The creations should be unique and able to attract new tourists to come to Sabah, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said when posing the challenge at the closing of Yayasan Sabah Group’s Membatik Course and presentation of awards to young batik designers.
Noting that the trainees had learned and mastered the art of making batik, Musa said, “While your learning session has ended, it is just the beginning for you, and your challenge now is to come up with new designs that reflect Sabah’s culture and identity. We want it to be so good that it would lure tourists, both repeat and new ones, to come to our state to find these designs,” he said.
The Chief Minister stressed that Sabahans have the potential to produce quality batiks if they have the right attitude, interest and determination to do so.
He expressed his confidence that with the level of creativity and innovations among Sabahans, it would ensure that their works are good and competitive not only in the local market, but also internationally.
“Apart from offering job opportunities, the handicraft industry also contributes towards the nation and state’s economy, besides encouraging more Bumiputeras to take up the chances available,” he said.
Batik is a method of producing designs on fabric by using a wax resist. Once the fabric is painted with wax, it is placed in a dye bath where the areas under the wax will remain undyed.
The batik masters can produce complex design by layering colors and using cracks in the painted wax to produce fine lines of detail.
At the event, Musa also encouraged corporate bodies and relevant authorities to conduct research and development works on the field.
“I welcome the move by Sabah Handicraft Centre to work closely with Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation and SIRIM Bhd in developing new products, and in R&D.
“As such I would like to call on all agencies and corporate bodies to develop strategic cooperation to share their views and expertise for the good and development of the local handicrafts,” said Musa.
The event saw 33 trainees receiving their certificates after completing the 18-month Membatik Course.
Hazera Sabin stole the limelight after emerging top in the best young batik designers award, followed by Norzilah Jahan and Azmie Utoh @ Ismail, at second and third placings, respectively.