Motac provides financial aid to NGOs, arts and cultural workers

Cakna Penggiat 2021 benefits practitioners of the music, acting, writing, visual arts, history, dance, martial arts, handicrafts and cultural heritage


THE Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) yesterday handed financial assistance to NGOs and for industry players in the arts sector.

The aid came under the ministry’s Cakna Penggiat 2021 programme.

Presented by Motac Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (picture), 20 individuals and 15 NGOs who received the financial assistance were practitioners of the music, acting, writing, visual arts, history, dance, martial arts, handicrafts and cultural heritage fields.

The Motac Cultural Assessment Panel Committee has also successfully approved a total of RM977,300 to 30 NGOs to help revive the arts, culture and heritage sector while lifting the burden from those who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based on the ministry’s Cultural and Welfare Trust Fund for Art Entrepreneurs between 2014 and 2020, a total of art workers have benefitted from the total allocation of RM3,065,834 while this year, 29 of them received financial assistance amounting to RM26,100.

However, after taking into account the standard operating procedures set by the National Security Council, Motac could only provide relief to those residing in the Klang Valley.

According to Nancy, this assistance was a form of the ministry’s appreciation for those who have contributed to Malaysia’s art industry.

“Cakna Penggiat 2021 was made possible in collaboration with the Employees Association with the help of departments and agencies under Motac,” she said in her speech at the ceremony.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the cultural sector and had forced many industry players in the arts and culture sector to reschedule their programmes or cancel them completely.

“This situation has forced artists to think outside the box, where they need to be innovative and creative through the use of online technology.

“However, although it can be implemented successfully, participation is limited,” she said, adding that many have lost their source of income.

Nancy said the handicraft industry was also affected, where their income has declined drastically, especially the small and medium enterprises.

“Arts and cultural workers have lost their source income for two years to the point that some of them had to change careers to survive,” she said.

The ministry has also introduced other assistance and incentives such as grants to support tourism, arts and culture organisations in conducting their programmes and continuing the financing to NGOs and tax deduction incentives which were introduced during Budget 2020.

“In addition, the redemption of incentives in the form of discounts, rebates and vouchers offered to consumers by airlines, the Malaysian Hotel Association and the purchase of cultural products to promote local arts and crafts.

“At the same time, the promotion and marketing of craft products online through the registration of entrepreneurs into the MyCraftShoppe Digital Platform were also done by Motac through Kraftangan Malaysia to help entrepreneurs in the crafts sector increase their source of income,” Nancy said.