Volunteers were having a quick breakfast | Photo by Chee Yern

UndiMsia! Community Mover, Wong Chee Yern writes about her experience while helping out at the Hangatkan Langat photo exhibition and competition on 31 March 2012.

I went to my first ever UndiMsia! Chats on the last Saturday of February this year and was not expecting a group of people sitting down cross-legged in a circle, chatting. That was not the end of my surprise. I was coerced by my lovely friends to join the organising committee of a photo project called Hangatkan Langat! – “Kediaman Idaman Saya” (“My Ideal Home”) at the end of UndiMsia! Chats. I had no clue of what the campaign was about.

I soon discovered that it was actually a photo competition and exhibition for youth. Participants were grouped in teams and required to take photos of houses or anything else to portray their interpretation of their dream or ideal houses. The simple objective of this competition is to raise awareness of housing issues in Hulu Langat.

After weeks of preparation, we reached Hulu Langat at 10pm on the night before the actual event took place to set up the venue. Dewan Dato’ Nazir in Batu 14, Hulu Langat serves as a community centre for local and nearby residents. The residents were engaged in an intense session of badminton practice on that night. The players, although curious about our presence, did not mind us. While shuttlecocks whizzed past us at dizzying speeds, we managed to prep up our venue within two hours.


Volunteers were having a quick breakfast

In the next morning, we arrived early to make sure everything in its place before the doors opened at 10.30 am. We had a quick breakfast and waited in anticipation for people to arrive. To vote, the public first had to register themselves and were then given a sticker to cast their vote. Lost stickers could not be replaced. This could prevent them from voting twice and to promote a clean and fair voting system. UndiMsia! logo was stamped on their hands upon registration to avoid them from voting for the second time. Three teams participated and each team was given a colour – Red, Blue and Green as identification. To vote for the team, the public had to place their sticker on the coloured voting board that was placed beside the team’s photo exhibition.


Voting for Red Team!

Our Guest of Honour, YB Dr. Che Rosli Che Mat is a Member of Parliament of Hulu Langat. The teams were required to do a presentation on their photos. They explained what the pictures represented and the relations with “Kediaman Idaman Saya”. There were some really good and interesting photos, one, in particular, that caught my attention was ‘picture-ception’ or a picture within a picture. After the MP voted for his favourite team, all votes received by each team were counted. At the end of the event, Blue Team was declared as the winner of the photo competition which based on simple majority votes. Each member of the winning team received a camera and all the participants were awarded with Certificate of Participation.


Blue Team won!

In my opinion, I think Hangatkan Langat! “Kediaman Idaman Saya” was a successful youth event despite the limited time spent organising and publicising it. The people who came to the event showed positive feedback to the competition and UndiMsia! As for me, I learnt a lot of things, such as discovering the best way to get to Bangsar from Kajang in the middle of rush-hour traffic and gaining more confidence in communicating with strangers – the thing I’ve been struggling with for a few years. I had given chances to do things I could never do in my daily life, such as illegally and gleefully posting up posters on bus stops and telephone booths, effectively covering those “Ah Long” ads. Banners were also set up while we tried to ignore the fact that we had caught some attention and stares from passersby and cars. However, we learnt to avoid that by simply setting up banners at night when there were fewer cars on the road.

I had a great time helping out with this project and so glad meeting amazing and wonderful people whom I worked together for the past few weeks.  Looking forward to joining UndiMsia! upcoming events!


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.