Can we push them over the finishing line?
By Karamjit Singh August 6, 2012
- Malaysians have shown time and time again that they have generous hearts
- Yet they don’t seem keen to fund creative projects, which is a real shame
OVER a month after reporting on PitchIN, Malaysia’s inaugural crowd-funding attempt to get the public to chip in for creative projects that they can relate to or just want to support for various other reasons, I finally pitched in myself.
I fear, however, it could be too late. Only one of the seven projects has crossed the 50% funding target with some still at 2% of the amount to be raised. That is a real shame in a country whose citizens collectively came up with RM300,000 to fund the “live” telecast of a number of football matches in the 1982 World Cup and whose media regularly launch funds to help disaster victims overseas and for treatment of serious ailments of their fellow Malaysians.
And just recently (July 30) Groupon Malaysia announced that Malaysians had contributed RM110,040 within 12 days in the recently concluded “Donate RM10 for Nutritious Food for a Child and Family in Asia” campaign in support of World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine 2012 project.
Perhaps the thought of chipping in for projects that range from a book on branding, a comic book on folklore hero Badang, a docudrama on Ipoh and other interesting creative projects do not connect with us enough.
But they should. Surely all those Ipoh-mali folks will be keen to see the outcome of such a project. Or those who remember growing up reading about Badang.
The book on branding at first looks to be a bit of a strange choice to be included in the inaugural list of crowd-funding projects, but the author clearly knows she will be measured up against branding books by some globally known experts on the subject. Yet, she is bravely putting her thoughts on the subject out there. That is gutsy.
Surely we can support some of these interesting people and their projects. It only takes as little as US$1 (RM3.12). The dollar is used as the denomination because the campaign promoters want to make it easy for anyone around the world to chip in.
There is also an animation series which is about the fantasy-adventure life of a boy undergoing a transformative learning process in his life, a digital graphic novel about a boy on a quest to save his village from a group of evil people who are determined to destroy it, and a travelogue that combines the use of visuals and illustrations interwoven with storytelling.
Let me highlight the seventh effort, and only because this initiative has to hit its target in four days or the attempt will fail. I have not met Adrian Yeo before and am lifting this background on him from the PitchIN website.
He calls himself a Climate Change Community Organiser and is cofounder of the Malaysian Youth Climate Justice Network (MYCJN) and is an advocate for the strengthening of civil society. He has been active in engaging in environment, energy and resource campaigns.
This young man wants to go to San Francisco to attend “The Climate Reality Leadership Training” with Al Gore from August 21-23. The training and materials are free of charge, but participants will be required to fund their own travel and accommodation expenses.
Why should we fund him? Well, after attending this training, Yeo plans to carry out road shows based on the new learnt skills, technology and knowledge that he will receive. He promises that, “I will continue to inspire more youth to start national and bilateral initiatives with our regional youth and its organizations to drive the importance of adopting a sustainable lifestyle for a low carbon future.”
How about that! For as little as US$1, we can help create a powerful catalyst who wants to spread the love about sustainable living to other Malaysians. He has already raised 32% of the funding he needs. Surely, we can get him over the finishing line!
Each of us can surely make a contribution. With over hundreds and thousands of unique visitors, including those from overseas, we can surely provide a much-needed boost to the morale of the project owners and renew their belief in the kindness of strangers. I bet these good vibes will spread multiple-fold.
And don’t underestimate the power of your US$1 contribution. I once met a powerhouse of a lady, all 4’ 11” of her. Kiran Bedi is India’s first woman police officer and has a larger-than-life image in a country where police are mostly perceived as inefficient or corrupt or both.
She was also head of Delhi’s Tihar jail, one of Asia’s largest, where she introduced yoga, meditation and literacy classes for prisoners as part of a reform program that drew global notice.
Speaking at a conference in Singapore in 2005, I asked what powered her through a career of constantly having to overcome obstacles. “Never underestimate the power of one person,” she said.
A similar crowd-funding project was tried in Singapore but I was told it failed. I hope the promoters there try again. And, I hope they can look across the Causeway and be inspired by what we Malaysians did for our pioneer batch of dreamers who want to see their creative projects come to life. Go PitchIN!
This column previously appeared in The Malaysian Insider
pitchIN pitches crowd-funding, Malaysian style
Are you going to pitchIN?
pitchIN, the Kickstarter for Malaysia