Private sector should be more involved with museum institution

by NURHAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by ARIF KARTONO

THE Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) is looking for further involvement from the private sector for the development of museums moving forward following its launch of the Local Museum Fundamentals and Guidelines.

Motac Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the nation currently does not have many museums built by the private sector.

“Most of our current existing museums were built by the government.

“If it’s possible, I’d like to encourage more museums to be built in the country, especially those from the private sector,” she said after the launch of the Local Museum Fundamentals and Guidelines (LMFG) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

With the launch, Nancy said she is hopeful that people are looking to participate and grow familiar with the museum institution.

“Through this, they can also build their museums and later promote products such as trains, and also innovate their own to exhibit at their museums,” she said.

In total, the number of museums in Malaysia stands at 236, and 22 of them are under the Museum Department’s (JMM) administration, and not all of the museums are placed under Motac through the department.

Nancy said in her keynote speech that in building a museum is seen as important as building administration, religious and education centres in most Western countries.

“As such in Malaysia, the institution is advancing and the number keeps growing,” she said.

This year, Motac has channelled funds to a few state museums for development under the First Rolling Plan, 12th Malaysian Plan 2021-2025 where RM2.37 million has been approved for six museums in the first phase.

These museums are Kedah State Museum Board (RM250,000), Melaka Museums Corp (RM500,000), Terengganu State Museum Board (RM470,000), Kelantan State Museums Corp (RM400,000), Sabah Museums Department (RM250,000) and Sarawak Museums Department (RM500,000).

Additionally, RM1.83 million funds are channelled for three museums to strengthen the tourism industry, namely Kedah State Museum Board (RM200,000), Melaka Museums Corp (RM1.21 million) and Perbadanan Adat Melayu dan Warisan Negeri Selangor (RM420,000).

Nancy added that the funds include conservation works and building restoration and maintenance for tourism convenience.

“The collaboration of the federal government and 103 museums under the state governments in enriching visitors’ experience is a part of Motac’s continuous commitment.

“From 2014 until last year, a total of RM279.45 million was channelled for museums via JMM, while Motac has approved the first allocation of RM20.25 million and the following will be done in the middle of the year,” she said.

She added that museums nowadays will need to be the agent of change and development.

“This can be done via close partnership between JMM and state governments, as well as tourism agents and media representatives in planning activities that are structured.

“This collaboration can also lead to new ideas that are creative and innovative in making museums the first attraction for tourists to visit and not the last, whether it’s to be among domestic arrivals or international arrivals,” she said.

Motac yesterday launched the LMFG as a framework for local museums to utilise and fill in the gaps of the Museum Act that is currently being legislated.