a certain mood, atmosphere, style and setting.

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Highs and lows

By Anita Devasahayam

BEING the only Malaysian at MIT Media Lab’s Junior Summit was indeed exciting for Gerald Tan. Awed by personalities and armed with ideas, he had high expectations.

But he was a tad disappointed. For starters, he felt that there was a division between Asians and Caucasians, although Nation1 declared all persons to be equal — which he thought was unrealistic.

Delegates at the summit tend to talk a lot but were not getting organised, he says, adding that everyone was proposing ideas and no one was making decisions.

“I thought someone should be put in charge of Nation1, and we had to get away from the discussions and start doing stuff.”

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Our own teenage envoy

By Anita Devasahayam

NEW YORK, November 20, 1998. More than 180 heads of state and ambassadors from all over the world had gathered for the United Nations General Assembly to discuss technology issues. They’d just been interrupted, and asked to bear witness to a new UN declaration.

A young man walks up the platform, representing the teenagers of the world. He’s their official voice. He seems a bit nervous, but that fades away as soon he starts speaking. He proposes the idea, others take up the call:

“We believe in ethics rather than laws … trust, not fear,” says another teenage delegate.

The result? The establishment of Nation1 (see In.Tech, Dec 1, 1998), a “country for children” that exists in cyberspace as a forum for young people to express ideas and fight for their rights.

And the young man who stood in the front of the world? He was 16-year-old Gerald Tan Chuang Win.

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