Glam Halal | January-February . 2022
Local craftt at its best
Awareness creation is essential to promote Malaysia ’ s local craft industry
BY FATIHAH MANAF
THE MALAYSIAN handicraft industry also experienced a challenging period due to the pandemic . The industry relied on digital platforms to promote handicraft products to sustain the businesses .
Syarikat Pemasaran Karyaneka , a subsidiary of Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation , an agency under the Ministry of Tourism , Arts and Culture Malaysia ( MOTAC ), strives to help the affected entrepreneurs and artisans in the country amidst the pandemic .
Established in 1982 , the company has grown into a leading brand representing handicraft products made in this country . It serves as a one-stop centre for premium craft products and is responsible for developing and expanding Malaysia ’ s craft industry through sales and marketing .
Karyaneka offers a variety of high-quality craft products ranging from wood carving , ceramic , songket , pewter , silver , anyaman ( weaving ) and everyone ’ s favourite - batik .
However , whilst Indonesians seem to be proud to wear their batik daily , it is hard to spot batik-wearers in Malaysia except on Thursday - where some organisations make it compulsory for their staff to wear it . Still , it undoubtedly is one of the most comfortable materials .
@ GlamHalal browsed through Karyaneka ’ s craft products during the World Islamic Tourism Conference , organised by Islamic Tourism Centre at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur ( WTCKL ).
Even with a subtle glance at Karyaneka ’ s batik prints , one can feel how much thought went into their production . The same applies to the exclusive hand-woven bags displayed during the event .
“ Malaysian batik tends to be very colourful while Indonesian batik is more to earth colours . Ours are pretty vibrant and cater to all , from young children to adults , explained Karyaneka General Manager Norizmah Mustaffa .
“ There are many things that can be produced from the batik . It is not limited to attire as specific designs can make other byproducts such as bags , pouches , etc .
“ The price is affordable . We have different target segments , the mass market to medium and high-end consumers .
Creating awareness for craft products
Malaysian handicraft products are unique and beautiful . The designs often signify Malaysia ’ s rich tradition , culture and diversity . Despite the Covid-19 pandemic , the local craft industry was also able to sustain by adapting to new business models .
Norizmah opined that awareness creation was a critical thing to further promote batik and handicraft products in general . For the public to know the value of these crafts , continuous knowledge-sharing to these people plays an important role .
“ In Karyaneka , we try to create awareness about this . We usually conduct demonstration sessions in schools and universities where we demonstrate the process of batik making , etc .
“ Sometimes , we also do quizzes through our social media . For example , during the Merdeka celebration , we had this photography contest where participants expressed their ‘ independence ’ with Malaysian handicrafts . The contest was open to the public , so there was participation from students and others .
“ If you come to our complex at Jalan Conlay , our main showroom , we have a batik demonstration . However , within the complex itself , there are various mini activities like ‘ anyaman ’.
“ It also has ‘ perkampungan artis ’ ( Craft Village ), where people can see how artists do the drawings . Visitors can also play traditional games like Congkak and Batu Seremban there ,” said Norizmah , who hoped these awareness creation efforts by Karyaneka would reach a broader range of audiences .
She stated visitors could also request a special visit to the complex for a private tour .
Surviving the pandemic
Being considered a non-essential sector , Karyaneka had to suspend its operation during the movement restriction period . All its 10 outlets