Loss and faith

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

When I got to KL in 1999, one of the things I looked forward to was the arts scene. Nothing much happened in Penang. I could only read about all the exciting things happening in KL. Actors Studio at Plaza Putra, Dataran Merdeka was easily accessible, so I would spend many a Sunday afternoon there to catch a matinee show.

Going to klpac again recently, watching the ever passionate Faridah Merican and Joe Hafsham introduce the Short+Sweet Festival, I’m reminded of the great big flood of 2003 that destroyed the Actors Studio. I still remember the picture on the front page of Sunday Star. Faridah in tears, clutching a doll in front of the theatre she set up with Joe eight years before. The theatre, along with the premises of the Dama Orchestra, were completely destroyed as the underground location was submerged for days. They lost everything.

But sometimes, good things need to fall apart so better things can fall together. This is an account of what led to klpac, taken from its website:

10 June 2003: Floods devastated The Actors Studio’s Plaza Putra complex.
20 June 2003: In search of a new space, Joe, Faridah, Teoh Ming Jin & Ng Seksan visited an old National Railway (KTM) warehouse in YTL Corporation’s Sentul West.
9 & 10 August 2003: At the fundraising event Banjir, Faridah met the late Datin Paduka Seri Endon
Mahmood (then Chairman of Yayasan Budi Penyayang) and told her about the potential space.
Late Aug 2003 – Early Sept 2003: DPS Endon met Tan Sri Francis Yeoh of YTL Corporation and mentioned The Actors Studio’s interest in the old warehouse.
September 2003: Joe and Faridah presented a proposal of klpac to Tan Sri Francis Yeoh who responded with the now famous words “Go for it!”
21 May 2004: Launch of klpac attended by members of the media and arts community.
9 May 2005: klpac team moves in.

Likewise, I hope losing M means making way for someone better to come into my life. He made me happy when he found me and sad when he left. Happy Birthday, M. Yes, I remember it was yesterday.

If you have not been to klpac, pay it a visit. It’s a beautiful place, constructed from an old railway depot and surrounded by a park. I don’t have any pictures at the moment, but just imagine an oasis in the middle of the city, a place caught in time.


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