Batu Pahat recognised for making gambus

Pro at work: Gambus maker Halidan Ithnin carving flowers on a gambus at the Kraf Johor Festival in Johor Baru. — Bernama

JOHOR BARU: Batu Pahat is the third place in the country to obtain the Geographical Identification (GI) for its gambus making industry.

The short-neck lute-like pear-shaped stringed instrument is widely used in ghazal and zapin music genre, both of which are synonymous with Johor traditional music.

Gambus originated from Yemen and was brought to Johor by Arab traders.

Other places that had obtained the GI are Perak for its Tekat Benang Emas, Labu Sayong and Tembikar Pulau Tiga, and Sarawak for its Sulaman Keringkam.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi congratulated Kraftangan Malaysia for successfully registering Batu Pahat with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia as the location for Gambus Johor production under GI.

“The reason behind registering the musical instrument is to protect and promote its uniqueness and speciality where it will be benefit and give added value to its makers in Batu Pahat, ” he said at the opening of Kraf Johor Festival yesterday.

His speech was read by the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat.

Mohamaddin said by having the GI, it would make the location as another main tourist destination for the country’s tourism sector.

He also said the ministry had earmarked Malaysian-made craft as one of the key products to meet the demands and expectations of 30 million tourists expected for Visit Malaysia 2020.

He said until November, a total of RM465mil in craft sales were recorded involving 5,796 craft entrepreneurs registered with Kraftangan Malaysia.

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