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‘LORONG The Musical’ sheds light on stories which remain in the dark due to social stigma
Thursday, June 07, 2012 - 15:28
by Meena Lakshana
LIFE in Chow Kit Road is hard. Around the corner from the glittering glass and concrete highrise buildings in the financial district of Kuala Lumpur lies a seedy part of town where residents try to cope with the intricacies of illicit sex and drugs with authentic human emotion and prejudices.
A musical by Yayasan Chow Kit, called LORONG The Musical and staged from May 29 to 31 at The Actors Studio in Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur, tried to encapsulate that complexity.
Written and directed by 20-year-old student Awaludin Jalalus Shuti, 20, the musical was not for those with a liking for high-brow plots and storylines weaved with sociological theory.
This was a musical with a social consciousness attached to it and the cause behind the musical is an inherent aspect to its importance.
The children who performed in the musical are street children themselves, rescued by Yayasan Chow Kit to be given a healthy childhood. Awaludin himself was a street kid but is now pursuing his studies at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Polytechnic Institute in Shah Alam.
Yayasan Chow Kit, established last year, is an organisation which aims to assist street children, offering them education, therapy, food and most importantly, positive opportunities in life. The organisation has three centres which serve as refuges for street children.
Its staff managed to clinch a RM20,000 grant from 1Malaysia Development Berhad under the Sejuta Impian programme in TV3 to stage a musical which, first and foremost, was a way to constructively channel the energies of these afflicted children.
It was also a way to collect funds to sustain the organisation’s creative arts programme next year. It is hard to ignore such an impetus when viewing the musical.
The musical’s story was simple: an abandoned child, Adi (played by Muhammad Khairul), is picked up and raised by a transvestite, Wanie (Hasrul Hasli Hamzah). Adi has trouble making friends due to his parent’s job as a sex worker but manages to be friends with an emphatic boy, Rejab (Muhamad Phaizal).
However, a jealous boy, Jali (Muhamad Hamafi ) attempts to ruin the friendship of Adi and Rejab and manages to do so, but with dire consequences.
Despite its rough execution and lack of complexity, LORONG The Musical was a charmer. From the Sudirman songs to Malay numbers from the 1950s to lagu jiwang from the early 1990s, it was adorable.
The child actors were the highlight of the show as their singing, dancing and acting were carried out with aplomb and enthusiasm.
The musical tugs at the heart in sporadic moments — especially when Wanie attempts to leave the sex industry for his child’s sake but meets a fatal end — and gleans smiles from the audience when children dance to Sudirman’s Chow Kit Road number.
Awaludin should be commended for treating Wanie’s story with a lot of grace and respect.
Clearly, it was constructed in an effort to shed light on the stories hidden beneath the veneer of the area and to strip away the prejudices leveled at sex workers and street children.
This was apparent throughout the musical as Wanie shares her hopes, dreams and fears with the audience but is later killed by a pimp who tries to extort her for leaving the sex industry.
The redeeming quality of the story rests with Rejab who grows to be a successful entrepreneur in the food and beverage industry.
Despite the amateur feel to the play, LORONG The Musical managed to tug the heart strings of the audiences and shed light on the stories that are all too familiar, but remain in the dark due to social stigma.
I was first introduced to Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) through a short volunteering stint with another charity organisation back in 2012. With a group of volunteers, I remember visiting a centre under YCK. I was too occupied with work and other personal commitments back then that my volunteering involvement took a back seat. But at that time, I took with me the knowledge of the existence of YCK and the noble community efforts directed especially towards the urban poor and at-risk kids and teenagers around the Chow Kit area.
In 2014, I grabbed the chance to volunteer, and this time around, through YCK. Of course I was admittedly anxious about setting aside few months of my unpaid leave of absence from my workplace to do pro bono work pending commencement of my postgraduate study. I am grateful to have supportive family and work supervisor behind this surprising decision of mine. However, realistically speaking, months without income and the depleting savings for the expenses; who would not worry? But I can say that it was worth it.
My volunteering stint at YCK for approximately 5 calendar months turned out to be a fulfilling learning experience. I was teaching groups of refugees and local kids at two centres under YCK. As much as I hope that I have contributed something to the students, I for sure have learned and received a lot from teaching them. I gained new perspective. I learnt about life, patience, unity and compassion. I learnt to better understand the harsh truth of the struggling side of the social economic divide and how it affects opportunities (ever heard about the cycle of poverty?). At the same time, I feel blessed to witness and appreciate the flowering hope of change and progress that are continuously watered and nurtured by (among others) the in-house teachers, social workers and other full-time staffs at YCK. I learnt to really appreciate their contributions.
I believe that the cycle of poverty can be broken through education for the underprivileged. This kind of journey won’t be all nice and dandy and can be exhausting and tiring at times, especially when you do not see any change right there and then. But it dawned upon me that one person couldn’t change the world, alone. It is a collaboration of so many people working together. The final outcome might not be evident or obvious, but in a bigger picture, you might have already been a part of that progressive chain. And the take-away lessons taken from the volunteering experience at YCK are of very precious value. And I guess… those are things that really matter.
I have always believed that volunteering is not just about giving and contributing.
THANK YOU Yayasan Chow Kit for the amazing opportunity and medium for me to “give” and “teach” and at the same time to “receive” and “learn”.
February to June 2014
(From left) Dutch Lady head of corporate communications Jad Mahidin, Poise Organic Wellness Studio’s Connie Lim, Yayasan Chow Kit admin executive Nor Farha Ismail, Parveen Yassin, Smart Parents Network Zaid Mohamad, Akido Shudokan Malaysia chief instructor Dr Ramlan Ahmed, Scala director Derwick Chaang and Gullian Wong with items from the high-tea spread. Pic by Sugumaran Suppiah
By C. PREMANANTHINI | firstname.lastname@example.org
KUALA LUMPUR: THE Malaysian Working Mothers Forum (MWMF), a non-profit organisation, is organising a charity high-tea event on Nov 3 for all women.
Sponsored by various corporate companies, the theme for the event is "Fab, Fit and Fresh".
The high-tea will be held at the Carcosa Seri Negara, from 2pm to 6.30pm with a RM85 fee. A host of activities including talks and workshops will be carried out by selected speakers.
The speakers are Datuk Fazley Yaakob, Zaid Mohamad, Dr Ramlan Ahmed from Aikido Shudokan Malaysia, television host Sazzy Falak and her husband, Nash Idrus.
Some of the talks will cover topics on parenting, tips on financial planning for married couples and a short demonstration on self-defence.
There will also be mini-pampering treatments like makeovers, as well as lucky draws.
MWMF was launched by Dutch Lady Malaysia Industries Bhd in February last year as an online forum catering to working mothers.
The network acts as a platform to encourage working mothers with multiple roles to gather as well share their views on the challenges and experience that they faced each day.
MWMF executive director, Parveen Yassin, said the online forum was first set up to unite all working mothers in the country to discuss issues they encounter in their lives.
Parveen said in today's world, most women are pre-occupied and hardly spend time with their families. "As you can see, more and more women are in the workforce. Having to confront and compete in the corporate world, working mothers need to juggle multiple roles and find it hard to manage their time with work and family," she said.
"So this online forum was introduce to be a platform for these women to address the issues that they come across. To become a member of the forum, all they have to do is go to our Facebook page and click the 'like' button."
Parveen added that although the forum emphasises working mothers, women who are single or housewives can also participate.
"So far, we have 3,000 members in the forum and we welcome more to join us.
"Meanwhile, this high-tea event is limited to only the first 100 to register. We welcome spouses and boyfriends to join in for a more harmonious relationship with their womenfolk," she said.
"Part of the collection will go towards to Yayasan Chow Kit, to benefit the street children. We are targeting to raise at least RM3,000."
Parveen said if the response was good, the event could become an annual affair.
To register, visit www.facebook.com/malaysianworkingmothersforum or www.myworkingmothersforum.com. The registration ends this month.
The sponsors for the event are Body Shop Malaysia, Avon Malaysia, Dutch Lady, Scala Bio International Sdn Bhd and Poise Organic Wellness Studio.
Read more: Staying 'fab, fit and fresh' - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/staying-fab-fit-and-fresh-1.157338#ixzz2HMB9XpIz
KUALA LUMPUR: Representatives of nonprofit-organisation Malaysian Working Mothers Forum (MWMF) paid a visit to KL Krash Pad, the premises of Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) recently.It's part of MWMF's quest to network with NGOs that share similar family-oriented objectives.
MWMF also donated RM5,000 to YCK, which it had pledged through the hosting of a members-only event.
"While we organised an interactive programme to empower members for the new year, we also aimed to undertake a charitable project on the side," said MWMF executive director Parveen Yassin.
"YCK, with its affiliation with children and commitment to extending them as much knowledge and support as possible to aim for a better future, is the closest to our hearts.
"Most MWMF members are mothers and working women. Through their participation in the recently concluded event, they have indirectly extended a helping hand."
With the theme "Fab, Fit & Fresh for 2013!", the gathering was a runaway success, marking the first time that MWMF members got to meet each other face-to-face, instead of the usual Internet communications via Facebook and MWMF's website.
The afternoon's programme featured activities such as mini workshops on a range of topics presented by Datuk Fazley Yaakob, Nazril Idrus, Ramlan Ahmed and Encik Zaid Mohamad.
There were also make-up tips from representatives of Avon Malaysia, hand and shoulder massages by Poise Organic Wellness Studio, cellulite tips by Scala Bio Malaysia, fashion and jewellery by SFbySazzyFalak, Sakura Malaysia and Oxoloco.
The exclusive afternoon programme was co-hosted by celebrity Sazzy Falak and Parveen at Carcosa Seri Negara.
"What can be more important than children in today's world, and careful nurturing for a better tomorrow?" said Parveen.
"Through this event, MWMF members can help these children to have a brighter future. Initially, we aimed to collect around RM3,000 through this first-time event, but we have been blessed with such a great turnout that we were able to surpass the target and provide RM5,000 for YCK's programmes."
YCK chief operations officer Syirin Junisya Mohd Ali said: "We are delighted with this contribution from the Malaysian Working Mothers Forum.
"It means a lot to our work in child protection and development. We hope corporate bodies will follow this example and give back to society."
Also present were Dutch Lady Malaysia representatives.
MWMF has 3,230 members. For details visit www.facebook.com/malaysianworkingmothersforum or www.myworkingmothersforum.com.
Read more: Working mothers forum helps foundation - Central - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/working-mothers-forum-helps-foundation-1.187122#ixzz306aEQHnS
By Josephine Annie
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Working Mother's Forum (MWMF) organised its inaugural Charity Hi-Tea themed "Fab, Fit & Fresh for 2013" for more than 100 of its members from the Klang Valley recently.
Held at the Carcosa Seri Negara, MWMF executive director Parveen Yassin said the event was to raise funds for Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) and to create a platform for the working mothers to meet up, network and share experiences amongst each other.
The event saw the members participating in four different workshops which included educational talks as well as a cooking and a self-defence demonstrations.
There were a sumptuous spread of snacks and free flow of coffee and tea. There was also a lucky draw offering prizes like Samsung Tablet, Samsung Note and free stays at Carcosa Seri Negara.
The five-hour charity high-tea raised an unexpected RM5,000, more than the forum's targetted RM3,000.
Read more: WORKING MUMS GET TOGETHER - Central - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/working-mums-get-together-1.180005#ixzz2Ej1GzxJS
THE inaugural Charity Hi-Tea organised recently by the Malaysian Working Mother's Forum (MWMF), with the theme of Fab, Fit & Fresh for 2013, saw more than 100 of its members from the Klang Valley turn up at the Carcosa Seri Negara, here.
KUALA LUMPUR: MWMF executive director, Parveen Yassin, said the event was held to raise funds for Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) as well as to create a platform for the working mothers to meet up, network and share their various roles as a career woman, wife, partner, mother and many more amongst each other.
During the high-tea, the members were split in two groups to participate in four different workshops, which included two educational talks, a cooking session and a self-defence demonstration.
Lucky draws saw exciting prizes like Samsung Tablet, Samsung Note and two-day/one-night stay in Carcosa Seri Negara given away to lucky winners.
With the support of its members, the Charity Hi-Tea exceeded the targeted amount of RM3,000 for YCK and fetched an unexpected RM5,000 during the five-hour gathering.
Celebrity host Sazzy Falak did the ice-breaker session during the inaugural forum, followed by a birthday celebration for November-born members, where a surprise cake-cutting ceremony was held.
Key speakers during the educational talks were Zaid Mohamad from SmartParents.com.my who spoke on "The Gift of Love -- iPhones or iLove U?" and Nazril Idrus and Sazzy Falak, a husband-and-wife team, who presented on "Cents & Sensibility: Managing Money in Marriage".
While Datuk Fazley Yaakob held a cooking demonstration on how to prepare a healthy salad and dessert, Dr Ramlan Ahmed Sensei of Aikido Shudokan Malaysia held a "Don't Panic, Be Alert Self-Defence" demonstration and taught the women some defence tips should they be attacked by strangers.
Amid a free flow of tea, coffee and snacks throughout the workshops, the women had the opportunity to pamper themselves with beauty sessions by Avon Malaysia, back and shoulder massages from Poise Organic Wellness Studio, and tips on scaling the body and decreasing cellulites from Scala Bio Malaysia.
They also bought fashion apparels and batik bags from SF by Sazzy Falak & Sakura and handmade jewellery pieces by Oxoloco, among others.
Other sponsors for the event were Dutch Lady Malaysia, The Body Shop, King's Confectionery Sdn Bhd, MPH, Royce Chocolate, Kumpulan Karangkraf and Wanita Magazine.
PETALING JAYA: A TOTAL of RM140,980 was donated to 17 welfare homes and organisations, here, recently.
The funds were raised through the "Be The Difference" campaign initiated by Groupon Malaysia, Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation and GRIM Film. The campaign ran from Oct 29 to Nov 11. The funds will be used to pay for the daily expenses of the homes and the development projects of the organisations.
Groupon Southeast Asia and India general manager Joel Neoh handed the cheques to the representatives of Malaysian Nature Society, Dyslexia Malaysia, Yayasan Chow Kit, St Barnabas Home, Shepherd's Centre Foundation, HOPE Worldwide Malaysia, Kiwanis Job Training Centre, Rumah Kasih Nurul Hasanah, Precious Children Home, Rumah Hope, SPCA Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Sawarak SPCA, House of Joy, Good Samaritan Home, Shelter Home for Children, SPCA Selangor and Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better.
Neoh said it was their fifth campaign and each year they organised campaigns for charity homes and NGOs.
"There were other initiatives that we held early this year which were with Unicef, World Food Programme, HOPE Worldwide and World Vision Malaysia," he said.
He said the campaign aimed to encourage Malaysians to help charitable causes.
He said the Internet was a powerful medium of communication and had the potential to achieve more than just business success.
"Usually people are very cautious in disseminating their credit card details when making online transactions," said Neoh. "But we didn't expect the campaign would receive overwhelming response from Malaysians.
"It shows how social e-commerce can inspire Malaysians to take meaningful action."
He said they wanted to prove that group-buying was beneficial to the community.
"This fact has been proven through our campaign.
"We are motivated and will continue to advocate for deserving causes in the country."
Neoh added that it was done through a microsite introduced by Groupon.
Neoh said Malaysians had more than 300 hours to contribute to the local charities which were chosen by the 17 finalists of Miss Universe Malaysia 2013.
KUALA LUMPUR: Groupon Malaysia, Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation and Grim Film have announced a collaborative effort towards the "Be the Difference" fundraising campaign which encourages Malaysians to help charitable causes.
"The campaign aims to demonstrate to society that with greater awareness, simplicity of modern technology and a little bit of generosity, a lot can be achieved in improving the lives and wellbeing of those less fortunate," said Joel Neoh, vice-president and general manager of Groupon Southeast Asia and India.
He added that with the tremendous popularity of group-buying in Malaysia, the team at Groupon felt compelled to support those in need as a community service as the platform had proven itself extremely effective.
"By collaborating with Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation and Grim Film, we hope to further demonstrate the potential of group-buying power, beyond that of personal or financial gain. It is a phenomenon that can and has made a difference in the lives of individuals, and more and more Malaysians will come to appreciate the potential of what can be achieved when we all come together," said Neoh.
Through a special microsite hosted by Groupon, Malaysians will have more than 300 hours to contribute to 17 separate causes chosen by the 17 finalists of Miss Universe Malaysia 2013.
The proceeds generated by campaign will be channeled directly to these charitable organisations.
The selected organisations are Shelter Home for Children, Hope Worldwide, Rumah Hope, SPCA Selangor, Kiwanis Job Training Centre, Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better, Rumah Kasih Nurul Hasanah, Dyslexia Malaysia, the House of Joy, the Good Samaritan House, the Shepherd's Centre Foundation, the Saint Barnabas Home, the Precious Children Home, SPCA Sabah, SPCA Sarawak, Malaysian Nature Society and Yayasan Chow Kit.
"Miss Universe Malaysia has a proud history of supporting communities and creating greater awareness around issues which matter in our society. The diversity of charities selected reflect the views and issues that matter to our 17 finalists, and we hope Malaysians will join us in 'being the difference' to those in need," said Andrea Fonseka, national director of Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation.
The "Be the Difference" microsite will feature the 17 different causes until Nov 11. For more details and to contribute, visit http://mumo.groupon.my
Read more: Groupon hosts microsite to raise funds for 17 causes - Central - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/groupon-hosts-microsite-to-raise-funds-for-17-causes-1.165233#ixzz2FTGx5whc