MaSA EB 2010/2011

Say hello to your new
Malaysian Students Association Executive Board Members (2010/2011 Term)!

Jonathan Lee Liang Hoong
Atikah Dawam
Kar Leng Wai
Puiyin Tam
Valerie Oon
Akmal Arif Abd Rahim
Afiq Hamzah


This entry was posted on Saturday, March 06, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

3 Responses to “MaSA EB 2010/2011”

rapik saat a.k.a. cikmat said...

Comment Part 1:

Congratulations to the new EB! You guys have such big shoes to fill after what Alina and the gangs have done in the past year. The expectations are pretty high. All the best!

Just want to share my thoughts regarding the idea of organizing Malaysian Night. Honestly, my first thought was "buat apa pening2 kepala?". Yes we've done that before. Was it successful? To certain extend, yes. The "pasar malam" part with a variety of different food was a great success. However, I couldn't help myself to pity the same group of people who was busy preparing the satay and later on had to get ready to dance on the stage. I bet the same people were the ones who burned the midnight oil in the past weeks or perhaps months before the event. In addition, some people was a little disappointed because besides tarian zapin, tarian buloh, wayang kulit, etc, the rest of the performances were performed by Indonesian, Chinese and other non-Malaysians. Nothing against them, but it lost the purity of Malaysian Night (more like Asian night). I understand that it's hard to put up a 100% two-hr Malaysian show with such a small group.

So, if I may, make sure to assess our capabilities, calculate the risk, costs and benefits before embarking on such projects. As Amai said, MaSA is sorta social club that give smiles into our life at Illinois. There is no point if members get tired of getting email begging for people to volunteer and participate. However, if they are really significant numbers of people who want to do it, Malaysian Night is indeed a cool thing to have. Set-up the idea bank and initiate a discussion to brain-storm the ideas.

rapik saat a.k.a. cikmat said...

Comment Part 2:

Having said all that in Part 1, imagine the following scenarios. It's 5pm on a Saturday and the Malaysian Night begins with a 30-minute Chinese-drum/lion dance performance from a Malaysian group from Nebraska. The food fest then starts where people can buy some roti canai, roti jala, popia goreng, teh tarik etc. At the same time, 100 guests who were seated on reserved chairs during the opening are escorted to the YMCA for a full-course Malaysian meals served by waitreses in Kebaya, Cheongsam and Sari. After all, they paid $100 each for a premium Malaysian experience. Earlier during the week, they were assigned to small groups for a guided tour of Malaysian arts at Krannert Museum (Champaign people are suckers for fine arts!). The collections are loaned from art galleries in Malaysia, and we are lucky to have a Malaysian curator who was sponsored to stay for a week at the museum. Of course, the exhibition is free to the public for self-guided tour. During the week, we also had some free screenings of Malaysian movies like P. Ramlee's or other contemporary ones like Sepet. Once they finish the dinner, the guests and the rest of the public get into the Follinger at 7pm and Malaysian Night begins with a 10-minute video introducing Malaysia - the location, the people and the food. Besides performances by MaSA members (zapin, buloh, kompang, wayang kulit, dikir barat and other MaSA members' forte), we have an Indian dance performs by a student from Iowa State, a traditional Sarawak dance by the girl from Kansas City who has Malaysia as her first or middle name, some fire dance I think from Iowa too and various other students who play traditional Malaysian rhythms using their favorite musical instruments (some of you who have been to the Midwest Games in the past may recall these performances). The night conclude with a 15-minute video showing the crystal-clear water and sandy beaches in Tioman, the pristine Mt. Kinabalu and the Borneo, 100-yr forts in Malacca and a hectic Chinatown in Petaling St.

You got the idea. It wouldn’t be an annual event at Illinois, but we collaborate and rotate the location every year with other Malaysian communities in the Midwest. Start with light conversations with your friends, get MSD involved early on for their support and get'r done! I'm sure there are other Malaysians at different places who share your passion, but do not have enough resources to work individually.

Having said that (part deux), nobody will blame the EB if they just think small and do small. Focus on what MaSA members like to do. Don't care too much if that mat salleh doesn't know where Malaysia is. Some people have not even got out of Illinois in their life time! Think about how we can enrich our experience here as a group. As I said yesterday, don't worry too much also about members who don't want to get involved. It’s for them to lose. You can only control what you can control. I feel sorry for people who think they don't belong to MaSA. Before asking and complaining about what MaSA can offer and do to us, maybe we should ask what we can offer and do for MaSA first.

Oh well, this is just my two cents. I could have continued philosophizing yesterday, but we were running late, the weather was so nice and my hands were so itchy to throw some footballs.

p/s: I couldn't figure out how to publish a new post, so my apology for putting this up as a two-part long comment

Jonathan said...

Hey cikmat.

Thank you for the input regarding the Malaysian night. It is indeed true that we need to gauge our ability to organize such a huge event instead of diving head on into taking up the challenge.

We will try our very best to first unite the members and create a sense of belonging to MASA. It was really nice to actually see everyone mingling together after the AGM that day. If we can have that type of atmosphere everyday, then I believe we are almost ready to take on bigger challenges such as the Malaysian night.

Aside from that, I took note of your suggestions for Malaysian night as well. It seems like a very elaborated version of what I had in mind earlier, but we will explore everyone's suggestions and take into account everyone's ideas before making a decision on Malaysian night.

In a nutshell we will focus once again on these 2 visions:

1. to promote unity within MASA and create an awesome experience for all of our members
2. to promote the malaysian culture to the people of UIUC

The first vision is our main one, and that should be satisfied before the second one.

Anyway Cikmat, thanks for your input. We will consider all your ideas and suggestions. :)

By the way, don't worry about the two part long comment. You conveyed your ideas really well. :) Thanks again and enjoy the nice weather Cikmat!