Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak this last Friday announced the Cultural Economy Development Agency, or CENDANA in short, to help develop a sustainable cultural economy for Malaysia.

Set up by the Malaysian government through MyCreative Ventures – an initiative that was mentioned in the National Budget 2017 – CENDANA will focus on championing the arts and culture sector and its development to win the hearts of the Malaysian audience.

“Cultural development of Malaysia is in tandem with the achievement of Malaysia as a society. The development of Malaysia should be in line with our efforts to uphold our local arts and culture arena. We need to promote and prioritise our arts and culture. The government will work closely with strategic partners and corporate bigwigs to ensure that our efforts are maximised to increase opportunities for Malaysian artistes as well as allowing easy access for the people to enjoy the various arts and culture of Malaysia. This is very important as the arts reflect the spirit of the nation and will shape our identities as Malaysians. I am confident that CENDANA will help us achieve this goal and at the same time position Kuala Lumpur as a rapidly developed capital city with lots of inspiration and energy,” said YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

CENDANA is attempting to bring an upheaval of the cultural economy across all fronts, starting in Klang Valley. Plans to stimulate demand for the arts, empower communities and improving circumstances for artists are in the process with RM20 Million ringgit allocated to make this a reality. The agency also appointed a group of professionals consisting of big names in each aspect of Malaysian art, starting with Rahul Kukreja from Livescape Sdn Bhd for music, Mohd Jayzuan of Khizanat/Projek Rabak for alternative spaces, and Nori Abdullah for craft as the industry advisory panel.

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