Walk down through the silent, dark and creepy back lane of Jalan Merdeka within the Ampang Old Town, the suburb of Kuala Lumpur accompany by the restless barking of tamed dogs. A total tranquil locus compare to the busy and ear-splitting setting of the main road, Jalan Ampang. But it's not for long though when the screeching drone noises overwhelm the peace away.
It's RUMAH API right there, of that equable back lane. The sacred ground for many kids and adults involved in the Kuala Lumpur hardcore punk scene over the years. With countless local and cross-border bands that set foot on the wooden pallet platform and blasted out dissonance frequencies of everyday soundtrack of life did enough to certified Rumah Api as an all-ages DIY, collectively run, non-profit venue.
Emphasizing the commitment to support wide range of activities related to the hardcore/punk scene with manifestos proclaimed on every single inch of the wall enclosing the venue, Rumah Api managed to survive until this day despite harassment and exacerbation by few parties and authorities via published media and to-the-front-door confrontation.
An unpredictable potential of being evicted brought constant fear and awareness to the community that empowered Rumah Api and supported it's existence, fearing Rumah Api would be brought down to give way to the construction of an expressway. Yet, only time will tell. And by then, hopefully everyone would stand on their ground soldiering Rumah Api from this peril.
Of the DIY hardcore/punk ethos and the mean to continue surviving through financial problems, Rumah Api is in the middle of this two subjects. Though Rumah Api managed to make rental payment throughout every month by now, Rumah Api still need financial injection to maintain the building and the equipments so the establishment could progress and going strong for years to come by. But not in a way that will exploit Rumah Api in exchange of a chunk of cash.
The possible exploitation could lead to invasion of uncontrollable and disorder barnacles that ultimately would brought to the downfall of Rumah Api?
Or will the cooperation with business-minded parties would benefit Rumah Api in a way that hardly to be imagine of?
That's the matter of rational consideration to decide by the caretaker of Rumah Api with options and suggestions provided by friends that loyally care much about Rumah Api.
But how did Rumah Api came to the awareness of this big corporations? Being exposed to right under the nose of up-to-date hipster as well as the closed-minded conservative medias? And since when?
That's the question we have to ask ourselves and have to dig deep to know the hidden intent of these corporations and medias.
Is there any need of some sort of 'total control' to every hazard that could path the route of exploitation?
And does that still important to be asked about when Rumah Api does not owe this big companies anything but it's these big companies wanted to take advantage from Rumah Api. Here comes the power to reject all the sweet-talks of capitalist that their only interest is to maximized their profit.
Do they really care about Rumah Api? Do they really care about the culture, the community and the scene?
All these while, since the days of Gudang Noisy, Rumah Api was here and there because of the community that collectively empowered Rumah Api in every single way, every single possible way that could benefit Rumah Api in a positive way, thus the possibility to the continuous longevity is the community itself.
The community of color-blind and knows no-borders individuals should stay intact and stay productive to provide more autonomous power to Rumah Api in order to endeavor any financial crisis.
Therefore there would be no reasons for Rumah Api to sacrifice it's beauty and aesthetics for a single page of colored coverage on the neatly print established media or a 40 seconds air-time advertisement fame. There would be no more reasons for opportunists to sell the DIY hardcore/punk culture and to feed their materialistic greed. Fuck them.
Fuck these parasites. Refrain the acquisitivity. Retaliate these scavengers to do any harm to the culture and the scene that the community build on for all these years.
But still, different situation demand different solution. The solution that might not written in the DIY hardcore/punk scriptures. The solution that shall not be compared to and criticized upon. This adaptation shall be look towards upon and learnt from to gather all individuals in the community to reflects on our own wrongdoings and being weak not to push ourselves and do much enough to secure our own autonomous space with stability and security. Say fuck ourselves so we could be progressive in the future for our own community's good, for Rumah Api to continue remain as the space for all sort of DIY hardcore/punk-related shows, sharing ideas and activism purposes as well as recreational meeting point.
*A personal thought and view that is not, should not and will not ever be affliated to any pressure of decision making.