First person: The Chair Project wins hearts

Commuting daily from Gelang Patah in Johor Bahru to Jurong East in Singapore is not always a pleasant journey especially when you are jam packed like sardines in a bus full of passenger.

As usual this morning, I fought my way into the bus and happened to be standing near the TV monitor which would normally run paid advertisements – a service by Media Asia a local advisement company.

As the journey takes about an hour depending on the traffic congestion, and being in a claustrophobic bus, I did not have the luxury of enjoying the scenic route, instead was forced to stare into the TV screen.

As soon as my mind begin to register what I was watching, I realised that it was something very interesting – a footage of an unlikely advertisement.

The advertisement was unusual as I saw common people talking casually without being coached or instructed. They were very natural in behavior. This hyped up my interest to find out more on that advertisement.

It was a short documentary titled “The Chair Project” done by a bunch of students.

The project was about providing chairs for those waiting for buses at Kelana Jaya.

The students used simple designs and easily available material like plywood for their chairs.

These chairs were then placed along the corridors where many were waiting to catch their buses home.

From watching the video, one would understand the appreciation of the passengers waiting for buses there.

Like most Malaysians who commute to work in public transport having to wait for one hour or so before the busses arrive as our roads and traffic conditions are unpredictable.

I was also touched when one of the passengers in the video said the project of proving free seating was “so humane.”

I was amazed to see that such a simple gesture of easing the burden of the passengers gained such great admiration and warmth form the public.

Very seldom have I come across small group of students coming forward to “correct” abnormalities that we normally accept as part of our lives.

The most we will write to the city council or our local municipality requesting authorities to take action to correct the situation. But this video has definitely changed my views and taught me to see things in a different angle.

But some may not agree with me. For some of us to provide comfort to public in public area is the responsibility of local city council.

I would agree to this to a certain extent but where is our social obligation when we see our repeated emails and telephone calls falling on deaf ears.

I do agree to this to a certain extent but where is our social obligations when we see our repeated emails and telephone calls have fall on deaf ears.

The video has to certain extent transformed us to be a little more humane towards others. Kudos, to those students who came out with this brilliant selfless act and wishing them the best in their upcoming projects.

Out of curiosity, Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) contacted the producers of The Chair Project to inquire what inspired them to create the video.

“We decided to create a conscious moment in the busy hectic Petaling Jaya life by creating awareness of something that was necessary but just wasn’t there. Design and video were the means to accomplished our goal,” Weiee said.

“Just two guys really, as shown in the video. Weiee who was the design guy and Eechian, the videographer. It was conspired by two of us.” he told CJMY

For more information on The Chair Project visit their Facebook page.

THE CHAIR PROJECT

Explain the Chair Project with more clarity.

1) Urbanify designs and builds chairs

2) Places chairs in crowded bus/taxi stop with no seats (opposite Kelana Jaya LRT Station)

3) Gather awareness and support there and online

4) Writes petition MBPJ (Petaling Jaya City Council) to build public seats

5) Gather support through everyone

6) Change

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Permission have been granted for CJMY to feature the video here.