London’s Harrods to promote Malaysian crafts
A one-month exhibition on Malaysian crafts will be held at London’s renowned Harrods department store to promote local crafts. National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Sen Mohd Shafie Apdal said that the move would facilitate the introduction of local crafts into foreign markets. “We have already discussed the matter with the owner of the department store who agreed to hold an exhibition at the store on selected high quality local crafts such as pewter and songket,” he said during a press conference on Malaysian Craft Promotion at Lintasan Deasoka here yesterday. According to Shafie, the exhibition will be held in March next year and the Ministry has already selected producers of high quality crafts to participate. “The selection was made based on certain criteria to ensure that the crafts which will be shown at the exhibition will comply with the quality standards of the renowned department store,” he said. Meanwhile, Shafie also said that the country’s craft industry has the potential to be developed to the international level. “The industry contributed almost RM240 million in revenue to the country last year and the number of entrepreneurs has also increased by almost 50 percent from 1,400 in 2007 to 2,100 in 2008,” he said. He added that apart from the Government’s effort to introduce and promote local crafts such as batik, other industries should also make the effort to promote Malaysian- made crafts. He cited the use of local crafts in hotels, adding that they are as good as foreign ones. Meanwhile the Malaysian craft promotion which is being held at Lintasan Deasoka here from Oct 17 to 21 from l0 am until 10pm will include various activities such as craft sales, craft-making demonstrations and interactive craft exhibitions and cultural performances. The event, held in conjunction with the closing of the 51st Independence Month in Sabah and jointly orgised by Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation and Kota Kinabalu City Hall, involved 81 craft entrepreneurs and targets sales of RM350,000. Also present during the event were Shafie’s wife Datin Seri Hjh Shuryani Datuk Shuaib, Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, Chief Secretary in the Ministry Datuk Dr Muzahet Masruri, Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation Chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Salleh Tun Said and Director General Datuk Abdullah Abd Rahman.