Queen calls on other states to emulate Sarawak in organising arts, handicraft symposiums

Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah (right) during her tour of the booths at the 'Lembaran Emas Series 2: Borneo Textiles Symposium' at Pullman Hotel on Dec 6, 2022. Also seen are Juma’ani (second right), Abdul Karim (fourth right), and other guests. Photo credit: JAPEN Sarawak

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By Yee Mei

KUCHING, Dec 6: Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Mainmunah Iskandariah has called on other states in Malaysia to emulate Sarawak in organising symposiums on the different arts and handicrafts in the country.

Her Majesty praised Sarawak as being one of the first, if not only State, to hold such symposiums, which she saw as providing a platform to share views and ideas on Malaysia’s arts and crafts.

“I hope other states will follow suit instead of waiting for the Asean Traditional Textile Symposium.

“It (symposiums) is about making friendships so we can continue to bond to share ideas and learn from one another to leave it as a legacy for our future generations,” she said in her speech at the opening ceremony of the ‘Lembaran Emas Series 2: Borneo Textiles Symposium’ today.

Her Majesty added that she was hopeful that in May 2023, they would take part in London Craft Week, where she wants to introduce the handicrafts of the various indigenous and ethnic communities in the country on an international stage.

“I hope Sarawak will support me here. The Westerners love everything tribal and ethnic, and by bringing our people to London, I hope we can showcase our rich indigenous art,” she said.

Her Majesty also donated a 36-year-old keringkam which was in her possession, to the Sarawak government to be displayed in a museum.

Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah with the keringkam she donated to the Sarawak government. Screengrab taken from Ukas Facebook livestream

“It was part of my dowry given to me by my husband (Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah), and I would like to present it back to the Sarawak government so it can be displayed in the museum,” she said.

She also hopes to hold meetings to establish a royal artisan society to gather artisans and instill in them the importance of passing down knowledge on the various arts and handicrafts so it doesn’t get lost in the passage of time.

On the symposium, she said the textile industry is expanding and evolving globally, which means there is a rise in the demand for it.

“We should take this opportunity to ensure sustainable growth of our textiles for the communities to not only be ‘guardians’ but the need to utilise these skills for the betterment of individuals in the community,” she said.

The symposium, with the theme ‘Connecting Textiles to Communities for Sustainable Growth’, will be held from Dec 5-7 at Pullman Hotel here. It aims to enhance and propel Sarawak’s textiles preservations and conservations.

Among those present were Sarawak Minister of Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; the Premier’s wife, Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; and the wives of the deputy premiers, Datin Amar Doreen Mayang and Datin Sri Datin Sri Enn Ong. — DayakDaily