KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim appealed to conglomerates to support the development of the country’s arts scene, among others.
Speaking at the launch of the ‘Orientalist Paintings: Mirror or Mirage?’ exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia here on Friday (June 2), he said the development of theatres and museums in Western countries was not through government effort but also from the commitment given by their conglomerates.
"You have seen the theaters, museums in the West, not only from governmental efforts but the commitment, passion and some of the big conglomerates feel that some of the profits should be utilised to support the arts.
"If there are 30 conglomerates, and let’s just say they lend their support in various fields, this will enrichen the arts, literature, culture, education and society,” he said.
Also present were Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil and Albukhary Foundation chairman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.
Meanwhile, Anwar said the Madani concept in Malaysia not only empowers the people through the economy, which is fundamental but also required cultural empowerment including literature and arts.
"It would be unfortunate for a country like Malaysia with strong Islamic roots and diverse cultures, the Indians, Chinese, Indigenous tribes not able to excel in art, culture and performing arts because we are either too preoccupied with economic issues or too obsessed with changes from the West,” he added.
On the exhibition, which runs from Friday until Oct 15 and organised by the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, the prime minister described it as among the most prominent in the world.
As such, he called on researchers, parents, undergraduates and students to take advantage of the ongoing school holidays to attend.
"Perhaps not many are aware of this exhibition. It is quite unique as it is not made available in any other country except at the Museum of London, that too on a small scale.
"Use this opportunity as normally people pay hundreds or thousands of ringgit to enjoy great works that are not available on the street, this (exhibition) is made available from the Auction House at a huge price,” he said.
Making history in Asia, the exhibition presents a definitive collection of art from the golden age of Orientalism, with the display of paintings from the 19th and early 20th centuries never been shown outside Europe or America.- Bernama