singing againt bullying
WHEN local R&B star Liang read the statistics from the R.AGE Against Bullying campaign survey earlier this year, it was such a shock that his creative instincts immediately told him he had to do something.

“If eight out of ten teenagers in Malaysia have been bullied (according to statistics), that means almost all of us here in this room would have been victims in the past,” he said during a video shoot for his new single Keep On Keepin’ On, which he wrote and performed alongside up-and-coming singer Emma Louise Liang.

The campaign and the uplifting song, with lyrics encouraging bullying victims to keep moving on and staying strong regardless of their struggles, then quickly caught the attention of another group eager to lend their support – StART Society, an arts and music academy for underprivileged children.

Video producer Sim Pojoo, a volunteer with StART, quickly agreed to help produce a music video for Liang’s single for free, in the hope that young victims of bullying – especially on social media – will be able to watch it on YouTube and find some relief.

Apart from Liang and Emma Louise, the video also features Red FM deejay and R.AGE Against Bullying supporter JJ, YouTuber Ho Ming Han (from The Ming Thing) and renowned Australian motivational speaker Nick Vujicic.

Vujicic, who was born with no limbs and bullied so much he considered suicide, lent his support to the R.AGE Against Bullying campaign during his most recent visit to Malaysia in August, recording a special message for the Keep On Keepin’ On music video.

Liang hopes that the song and music video will be a powerful tool in helping the battle against bullying.

“There are many videos out there where people talk about bullying as an issue, but there are almost none that are done through music, even though it’s a universal language that everyone can relate with,” said Liang.

“And we’re not just making a music video with different celebrities in it just for the sake of it. We’re trying to say that all of us here have experienced bullying as well. These people are just like you, and they know what you’re going through.”

A victim’s experience

For Sim, the campaign against bullying in Malaysia is something close to her heart, especially having seen how it has affected many of the children at StART.

“The kids come to us (teachers) and share their experiences of bullying. Sometimes they even express it through their art homework, because it’s what is constantly on their mind,” she said.

Singer/model Emma Louise, 23, was herself a victim of severe bullying when she was in secondary school because she suffered from weight issues.

“My classmates back in secondary school would call me names and tease me because I was fat,” she said. Others bullied her simply because she was of mixed parentage.

“Hate” was the word Emma used when she spoke about her feelings for secondary school. “I just shut myself out from the world, and I became a loner even without wanting to be one.”

Having helped many bullying victims among the underprivileged children at StART, Sim said the mental and emotional scars caused by bullying is what really affects victims in the long run.

“We hope that through this project, it will instill hope among victims. We want them to know that they are not alone,” she said.

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