Monday, June 7, 2010

Malaysia Must Look Into Arts, Culture To Be Truly Developed

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 (Bernama) -- To be truly developed, Malaysia must look into the arts and cultural offerings that many Malaysians and foreign guests clamour for.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was not just the responsibility of the government but also that of every Malaysian corporate, through private sector initiatives.

"The global traveller today is not looking for destinations but experiences, and a strong art tourism offering will enhance our global appeal and keep our tourism offering fresh new and exciting," he said when launching the 'Malaysian Contemporary Art: The Aliya and Farouk Khan Collection Book', in conjunction with the Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism at Bangsar Shopping Centre here Monday.

Also present at the launch were Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Bandar Raya Developments Berhad chairman Datuk Mohamed Moiz.

The 932-page book showcases the best, brightest, boldest and most inspiring art, sculpture and installation works of over 85 Malaysian artists, depicted across close to 900 images.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia needed to grow this base to lend its support to making Malaysian art an iconic product desired, pursued and collected worldwide.

"Malaysian artists are of world-class standing and their works are on par with other artistic works around the world.

"Therefore, our artists have an important role to play in celebrating our country's achievements and reflecting the view of society as our nations move along its path," he said.

Meanwhile, at the press conference after the launching ceremony, Dr Ng said the ministry had identified arts as the newest tourism product to be introduced to the world and hoped it would attract tourists to the country.

"Hence, the ministry will hold its first ever and Malaysia's biggest celebration of contemporary art tourism, the 1Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism Festival (MCAT) which will be launched next month in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca and Johor, for three months," she said.

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