Celcom’s MeReka Merdeka campaign inspires Malaysians to fashion their most creative face masks

This post is brought to you by Celcom.

During this Merdeka period, it is the perfect time to reflect on the struggles faced by our forefathers as they fought for the independence of our nation. Now, 63 years after independence, Malaysia faces a different kind of struggle as the nation comes to grip with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just as the founding generation of Malaysians stood together to form our nation, we too need to stand strong and united against the threat of the virus. United we stand. Divided we fall.

To bring Malaysians from all walks of life together, Celcom’s MeReka Merdeka campaign is calling on everyone to create a unique face mask based on the theme ‘What does the nation’s happiness mean to you?’.

To start designing your face mask, visit the MeReka Merdeka website. Here you can get started on a blank mask canvas on which you can express your creative vision with the available design tools online. 

If you prefer to hand draw your design on a piece of paper, Celcom has a PDF template ready for you to download and print. Once you are satisfied with your design, just scan and upload it on the site to submit it.

The closing date for mask design submission is 11 September 2020, 11.59 pm. Shortlisted designers will be notified on 18 September and the top 10 designs will receive 100% of the sales from the masks and an additional RM2,000 in cash prize.

The campaign is made possible through the collaboration between Celcom and fashion social enterprise Earth Heir to advance societies. Earth Heir will produce the face masks in sanitised workshops by artisans from marginalised communities.

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Celcom hopes that the campaign will act as a platform for Malaysians to earn some extra income by creating something purposeful while alleviating the financial challenges faced ordinary Malaysians brought on by the COVID-19. 

The telco hopes that the campaign will also push the use of reusable face masks over single-use masks. This is because reusable masks are a more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective solution for Malaysians as we adapt to the new normal.

To inspire Malaysians to create their most attractive face mask designs, Celcom has invited notable Malaysian artists from various disciplines to create their own Limited Edition face mask designs that will be up for sale soon. Among them are fashion designer, Alia Bastamam, mural artist, Suhaimi Ali, graffiti artist Chern Cloakwork and henna artist Karthine Maniam.

Celcom kicked off this campaign with a short film that tells the tale of two generations that are separated by more than 100 years but are bound by a common purpose. It tells the story of a true Malaysian hero, Dr. Wu Lien Teh. During the early 1900s, the Penangite was sent to help battle the Manchurian Plague in China. 

There he designed a face mask by using layers of cotton and gauze, preventing the further spread of the disease. Dr. Wu’s mask design would eventually be used as the template for the modern-day N95 mask used by frontline workers today in the battle against COVID-19. 

In the film, Dr. Wu’s journey is parallelled by another character, Sara Devong during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of them undergo a similar journey of discovery as Dr. Wu works to perfect the first his creation while Sara hones her design skills to submit a face mask design on Celcom’s MeReka Merdeka platform. 

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Through sheer hard work and determination, the two characters overcome the obstacles that they face and achieve their respective objectives.

The film debuted on 27 August and serves as an inspirational message to encourage Malaysians to take up the pen and start designing. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a pen and start getting creative!