Located in Chow Kit, youth hangout centre KL Krash Pad is gearing up to address more troubled teenagers, include the problematic mat rempit (street racers).
“We will convince them to try doing things legally, maybe in the future we can provide them a proper place to race,” the centre’s operational manager Martha Severaju (37) said.
In an interview with Komunitikini, she disclosed that the renowned Malaysian racer Alex Yoong has visited the centre and is willing to collaborate with them to provide support.
Raja Azizan, a program executive familiar with the Rempit community, said the youths indulging in street racing do it for the thrill.
He also admitted that drugs and girls have become elements to make their races more exciting.
“I know a 21-year-old girl who has already become pregnant four times. Because every time there is a game, the winner can choose their price of either drugs or girls,”
“She was the prize,” he lamented.
KL Krash Pad serves as a safe haven for youths to pass the time.
Located along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, it comes with a music room, library, gym, dance studio and counseling room. Teenagers aged 13-21 can just drop in to register as members.
Martar said among all activities, art programs are most favoured by teenagers.
In Chow Kit, many of the children come from low-income or stateless families and are easily exposed to sexual abuse, drugs, HIV and others.
Martar said this is hard to tackle because many parents fail to know their child’s problems.
Right now, the centre needs more volunteers to contribute.
“We need more volunteers to keep an eye on the kids and to run the programs. Currently we only have 15 permanent staff and teachers from Humana,” she said.
The program coordinator Ian Werrett said consistent programs are hard to fix seeing the fact that every volunteer has his or her ownpersonal time slot.
“For example we have volunteers who sign up only for a month and also those who can contribute for half a year. So our priority is to getting the kids to come in first, to see what kind of activities they like, before engaging the volunteers,” he said.
Martar in encouraging more people to become volunteers.
KL Krash Pad is now open from 8am-8pm daily. The address is 346, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 50100 Kuala Lumpur. To contribute as a volunteer, one can contact Ahmad Fansuri at 012-9618846.