BY CASSANDRA YEOH, CHANG MIN JIE and IVENA HON
HOW far will non-profit organisation iM4U go to promote volunteerism among young Malaysians? Judging by the fact that they’ve launched an entire radio station dedicated to that purpose, we’d say pretty far.
iM4U fm (107.9 FM) is a platform to spread messages about volunteerism and nation-building among young people, and it went on air in Sept 2014.
Two weeks ago, the station held an event to launch its spanking new studio at Kompleks Rakan Muda Puchong in Selangor, and R.AGE was there to get a tour of the facility and enjoy live performances by an impressive lineup of local artistes.
We’re talking about Joe Flizzow, Liyana Fizi, SonaOne, Noh Salleh, Aizat Amdan and more, all doing their part to help encourage volunteerism.
iM4U chief operating officer Azlan Rudy Malik said the event was organised in conjunction with World Radio Day (Feb 12), which was particularly appropriate given that the World Radio Day theme this year is “Youth & Radio”.
With that spirit of celebrating the power of youth and radio in mind, Azlan said he hopes the station can help get rid of that “what’s in it for me?” attitude people tend to have these days.
“Life is more than just chasing after money.”
“Of course I don’t blame those who feel volunteering is an unproductive activity as this boils down to today’s economy-driven society.
“However, my advice is to contribute back to make this a better community. That’s what humans are for! Life is more than just chasing after money,” said Rudy with a smile.
Rudy added that as “the only non-profit station in Malaysia”, iM4U fm is in a very privileged position, because the station can talk about the issues close to its heart, as much as it wants.
“We can afford to spearhead social causes. Other revenue-generating radio stations wouldn’t be doing this as every slot of air time is money,” he added.
“There are plenty of local talents and if we don’t play their music, how will our musicians of tomorrow get the chance to be heard?”
iM4U director Kartini Kamalul Ariffin said young Malaysians could hold the key to creating a nation where volunteerism is part of everyday life.
“Their ideas are amazing; their willingness is amazing,” said Kartini about the Malaysian youth of today. “But I think they still need a lot of guidance. And by that, I mean that when they have an idea, we could show them how to make it happen.”
Of course, the station still faced challenges trying to get their message out to Malaysian youth over the past few months. People in general did not like to be told what to do, said Kartini.
“We need to channel music they like first, in order to capture their attention. Then at the same time, we include the element of volunteerism – and that’s where the power of radio comes in,” she said.
“As an announcer on this station, it’s not just about sharing music. I feel that even the simplest things I say could affect so many lives.”
On top of that, Rudy – who happens to be the drummer of local band Pop Shuvit – hopes the station will be able to help promote Malaysian artistes.
“We give local and international songs an equal amount of airtime. There are plenty of local talents and if we don’t play their music, how will our musicians of tomorrow get the chance to be heard?” he said.
The announcers of iM4U fm will obviously have a big role to play in all of this. Nur Hidayah, one of the announcers, said she was grateful just to be given the chance to have a positive impact on other young Malaysians.
“When I got the chance to be the voice of iM4U fm, I felt that this is it. I need to inspire people,” said the bubbly 26-year-old. “As an announcer on this station, it’s not just about sharing music. I feel that even the simplest things I say could affect so many lives.”