KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 – Excitement is in the air at Universiti Malaya as participants and guests await the arrival of President Barack Obama on Sunday. Some 400 are here for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) townhall meeting, of which 103 are participants of the YSEALI workshop, representing 10 countries. Many dressed to their nines in anticipation of meeting the man himself, up close and personal. The scorching sun did not dent the spirits of those present despite some having to wait in the heat for at least 30 minutes before they were cleared to enter the hall. The event, is expected to start about 4pm but the hall is already packed to the brim as early as 2.30pm. Some even took time to take a selfie or pictures with their friends.
Obama will address the crowd before taking questions. The entire event is expected to last about an hour. Guests include the US Government exchange alumni from Malaysia as well as university students. This is not the first time Obama is holding such a townhall meeting. During a visit to Shanghai in 2009, the president hosted a meeting with Chinese university students.The YSEALI is a brainchild of Obama to build relationships across South-East Asia through the engagement of young people. Twenty of the 100 youths from the 10 Asean nations selected to attend the townhall session are Malaysians.