Pa-sabar Project Helps Penang Community Through Trying Times

November 4, 2021

There is no denying the impact of the lockdown on the country. Many companies have had to close their doors, businesses downsized, employees lost their jobs, and some even lost their homes.

However, similar to the Bendera Putih movement, numerous organisations and individuals, including 30 students from INTI International College Penang’s School of Business, banded together to collect donations for those adversely affected by the pandemic.

The Pa-sabar Project, derived from pasembur (a sweet and spicy Malaysian dish) and Malay word sabar which means patience, is an initiative that urges the community to remain patient and calm during these trying times.

Carried out from 13 September to 24 October 2021, with the tagline “You Give, We Help”, the students aim to give back to the community by donating to the Penang state COVID-19 fund and at the same time connect local businesses.

Pa-sabar, a meaningful CSR project initiated by students from the School of Business at INTI International College Penang.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Penang. This crisis inspired us to lend a hand and we’re extremely passionate about our cause as Penang is the home of most students in our class. We would do everything we could to make a difference, no matter how big or small, so that Penang can get back on its feet,” stated Tan Yuan Hong, the project’s head.

He elaborated, “We used various informative yet engaging posters to raise awareness and collect funds.  In addition to that, to garner attention, we hosted star-studded Instagram live sessions with guests including “Who’s Hello” emcees Luwis Tan and Xine Teoh, singers Madison Lau and Tan Yin Ern, Malaysian Olympians Jeremiah Loo and Ooi Tze Liang.

“Our live session was lively with emcees Luwis Tan and Xine Teoh, also from “Who’s Hello”, who were skilled variety show hosts. We interviewed and played games with the guests during the Instagram live session. The guests also sang their classic songs during the session, making it a memorable experience. “

The students organised Instagram live sessions with “Who’s Hello” emcees Luwis Tan and Xine Teoh, popular singers Madison Lau and Tan Yin Ern, and Olympians Jeremiah Loo and Ooi Tze Liang.

Pa-sabar, a meaningful CSR project initiated by students from the School of Business at INTI International College Penang.

The students drew more than 250 participants to the Instagram live session and gathered RM1,610 from the public, bringing them closer to their RM2,000 objective. They also distributed over 20 packs of Pasembur and ten personalised Pa-sabar keychains to contributors using Lalamove delivery service.

When asked how they came to collaborate with Hussain Pasembur, the project’s treasurer, Osmund Chua Chou Leong explained, “The son of the owner of Hussain Pasembur, Abdul Razak bin Hussain, is a final year student of the Diploma in Business Management.

“Hussain Pasembur charged us only the cost of the ingredients, and by promoting Pasembur to the public, the famous hawker stall is willing to offer us a much lower price for each purchase which is worth the value of RM10 and above. For people who donate RM 20, they will get a regular Pasembur, while those who donate RM 30 get a large Pasembur instead.”

The students also received support and sponsorship from several local businesses, including Zfute, Granny Cookies, Bake with Alice, Wheeler’s Café & Bar, Crois Penang, and others. These small businesses provided prizes for the Pa-sabar Instagram live lucky draw.

The Pa-sabar project, in Yuan’s opinion, is unique because it is 100% made in Penang. “From the recipient of the donations to the collaborators we invited, as well as the sponsors and suppliers taking part, they all come from the Penang community.

“This event taught me that we can still help others regardless of our situation. It moved me greatly when local businesses joined in after hearing about our cause. They provided us with free lucky draw prizes and generously covered all delivery costs. Although businesses are also struggling in this economy, these generous people went out of their way to assist others,” he shared with a smile.

Osmund also felt that as humans, it is a shared responsibility to support others during their difficult times. “It’s a joy to see the community come out and support this. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all INTI lecturers and staff who contributed to the success of this event by sharing posts on Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social platforms. Furthermore, we value the contributions of lecturers and other assistance behind the scene,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yuan Hong said CSR initiatives develop groups, and ideally eventually a generation of young people exposed to the intricacies of non-profit events.

“I hope that this initiative will inspire individuals, whether they are project members or members of the public at large, to become more engaged in doing good, to be heroes in their own right,” he shared.

CSR initiatives encourage students to be reborn as ethical and humble citizens who change the world. Dr Racheal Poh Su Ying, who heads several programmes at INTI International College Penang’s School of Business and the Pa-sabar CSR project coordinator, said that participating in corporate social activities, in general, can transform a person and is a step towards globalisation.

Lucky draw prizes, sponsored by a variety of local businesses, including Zfute, Granny Cookies, Bake with Alice, Wheeler’s Café & Bar, Crois Penang, and others.

In her opinion, it is essential, particularly in an environment where employers are increasingly seeking graduates with entrepreneurial skills and an awareness of ethical and environmental concerns emerging from the new post-global recession economic era.

She further explained, “Nowadays, working with and within communities is one of the most important characteristics of real-world education in adapting to competitive business challenges. The communities surrounding us have a significant role in shaping and inspiring future leaders and professional businesses at INTI.

Group photo of the Pa-sabar organising team.

“We work with a lot of communities and teach our students the skills needed to work with these communities effectively. Besides, as educators, we are responsible for imparting values such as social responsibility, care and empathy towards the society at large,” she concluded.