KUALA LUMPUR: The batik industry should make a quantum leap onto the world stage so Malaysians can be proud of a creative and thriving industry, said Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood, wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Endon said she wanted the industry to move forward and this would be possible if problems faced by those in the industry were highlighted and addressed.
We want to attract good people into the industry and teach people how to make batik and earn a living through Malaysian crafts.
We also want to help those who are already working hard within it through a cohesive approach, she said, adding that Malaysians should build businesses that are viable and have a good market overseas.
She said she was passionate about Malaysias heritage and wanted to do her part in bringing attention to it.
I wear a lot of batik myself, so I am constantly looking for new designs and new fabrics. I also look for pieces that I can take on trips overseas, that I can showcase to dignitaries and leaders that I meet and to give away as gifts as well, she said at a sponsorship presentation and during a preview of the Batik Extravaganza here yesterday.
Batik Extravaganza, to be launched by the Prime Minister on Dec 3, is part of Malaysian Batik- Crafted for the World, a movement, which Endon initiated to bring local batik to the international arena.
The event comprises the Piala Seri Endon batik fashion design competition, a batik street carnival and batik exhibitions, trade and craft show, all of which would be held from Dec 3 until Jan 10.
Batik Extravaganza is phase one of the movements objectives, as two other phases would be held next year and in 2005.
Star Publications (M) Bhd advertising and business development general manager Datin Linda Ngiam presented RM50,000 to Endon for the fashion design competition.
Winners of the competition will take home RM30,000 (first prize), RM10,000 (second prize), RM5,000 (third prize) and RM1,000 (five consolation prizes).
Other sponsors include Royal Selangor for the trophies and the A Cut Above saloon for hairstyling during the finals in January.
Batik Extravaganza is organised by Batik Guild Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia.
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