Pictures: rwp wellington, eindhoven, kuala lumpur, melbourne, singapore

August 25, 2008

.wellington Alastair Smith

In Civic Square, Wellington. Photo by Alastair Smith



Read while Waiting Project

“To think that it was just an idea you had some 3 months ago to where it is now. You’ve done so much, am proud of you.”
- Miss Not Ascertainable

RWP first crossed my mind in early May 2008. While I was pushing my bike on the highway after it ran out of petrol. It was one of the best times of my life.

I’ve been a law graduate since December 2007, and could be earning perhaps RM2000 a month for an employer silly enough to pay me that kind of money. But I’m not.

Instead I’m a self-employed unpaid pseudo activist doing what I feel like doing and persuading as many people as I can reach, convincing them why they should listen to this madman.

Whether you commend or criticise the Read while Waiting Project, but henceforth at some point in your life, it has (even) subconsciously moved you to read as oppose to not doing anything productive with that time, I then, have achieved what I set out to do.

RWP Pay It Forward Bookmarks

*All pictures you see here are also available on Facebook.




“I just left the place. Although tak ramai, I’m really happy with it. Ada dalam 6, 7 orang, and they are all totally strangers, grouped together to read books. Best douh. Thanks a lot bro. You taught me something there and I felt it.”
- Izhar Moslim

To promote the participation and awareness of RWP, RA has done 3 things (1st video, 2nd video & 23rd August flashmob) and have 1 more remaining. That is, the BookCrossing gathering.

It is where people, strangers and friends, would meet up to either loan or give away books. This gathering will be done in a few months time.

Below are pictures from Melbourne. It was coordinated by Izhar Moslim, who arranged for 400 RWP Pay It Forward Bookmarks to be delivered to Melbourne at the last minute via Afiah Hafiz.




“P.S. = it was .. niceeee !!!”
- Chiara Mafucci

RWP has 2 main objectives
1. To see more people reading (any form of literature) whenever they wait
2. To make people more conscious of whenever they are about to go somewhere and know that some waiting will be involved, then bring something to rea

Below are pictures from Eindhoven. It was coordinated by Chiara Mafucci. Chiara is from the south of Italy and works in Eindhoven. Zain HD had dinner with her in when he was in Eindhoven for one night (November 2007).




“’s raining here.”
- Sofiah Jamil

The reason why RA picked the ‘waiting’ element is because of the baby steps approach.

Don’t try to get someone who does not even read to start the habit, buying literature and/or set an over optimistic goal.

Below are pictures from Singapore. It was coordinated by Sofiah Jamil. She is researcher at the NTU Rajaratnam School of International Studies and co-founder of Itchy Traveller.



Kuala Lumpur

“Zain, great fun meeting you yesterday. Enjoyed the RWP. Let’s think of something fun for World AIDS Day please!”
- Marina Mahathir

The idea was to get a person comfortable with the idea of reading in the first place, and then what that person does subsequently, is up to them.

And the simplest way to do it, is to get them to not allocate a time of the day specially for reading, but to fill it in between things they already are doing.

Below are pictures from Kuala Lumpur (taken by Joshua Ong). It was coordinated by Zain HD of RA. He needs a break.

RWP also got picked up in New Zealand by two influential bloggers. Social commentator Paul Reynolds and former managing director & publisher of Penguin NZ, Graham Beattie. With the help from Paul, RWP was promoted on the Christchurch City Council Library Official Blog and the National Radio of New Zealand.



Random Attire

RWP is one of RA’s pro bono projects. Support our projects by donning these t-shirts.

RWP bookmark

July 20, 2008

“You’re a workaholic. And if you’re not careful, it’s something that will always be. xxx”

For the moment:
The Ultimate (Live)- The Roots

*This post was originally written on 28 June.

RWP BookmarkIf you are visiting this website today, because you received the RWP bookmark, then you have made RA and it’s efforts happy. And a step closer to making RWP a success.

Read the main posting on RWP, that explains the whole project, here.

Join RWP on Facebook.

*If you really support and believe in this project, then take those bookmarks, pass it to someone you know. Leave it on your colleagues desk, in your classmates pencil box or next to your relative’s jamban. Whatever. As long as it gets the message around and delivered. Baby steps.

*If you want some more bookmarks/cards, let us know. We’ll meet up and pass it to you. We distributed more than 750 at KLue Urbanscapes and will be printing more.

One of the main basis of RWP is that it carries the Pay It Forward approach. So what we have done is that to make bookmarks that look like this.

We ordered 1000 of it.

And decided that we should distributed in batches of 3 so that the recipient can share it to more than 1 person.

Last night it arrived at my house and I sat down alone for almost 4 full hours, wrapping 999 RWP bookmarks with 333 black rubber bands.

Multiplies of 3 will get you 333 batches with one extra odd card out. The blue dot on the W, is that extra 1.

Because I’m just that gatal, I decided to use more rubber bands to put everything together.

The quote above, was an sms from someone who knows me only too well. My first time being told so. Something I didn’t notice for myself. Something I needed to hear for myself.

Again, if you are visiting this website today, because you received the RWP bookmark, then you have made RA and it’s efforts happy. And a step closer to making RWP a success.

Thank you. :)

Pictures from that green thing 18 July

July 19, 2008

That Green Thing was brilliant. Kudos to YAWA & MADness for putting it together.

RA made alot of new friends. From Obon & Arkedekami, to the various wonderful individuals. Not forgetting those who bought RandomAttire goodies as well as those who took more than a few RWP Pay It Forward Bookmarks when it was freely distributed.


Good stuff from the performers:

  • Tharish & Dima
  • For Lack of a Better Name
  • Wanie
  • Rendra Zawawi
  • Scenic
  • The Overtones
  • Ana Rafalli & Band
  • 3 Budak PJ

*Left click on the images to see it screen size. Right click on it and then click Open Link in New Tab, or Open Link in New Window to see it actual size. Click Slideshow to see a slideshow.

Pictures by Zain HD, Hana Abu Bakar & Anfaal Ridhuan. These pictures are also on Facebook.

1-5 Beginning of the night.
6 Zain HD
7 Tharish & Dima
8 For Lack of a Better Name
9 Obon, & Arkedekami booth
10 RA goodies bought by Anfaal Ridhuan
13-16 The crowd & Rendra Zawawi
17 Intermission
18 Mystery shopper
20 Scenic interactive video & sound performance
21 The Overtones
22 Ana Rafalli & Band
23 & 24 MC of the night, Zain HD plugging RA’s main project of the moment, RWP
25-27 The crowd & 3 Budak PJ
30 A badge made by Arkedekami for RA. :)
31 Cam master Hana
32 Part of the Organising Committee
33 The End

Pictures from Rob!

June 30, 2008

Adrian Yap KLue UrbanscapesOur victim for Rob! was Adrian Yap. He’s the publisher and/or chief editor and/or boss of KLue magazine. :)

Late May: RA at KLue magazine for an interview (which will appear in their July issue) by Sarah Chan. As we were leaving, Didi asked us if we could do a flashmob for Urbanscapes.

Early June: Another meeeting. This time with Didi, Darren and Valene. RA proposed about 6 ideas and they picked Rob!

Mid June: RA sent out invitations for Rob! via and Facebook.

After that Early June meeting, we had to decide what random name to use because we didn’t want to call out ‘Rob!’. After brainstorming in deep thought (for 15 seconds!), our side blurted,

why don’t you saboh your boss Adrian Yap?

And we saw 3 wide smiles.

All pictures courtesy of Niki Cheong. Also thanks to Wei Nye, Kay Margera and Zam Nayan for helping out.

A photographer and videographer was meant to follow Adrian throughout the whole flashmob. However shortly before we started he disappeared. We later receive word from our collaborator, Valene from KLue (subordinate of the victim himself), that he was indeed in hiding.

In fact, he sent an sms to her saying something along the lines of “you think I’m stupid is it?!”

Nevertheless, that said we still did achieve the desired effect of a flashmob. Although later (or even by now) a bulk of the spectators knew it was a setup. But after all, it was KLue Urbanscapes. The crowd is somewhat familiar with the notion of flashmob. :)

We overheard people saying,

Ey, who is this Adrian Yap?

Eh this Adrian Yap owe people money or what?!

Is he someone’s ‘tau khei’ (anak buah gangster-as Wei Nye translates for me)

Hmmm. Is this somesort of a game? Where is Adrian?

These are the RandomAlphabets people I think.


I don’t know who he is but I’ll join in. Adrian!!!!

Below is the video RA did for Rob!

*Join our next flashmob, LUM : Look Up More. Below is the invitational video.

*We also distributed more than 750 of the Pay It Forward Bookmarks for RWP. :)

RWP Bookmark

Examples of snapshots for rwwp

May 13, 2008

This morning I woke up to see 3 emails contaning photos, regarding this post.

There I realise that perhaps the brief was not very clear and precise enough. My mistake. I have updated it. Please have a look again.

Below are the pictures I received from Zarith Sofia, Phoon Khai Meng and Haikal Shahruddin. I have mainly cropped and resized their files. It is not the best of examples, but I like them. They are all mostly brilliant. But ultimately, it must suit the need of the project.

I have posted it here as an example for you, should you be interested to send in your pictures.

  1. This one was actually huge. In filesize and in actual size. I cropped it big time. This is what RWWP needs. But preferably the person doing nothing. By ZS.

  2. Simple and authentic. By KM.

  3. Brilliant. But again, preferably, her doing nothing. But that does not mean, she has to look out the window gazing into something out there appearing artistic or intelligent. No. It’s not about that. Save the acting for someplace else. Maybe another project. By KM.

  4. This is brilliant. But its more about photography that it is about the subject. Cropped version. By HZ, and so are the rest that follows.

  5. I like this one. Hits the subjects spot on. You can see that their doing nothing particular but waiting. Except for the whole colour (dis)figuration. Lets stick to simple natural real life colours. Reason being is that if alot of pics are going to be gathered and theres too many kinds of filters/colours, it won’t gel well.

  6. This is nice. Shows movement. An element I didn’t previously think of. But prefer if its not in black/white or greyscale.

  7. Amazing. See how many subjects are there ‘doing nothing’. All in just one frame.

  8. Cantik man.

  9. Same same. Great platform shot. Would love to have a shot like this in normal colour version.

  10. Nice.

  11. Nice faraway shot. Or whatever they call it. Captures the whole jinbeng.


Comments above are not solely regarding the pictures, but it with regards to the needs of the project. So most importantly, thank you Zarith, Khai Meng and Haikal for your prompt submission. I look forward to seeing more from you. :)

Snapshots for rwwp

May 13, 2008


Frankfurt Airport


This post goes out mainly to the members of the group RandomActs. Because they’re fabulous. That’s right. Except unlike Sam Jones, instead of martini they go for teh tarik. And also because I know they can help. You can too if you’re interested. Wherever you are in the world right now. To understand better, read this post.

Open to all photographers (professional, semi-pro, amateur or virgin). From handphone cameras, to disposable ones, to super gempakz ones like what Adam King use.


Task: Take pictures of people at train stations.

  • Be it at the gates, platform or in the train itself. In and out of Malaysia.

  • Very young, young, kinda young and not so young people. Boboy or girlgirl.

  • As long as they’re human beings.


Picture Criteria: People waiting doing nothing.

  • Snap photos of people waiting for something. A companion. A train. A destination. Please don’t simply snap a frame of anyone or everyone. Only those you see who are standing, sitting, squatting idly waiting.

  • Angle can be from the side, diagonal, back, front, top, bottom (anything goes).

  • It is up to you whether or not it shows their face. Both would be good. I need both. When the photos are publicised, I will decide on whether there’s a need to blur their faces for respect of privacy.

  • Please do not do one of those SLR focus on a persons nose and blur the background shot. RWWP does not need a cheap trick pseudo cool shot. You can, but don’t get carried away till you’re gone with the wind.

  • Don’t get the whole place and leave the subject(a person) so small in it. The idea is not to capture the surrounding, but the person and his/her act (of waiting) in that surrounding. Examples here.


Submission: by Tuesday 20th May

  • Send a maximum 10 of your best shots. Email them to

  • Quality doesn’t have to be super high resolution 30 megapixel 2 megabyte per file picture. A size that is conveniently downloadable. A resolution not too great till I can count the bulu on their jari.


Thank you. Thank you all.

Official video kl freeze in unison

April 21, 2008

“…really wished that I could join the other day. The whole thing was beautiful. CONGRATULATIONS WELL DONE ;)”
-Erina Zahara Ellias

“Thought I should write you personally instead of ticking the RSVP box “Not Attending” that is so cold for such a warm and loving initiative in the spirit of humanity. Love and God bless you abundantly always and all ways.”
-Pat Lu

“For the sleepless nights and countless hours put into this! Was really great :)”
-Christopher Tock

KL Freeze in Unison Organising Committee

For 2 weeks now, Chantek has been the number 1 song on the charts of the number radio station in the country.

The Official Video KLFU was meant to be released on Sunday 20th April, and when it was, I told the editor, to take it down and edit it again according to my notes because of a few unexpected glitches. Despite his present success and hectic schedule, the video was worked on again promptly. Neither him nor others involved were paid for any part of their commitment. These are the kind of people I look for to work with on projects I am part of.

  • Sunday 6th April: Free Hugs at Tugu Negara with some fantastic friends.

  • Sunday 13th April: KL Freeze in Unison with an amazing team of volunteers.

  • Sunday 20th April: Freeze For World Earth Day (an event initiated and headed by, with a team of brilliant beings.

I once mentioned online and during a radio station interview that for KLFU I spent an immense amount of time in front of the computer, lost a lot of my appetite for food and went many hours without sleep.

I’m sure others from the team of volunteers went through something similar, and also organising committees of other projects around the world. But simple messages like the ones above from (strangers whom I may just never meet in my life,) Christopher Tock, Erina Zahara & Pat Lu, goes a really long way.

God willing, we all have made it great. From the organising committee, to the 1000 over people who made it, to the others who supported it.

Now that I am done going all Oprah on you, let’s watch the video.


“Zain, it’s ok babe. No matter what, you got my support.”
-Jennie Yang, before me & Pravin left for our first meeting with

KLFU pictures from the official photographer

April 17, 2008

Besides having 12 video cameras and planting 3 undecover microphones all over our Gathering Point and Freeze Point on 13th April, I also assigned a photographer, who was also part of the Organising Committee.

Knowing that the event will be swarming with photographers and quasi photographers snapping away at the feature of the event, the 1000 over people that came, the official photographers job was to start snapping from the moment the Committee had their meeting right till the end. In short, she was indeed the most overworked volunteer on that day.

Since I didn’t have to pay her, she couldn’t claim overtime rate. She was someone I barely knew and had only met twice in the past. Her focus was to snap pictures of the Committee members at work. Thank you Ili M for the shots.

Roughy, the Committee were made of 1/3 my relatives, 1/3 people I know and 1/3 people I never met before. Again, to the 20++ individuals who volunteered, took instructions from me, Saddam HusZain, I take my hat and curly hair off to you.

To those reading this, if it’s not too much to ask, please give them a round of applause. I know it feels weird clapping to your computer monitor, but if feels good after a while. Try it for 2 minutes.

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