British High Commissioner balances diplomacy, family, and immersion in Malaysia's vibrant culture

20 Sep 2023 08:10am
British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Ailsa Terry - PHOTO BY RAFIQ REDZUAN
British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Ailsa Terry - PHOTO BY RAFIQ REDZUAN

KUALA LUMPUR – The newly appointed British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ailsa Terry adeptly juggles the realms of diplomacy, family life, and engagement with Malaysia's dynamic culture.

In an exclusive interview with Sinar, she shared her insights on managing a diplomatic role while being a dedicated mother and wife in today's world.

Ailsa, who arrived in Malaysia with her husband and four-and-a-half-year-old twins, expressed her family's genuine enthusiasm for the country.

She explained that her children began attending school for the first time last week, marking a new chapter in their lives.

When asked about the balancing act of being a High Commissioner, mother, and wife in the modern era, the diplomat emphasised the importance of support from her family and her dedicated team at the High Commission.

“I want to stress the significance of self-belief and the willingness to accept mistakes while staying true to one's own approach.

"There is of course the universal experience of an ever-growing to-do list, and the inevitability of not achieving perfection but I feel its important to give one's best," she said

“I also want to laude my husband's support and described him as a strong advocate for gender equality, who even left his job to accompany me to Malaysia and help with childcare,” she said

Ailsa said she was grateful to be given the opportunity to lead a team in a unique and dynamic environment.

“On top of that,I want to praise Malaysia's cultural diversity, a factor that resonates with me due to its similarities to the United Kingdom's multicultural landscape,” she said

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When asked about her impressions of Malaysia, the diplomat was effusive in her praise on describing the country's world-famous cuisine, including the recent accolade of Roti Canai as the best bread globally, and her personal favorites like Ice Kacang and durian.

The diplomat also commended Malaysia's vibrant cultural scene, emphasising the sense of belonging she feels due to the nation's rich tapestry of faiths and ethnic communities, which mirrors the UK's diversity.

“Lastly, I want to deeply appreciate Malaysia's stunning natural landscapes, recounting her experiences of observing monkeys and beautiful birds outside her window in Kuala Lumpur.

“My love for nature and outdoor activities has doubled and I consider it a privilege to be in a country renowned for its natural beauty,” she said with a beaming smile.

As the diplomat continues her tenure in Malaysia, her commitment to diplomatic relations, family, and cultural immersion promises to be a testament to the harmonious blending of professional and personal life in the dynamic setting of this diverse nation.