The Padungan Street Party is the first ever party to be organised along the entire stretch of Kuching’s historic thoroughfare, Jalan Padungan. For the first time ever, the vendors of Padungan are playing host to the community, opening up the street and serving them a menu of their popular dishes. Olivia Ting of Meritin Hotel remarked, “the people of Padungan are most excited to be able to be a part of this epic event, which will be a milestone of the neighbourhood’s history.”
The event is to be held on Sunday, 27 October 2019 along Jalan Padungan. It is organised in conjunction with What About Kuching 2019. The proponents of this event are 4 Kuchingites who are owners of private businesses: Olivia Ting, Jacqueline Fong from Batik Boutique Hotel, Jason Chew from Events Horizon and Samuel Wong from The Filmmakers. Together, the team of four form the Project New Beginnings Committee.
Project New Beginnings is an awareness-raising project towards longhouse fire tragedies. For the past month, the Committee undertook a donation drive for the rebuilding of longhouses destroyed by fire. The identified longhouses are located in the highland areas of Sarawak, specifically:
- Long Palai in Telang Usan, longhouse completely destroyed by fire in 2019
- Long Peluan in Ulu Baram, longhouse completely destroyed by fire in 2018
- Long Seridan in Ulu Tutoh, longhouse completely destroyed by fire in 2016
- Long Tuyut in Ulu Lapok, longhouse completely destroyed by fire in 2012
- Bued Main Beruh in Bario, longhouse completely destroyed by fire in 2000
The rebuilding of these longhouses has not been completed despite some of these villages suffering the tragedy many years before. According to Jacqueline Fong, “it seems wrong that people could remain homeless for so long, as every Malaysian should have the basic right to safe shelter.” The aim of Project New Beginnings is to help victims of longhouse fires to complete their homes so that they can move in a rebuild their lives.
Funds raised from the donation drive as well as the net ticket sales proceeds from the Padungan Street Party shall be directed towards the respective longhouse rebuilding committees. As at 25 October 2019, total funds collected have reached RM150,000, most of it from donations from corporates such as Handal Energy Berhad, Sarawak Energy Berhad, Bintulu Port Holdings Berhad, IOI Group as well as private donors, both foreign and local.
Tickets for the Padungan Street Party are still available for sale. They may be purchased at Batik Boutique Hotel or Meritin Hotel, or online on padunganstreetparty.iticket.com.my.