PUTRAJAYA, Aug 9 ― An additional RM8 million will be channelled to the Malaysian Cultural Economic Development Agency (Cendana) to implement programmes that will help in the survival and sustainability of arts and culture practitioners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the additional allocation would benefit between 500 and 700 arts practitioners and administrative workers.
It can also generate 2,000 job opportunities involving nine arts and culture programmes covering grants, capacity building workshops, creative platforms and documentation, Saifuddin told a virtual media conference after announcing the recipients of the Cendana recovery initiative fund under the Malaysian Creative Industry Stimulus Package (PRISMA) today.
“In total, within 12 months, an allocation of RM17 million has been approved by Cendana to benefit the arts and culture sector. Now, an additional allocation of RM8 million under Pemulih (National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package) will be administered by Cendana for the benefit of arts and culture practitioners, artisans and administrative workers,” he said.
Saifuddin said the RM17 million allocation approved by Cendana, namely RM10 million under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) and RM7 million under Prisma, had ensured the survival of arts and culture practitioners impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and ensured the continued production of local arts and cultural works.
He said Cendana today announced the approval of an allocation of RM7 million under Prisma for cultural and arts practitioners involved in the performing arts, visual arts, independent (indie) music and crafts.
It is a continuation of the RM10 million that was approved recently under the Cendana-Penjana recovery initiative which has generated more than 3,000 new jobs, he said.
Saifuddin said the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) was committed to providing continuous support to the arts and culture sector which play an important role in the country and in 2020, adding that KKMM had implemented the Penjana plan for the creative industry with a total of RM225 million to support the sector to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.
For 2021, a total of RM89.2 million has been announced under the Prisma initiative to help the arts and culture sector survive the pandemic situation, he said.
“KKKM is very grateful and thankful for the additional allocation of RM100 million for the creative industry under Pemulih and is committed to rejuvenating the industry, and will continue to strive to protect and maintain businesses and jobs in this industry,” he said.
Cendana, a unit under MyCreative Ventures, has been jointly responsible with MyCreative Ventures to manage Prisma that was launched on February 5 this year.
Saifuddin said among the programmes under Prisma that attracted his attention was the Adiguru Cendana programme which aimed to encourage local communities who were committed to their arts, traditions and heritage to be collectively involved in the country’s growth.
He said the programme also ensured the continuity of Malaysian traditional art forms by recognising the achievements of Adiguru in traditional performing arts, visual arts, music and crafts throughout Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Cendana chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin said Cendana had so far approved allocations for about 1,000 recipients, created employment opportunities for more than 11,000 Malaysians and upgraded the skills of more than 13,000 industry players since starting operations in 2017.
She said part of the efforts included recognising the contribution of Adiguru Cendana which has played an important role in enhancing the sustainability and preservation of traditional arts.
This includes those championing the traditional arts in Hokkien Potehi (Glove Puppet Theatre), Mak Yong, Kuda Kepang, Mah Meri Orang Asli Mask Dance, Padang Changkat Gambus Dance, Gambus traditional music, Syair or traditional Malay poem, Wayang Kulit and the Main Puteri dance, he said. ― Bernama