When purple bananas will be waiting
Some of you have climbed up four flights of stairs to the new Pusat Rakyat LoyarBurok situated at Jalan Bangsar Utama 3. Well done (and hope you’re still breathing)! Be rest assured that you will reap the reward in due time as Lord Bobo’s annointed one once said, “If you have not climbed those stairs and sweat by the end of it, then you won’t understanding or appreciate the rakyat’s struggles.”
I have struggled every day and I am still waiting for my reward.
Those who have been to the centre will notice that apart from the sanctioned black and white graffiti (or what I personally call Words of Wisdom) against a red wall, solid wood flooring, one gigantic television (not the flat screen type, mind you) that took six strappy LoyarBurokkers to carry (a thousand purple bananas will be waiting for them in cyberspace), four rehabilitated book shelves, several personal desktop computers that need to be reprogrammed, two printers, one fax machine, one bean bag, half a mannequin, six foldable tables and about twenty coffee-stained shrivel chairs, there is really nothing else at the centre in terms of furnishing. All items have been generously donated by various people and we thank them for helping us equip the centre.
Unfortunately, it is still pretty much a work in progress.
When no means no
I’ve been surreptitiously told on several occasions of the reactions shown by a few people who had come to the centre for the first time.
“Errrr….this is the famous Pusat Rakyat ah? Why is it in such a dodgy place one ah?” (Folks, just because there is a traditional massage parlour downstairs does not mean it’s a dodgy place. There is however two law firms in the same building.)
“Hmmm….it’s way too small. I’m not sure it can fit more than 100 people. Plus, it’s like on the fourth floor! Who the hell would want to climb up all those stairs?!” (Hey, if only you care to use some imagination, you’ll be able to manipulate space to serve your purpose. Plus, who else gives you free workout but LoyarBurok? Show some gratitude, please.)
And of course, the classic ones which I’ve had to endure:
A: “You got ladder or not?”
Me: “Sorry, ah. No.”
B: “You got any chairs that don’t have wheels, ah?”
Me: “Errr…sorry. That’s all we got.”
C: “Do you have a photocopier machine?” “What about a fax machine?”
Me: “No.” “Yes, but no splitter yet.”
D: “Don’t have door bell, ah? What about intercom?”
After awhile, it feels as if I am just playing hard to get.
When it’s time to ask
As we begin to receive more and more request to use the centre, we have also begun to see the need to further equip the centre quickly. After all, if it’s going to be a hub and safe space (no, I’m not talking about the Fort Knox type of safe) for youths and civil society organisations to carry out activities, we must start to look for ways on how we can improve the centre together. Most of us envision the centre to be open, warm, cozy and clean. You know, a place where little apes hobble in, play, learn and come out as upstanding men/women.
As you all know, being a non-profit entity, we are relying on funding, donations and sales of merchandise to run the centre. At the moment, we do not have sufficient funds to purchase more furniture and other basic appliances. The little money that we have will be spent on something of more value like a projector and sound system. We could not “ask Lord Bobo” because His Eminenceness does not believe in giving us money. The only legit tender His Eminenceness believes in is purple banana. (The last time I asked the electrician whether I could reward his work with purple bananas, he thought I was trying to be naughty with him.)
But Lord Bobo believes that if we ask, we shall receive.
So here I am, inspired by His Eminenceness’ wise words and writing to ask for all the good people who are reading this to go home and start ransacking your storage room and under your bed to find whether there is anything worth giving away.
The items below are some of what we need:
(Please make sure that the items you wish to donate are in decent and working conditions. We’re not a junkyard, ok)
While I’m on a roll here, we’re also looking for an artist/painter who is willing to draw and paint the LoyarBurok logo at the entrance of the centre. Imagine, this could one day go down in the history of Malaysia and you would be the one responsible for painting the first physical logo (OK, that’s just a “bon-con” tactic. Oops! I’ve been told that the word “bon-con” is derogatory and I shouldn’t use it but hell, I’m the CEM).
When it’s time to put things into actions
So, if you have the things we need and would like to donate them to the centre, please take a picture of the item(s) and email it to [email protected]. Remember, any freebies in the form of Jose Cuervo tequila, Herman Miller ergonomics chair and Espressione espresso coffee machine with lifetime supply of Illy dark roast coffee will be received with beary big hugs (note, I don’t do hugs).
This is a personal message from the Chief Executive Minion