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These are the stories of UndiMsia! 1st Bday: Partying Into A New Era of the Rakyat’s Power.
#1 Malaysiakini: Celebrities help launch UndiMsia’s guide for activists
Voter education movement UndiMsia today launched a book meant as a guide for would-be activists amid a bevy of dancers and beauty queens.
The book titled ‘Activating Malaysians: The DIY Toolkit’ has over 100 pages documenting, among others, the movement’s history and methods, as well as information about Malaysia’s institutions of power.
“This book teaches you how to build your own campaigns,” said one of the movements prime movers Edmund Bon (right).
“It teaches you how to identify your role as an activist, gives you information on how to explain to people what UndiMsia is, and most importantly it shows you how to take the ‘gameshop’ (a brainstorming workshop) steps to and try to run it for your own community.”
The launch was held in conjunction with the movement’s first anniversary celebration.
Oppa Gangnam style
Bon told Malaysiakini that UndiMsia has held many consultations over the past year about democracy, and the purpose of the book was to assemble the information, including areas that Malaysia needs to improve.
“This movement is probably the only movement that builds activists, so we concertedly build activists. We give the tools to people to go back and contribute to their own communities.
“UndiMsia itself does not have a cause. The only cause is to make our democracy more direct,” said Bon, who is also a human rights lawyer.
However, he declined to give any details on pricing and availability of book as the details are still being decided, other than that it would be available from the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights’ (MCCHR) resource centre, Bangsar, where the anniversary celebrations were held.
It kicked off shortly after 11am at with a troupe of dancers mimicking a dance made popular by a viral Korean music video ‘Oppa Gangnam style’ and several band performances, with over 100 guests in attendance.
Before the speeches began, there was also a video presentation featuring interviews of youths who appeared clueless who their political leaders are and could not even name a single minister, but responded correctly and enthusiastically when the questions were about popular movies.
One of the highlights of the day was a date auction, where the highest bidder would win a date with one of several personalities including Bon, who fetched the highest price of RM1,200.
Interestingly, the winning bid came from a male member of the audience although there were also bids from female audiences, including Bon’s mother.
When asked how he felt about fetching the highest price, Bon said, “It feels great… for the cause!”
Other potential dates on auction were actor Tony Eusoff (for a winning bid of RM320), Miss World Malaysia 2010 Nadia Heng (RM600) and FHM Girl Next Door 2010 Yvonne Sim (RM820, right) and lawyer-cum-filmmaker Seira Sacha Abu Bakar (RM800).
The RM3,740 raised through the auction are to be used to fund the resource centre and its activities.
The event ended with all guests being invited to pop balloons dangling from the ceiling, creating a sound not unlike those made by an exploding string of firecrackers.
This article, written by Koh Jun Lin was originally published in Malaysiakini on 15 September 2012 and can be found here.
#2 The Star: Lawyer ‘buys’ former Miss Malaysia for RM600
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Miss Malaysia World Nadia Heng has been “sold” for RM600 but it was no slave trade; it was an “auction” for a good cause.
Heng was among five local personalities who were “sold” to the highest bidder to raise funds for the upgrading of UndiMsia!’s resource centre. The “buyers” got to go out with the personalities on a date.
Heng said she was game for anything be it a candlelight dinner or a meal at a mamak’s stall.
“I don’t mind being sold’ off like that as it is for a good cause,” she said when met at the auction in conjunction with UndiMsia!’s one-year anniversary celebration in Bangsar here.
Lawyer Dipendra Rai, 37, put in the bid of RM600 for her. Asked where he planned to take Heng, Rai said he wanted to surprise her.
IT manager Adam Loo, 38, paid the highest price of RM1,200 and won a “date” with lawyer Edmund Bon.
Loo, Bon’s close friend, said their “date” would be their usual hangout at a mamak‘s stall and he would buy Bon roti canai and teh tarik.
“I am flattered to have got the highest bid but more importantly, I am thankful so many people have contributed for a good cause,” said Bon.
Other personalities at the auction were FHM Girl Next Door 2010 contest winner Yvonne Sim, documentary producer Seira Sacha, and actor Tony Eusoff, who were “sold” for RM820, RM800 and RM320 respectively.
The event also included performances by the band To Kill a Mockingbird and singer Emeka Agu, as well as a screening of the documentary Ombak Perubahan.
The documentary was directed by The S-Ploited, in association with Wayang Loyar Burok, and tells the history of social justice movements in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines
UndiMsia! is an initiative targeted at youths to build communities and empower citizens.
This article, written by Yvonne Lim was originally published in The Star on 16 September 2012 and can be found here.
#3 Selangor Times: UndiMsia! marks first year
Kuala Lumpur: Citizen empowerment movement UndiMsia! celebrated their first anniversary in its typical youthful style by raising funds and launching a DIY kit last Saturday.
The celebrations kicked off with a short but powerful performance by teen band To Kill A Mocking Bird before a 10-minute video was aired.
The video recollected some the citizen empowerment group’s past year’s work such as Hangatkan Langat, Jelajah Sebaran Cinta, Launch of MyMP project and Idola Demokrasi before a quick clip of well wishes was aired.
At this juncture, UndiMsia! founder and “community mover” Edmond Bon introduced their latest campaign, #DIYToolkit, to the more than 100 guests.
“Since 2008, there has been a dearth of activists as many have moved from activism to politics,” said Bon.
“The non-partisan space has also shrunk significantly as a result of this. UndiMsia! is now the only movement which builds activists.”
Using the #DIYToolkit, UndiMsia! aims to help develop more activists by arming them with the right checklist to build campaigns for effective implementation.
The toolkit is divided into five chapters containing checklists, information, history of UndiMsia! and essays on why activism is important.
Published by Loyarburok Publication, the 98-page pocket-sized guide is aimed at inviting Malaysians to get involved in movement building.
For more information on how to obtain the guidebook, email [email protected] or visit www.loyarburok.com.
When asked how many members UndiMsia! has, Bon said they have connected around 6,000 youths.
“We have community movers instead of members where anyone can come and go as they please. But through the almost 50 different workshops and gameshops conducted over the year, we have reached out to a lot of youths,” said Bon. Bon believes that training more activists is the way forward, hence the #DIYToolkit.
Meanwhile, UndiMsia! raised RM3,740 for the Pusat Rakyat LB Resource Centre.
Five celebrities – Miss World Malaysia 2010 Nadia Heng, FHM Girl Next Door 2010 winner Yvonne Sim, documentary maker Seira Sacha, actor Tony Eusoff and Bon – were “auctioned off” for dates to raise the funds.
The celebrations also featured a performance by singer Emeka Agu and the screening of Seira’s latest work “Ombak Perubahan”, which is a historical account of the social movements in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
This article was originally published in the Selangor Times on 21 September 2012 and can be found here.