New Straits Times Online

Batik industry chalks up rapid growth rate

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of batik producers has grown by 40 per cent since the national batik movement was launched in 2003.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he was proud of the rapid growth rate.

“In 2004, there were 324 batik producers. Three years later, the number has risen to 468. Similarly, job opportunities in the industry have gone up by 20 per cent from 1,915 people in 2004 to 2,318 this year,” he said yesterday.

Najib attributed the positive developments to “Malaysian Batik – Crafted for the World” movement launched in 2003 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s first wife, the late Datin Seri Endon Mahmood.

Endon, who died of cancer in 2005, was the former chairman of Yayasan Budi Penyayang (Penyayang).
“I am confident that the present chairman, Nori Abdullah, who is also Endon’s daughter, will continue to elevate and promote Malaysian batik.”

At the launch of the International Malaysian Batik Festival 2007, Najib said the RM50 million annual allocation under the Handicraft Industry Development Fund would boost the batik industry in the Northern Corridor Economic Region and East Coast Economic Region.

The International Malaysian Batik Festival will run for nine days, during which several batik-themed events will be held at the Esplanade, at Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Also present were Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Penyayang chief executive officer Datuk Leela Mohd Ali and Nori.

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