Giving life to Merbok

MERBOK, the basin for the lost civilisation in Bujang Valley, will be brought to ‘life’ through Batik Merbok, a collection of designer motifs in batik. 

Among the designs are those depicting archaeological artifacts in Bujang Valley, padi fields at the foot of Gunung Jerai, the traditional atap houses, burung merbok and mangroves. 

The Batik Merbok project is the brainchild of Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin and a joint collaboration with Batik International Design Access (BIRDA), UiTM Shah Alam and UiTM Kedah. 

The Batik Merbok Design Centre-UiTM workshop, located in Merbok, Kedah, will train single mothers, youths and the community to develop Batik Merbok into a cottage industry. 

“We want to find a particular design synonymous with the natural ecology of Merbok – the basin for the lost civilisation of Bujang – and something people can identify with.  

“It is hoped the brand name can be used to promote and market the batik and put the picturesque Merbok district on the tourism map,” he said at the launching of Batik Merbok by Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid at Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort in Sungai Petani recently. 

In his speech, Mahdzir said the project was in line with the tourism development of Lembah Bujang in the Northern Corridor Economic Region.  

UiTM vice-chancellor Datuk Seri Prof Ibrahim Abu Shah said the project was a culmination of a three-month research on design motifs by the UiTM Art and Design Faculty. 

“Our undergraduates from the Art and Design Faculty have come out with more than 150 designs to date and will keep on producing more up-to-date designs based on the natural ecology of Merbok,” he said. 

Kedah MCA chief Datuk Beh Heng Siong, who was among the supporters of the project, pledged to make Batik Merbok the new uniform for the staff of Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort. 

“We will also set up a boutique for Batik Merbok at the resort,” he added. 

Zainuddin added that KL Tower had already pre-ordered the batik for the World Towers Conference in September.  

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