Lutfi is a diplomat in Wisma Putra and deals with UN issues on a daily basis. He is a engineer by training, so naturally, likes to troubleshoot and problem-solve. He loves tech, coding and digital media. He has a keen eye for creativity and innovation and appreciates good engineering design. He enjoys the company of children and animals. He reads philosophy and theology.
Lutfi spent his childhood in Durham, UK where he grew up with his siblings and obtained his early education. After returning to KL and later excelling in his SPM and South Australian Matriculation, he obtained a scholarship to further his studies in Biotech Engineering at Massey University, NZ. It was there in Massey that he spent his formative years rediscovering Islam as a science scholar and student activist. He was the former President of the MU Malaysian Students’ Association and an ex-Residential Adviser to the MU Halls Community Group. He also regularly delivered the Friday sermon in the Islamic Centre on campus. Upon completing his studies and returning home, Lutfi had worked in various unrelated setups. His first job was in a small biomedical firm and he later moved on to work as a consultant for the Malaysian startup ecosystem. He currently works for the government at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
His achievements include winning NZ Manawatu’s esteemed MuviMac competition as Best Director and for Best Feature Film in September 2008 for a short film he directed, co-wrote and co-produced. He had the privilege of having the short film screened in Downtown Cinemas, Palmerston North’s local cinema to a public audience.
In 2010, he was invited to speak on the Salam Show, a faith-based radio show on Access Manawatu 999AM regarding the growing presence of Muslims in NZ. He spoke on faith, identity and integration of Muslims, specifically those from South East Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
He was interviewed and had featured twice on The Manawatu Standard, Palmerston North’s local newspaper in 2011. He spoke on pressing international student issues as a young student activist and representative of the university’s student council during which he highlighted social and cultural challenges faced by Malaysian students in New Zealand.
He was also a Marksman at an M4A1 shooting competition during the DPA National Defence Orientation Module where he received an award from the Brigadier-General of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division on live TV in May 2017.
Contrary to popular belief, Belwael is not his pseudonym, but his family name which hails from the southern Arab peninsula, Hadhramaut.