24/05/2024 05:32 PM

CHUKAI, May 24 (Bernama) – The government’s directive for civil servants to wear Malaysian batik on Thursdays, which was enforced in August last year, has helped to boost the country’s batik industry, said Kraftangan Malaysia deputy director-general (development) Abdul Halim Ali.

He said this development can be seen from the increased value of Malaysian batik sales last year compared to the previous years.

"The value of batik sales in 2022 was RM83.3 million, and it increased to RM100.4 million last year. In fact, the number of batik entrepreneurs registered with Kraftangan Malaysia has also increased to 823 entrepreneurs in 2023 compared to 767 in 2022.

"On Kraftangan Malaysia's side, we always help in terms of promotions and advisory services, among others to ensure the local batik industry continues to grow,” he said when met during the 2024 East Coast Craft Festival walkabout session at Mesra Mall, Kemaman here today.

Meanwhile, Abdul Halim said the efforts of his team to advance the socioeconomic aspects of the low-income group and asnaf have shown positive and encouraging development.

According to him, under the Community Skills Development Programme (PPKK), there were a total of 2,916 (new) entrepreneurs from 2020 to April 30, this year.

He said an allocation of RM1.2 million is provided yearly for the community development programme, excluding promotional and other expenses.

“This community of entrepreneurs are new enterpreneurs developed after the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic, many are without jobs so we have taken this initiative to help by training new entrepreneurs,” he said.

"But we ensure that the handicrafts they produce are those that are necessary, and not just decorations and ornaments.”

A total 57 handicraft entrepreneurs from around the country are participating in the festival, held from May 22 to June 3, with an estimated sales value of RM2.4 million.




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