Finally, light at the end of an endless tunnel
Published on: Sunday, July 21, 2019

THIS publicity business is not easy.  We need to spread the word about WordPower – it’s not long now, and we want everyone to know about it! Tick, tock, tick, tock.

We have been talking about WordPower Sabah ( to schools in KK and have started the task of getting permission to advertise the event. I should point out that it is solely for Sabahans to enjoy the English language. 

I and my colleague have worked on this for about a year, with no payment, so all that’s in it for us is that it attracts lots of people to make it buzz. 

And if the buzz is loud enough, we will run it next year.  So far, so good. The intention is positive.

But hang on there. Not so fast.  I am learning the complicated mechanisms for permission in Sabah.  I designed some long posters – we call them banners, but here it seems they are called bunting. I attach a photo.  

You will note that English is the only language.  As requested, we took it to DBKK for their authorisation. They told us that we had to take it to Dewan Bahasa / Language dept – this I learn is the organisation for the protection of the Malay language. 

Of which there is none on the banner/bunting.  We had to do the same for the banner we want to print to hang across the road.  Yes, you guessed it. It’s in English…  Tick tock tick tock

After a long morning at the DBP and DBKK, the sensible DBP said it’s in English so they could not endorse it. We had worked this out for ourselves. But we waited. Tick tock tick tock. Eventually DBKK said fine. So we can use them.  

I got quite over-excited, but it was a little soon.  

We have been told that we are not allowed to use sandwich boards (I had this idea after seeing how effective they are in London) or give out flyers in public places There will be charges incurred for any permission DBKK give us for our bunting and posters and so on. 

We want a table in Gaya Street to be able to make our presence felt there – people can come and ask us for information and we can hand out magazines and so on. Not sure if this will be possible. Tick tock tick tock.

Next we have had to get permission from the Ministry of Education to approach government schools in order to invite some of their students (Free of Charge) to WordPower. We are still waiting for this, and the event is in about two weeks.  Tick tock tick tock.

And there have been all sorts of permissions required to invite facilitators from West Malaysia to give sessions. I believe we have these now, but I am so confused with the bureaucracy I couldn’t put my hand on my heart!

Posters now, there’s another thing. Permission required from DBKK to put them up around town, so we are working on this. Tick tock tick tock.

I have managed to get some kind businesses to accept them, and Wisma Merdeka have generously allocated us a promotional space in the mall on the 29 – 31 July so look out for us there. 

Suria Sabah have put up a poster on their noticeboard, so ditto. 

We have received support from Sabahan/British stand up comedian Phil Wang, so we have printed out his quote and attached it to our poster.

Thanks Phil.  Nazri Noor has also supported us and his quote is in our magazine, available free around KK, and from us too.  We have an office at the Palace Hotel and will be there more often now the date is approaching.

I have been giving a PechaKucha presentation about WordPower to private educational establishments. 20 slides, 20 seconds each. I am really impressed with the process and the result.  It took a long time to put together – you have to make the images strong and the script snappy – but it has gone down a storm and I hope that people will come to WPS to sign up for a PechaKucha session. If we have a lot, then we will do some more sessions after the event. 

We have approached several colleges who have asked us for our aims, our intentions, what WPS is. Fair enough. Have replied. Tick tock tick tock.

I think I can see a light at the end of what has seemed a long tunnel. I am learning the procedures, and to wait, and not to get to flattened by obstacles and unexpected requirements. 

Next time, I hope I will be prepared, and proceed steadily, without frustration.  I’ll let you know if I succeed.


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