LoyarBurok, one of Malaysia’s most popular blogs, or ‘blawg’ as the founders would have it, recently opened its own community centre, the ‘Pusat Rakyat LB’ at Bangsar Utama here in Kuala Lumpur.  The LB centre is also known as the ‘Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights’.

5520169168_027cc3350b_bThis centre represents LB’s first venture outside of its cyberspace existence, said K Shanmuga (left), one of LB’s six founders. “We thought we needed to move beyond the online arena, into something more concrete; a place through which we can help educate the country’s voters on issues,” he said.

Shanmuga said the LB community centre is open to all members of the public. “We are especially hoping that the NGOs will now have a space where they can hold meetings, for example. “This should be a safe space for people to come and have chat about on-going issues,” he added.

The funds to maintain the centre, Shanmuga said, are being provided by the 200-odd LoyarsBurok who are part of the movement now.

“We are trying to do some merchandising, the proceeds from which will be used to maintain this centre,” he said.

Fellow founder Edmund Bon warned that the process of raising awareness of grassroots issues is not a quick one. “We know that Malaysians are an impatient lot, but this is a slow process. We are not doing it for the next election; it is a long-term project,” he emphasised.

The centre is also equipped with an orange wall called ‘Coretan Dinding Rakyat’ (The People’s Musing Wall), where members of the public are allowed to chalk down their hopes and rumbles about a better Malaysia.


(This is an edited version of a report by KomunitiKini,  which first appeared on komunitikini.com on 21 March 2011)

Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) is a non-profit based in Kuala Lumpur with the mission of promoting active democratic participation and human rights awareness.

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