Gov’t acknowledges importance of arts and culture

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KUALA LUMPUR – The RM15 million allocation for the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana) in Budget 2021 shows the government’s concern on the importance and role of arts and culture, despite having to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Cendana chief executive officer Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin said the allocation further enhanced the government’s commitment in prioritising the arts and culture sector as well as recognising the vision contained in the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.


“Based on a survey conducted recently, 93 per cent of artistes and arts and culture workers were negatively affected by COVID-19 and 70 per cent of them almost or completely lost their source of income,” she told Bernama.

Under Budget 2021, the government has allocated a total of RM15 million to Cendana to implement various arts and cultural programmes that will benefit more than 5,000 arts activists and behind-the-scenes production crew.

Through the allocation, Izan Satrina expressed confidence of Cendana continuing to move forward in channeling support and critical assistance to arts and culture activists.

“This enables art activists, cultural workers and art organisations to continue their operations and create the best works of art, while giving the public the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the high quality arts,” she added.

Meanwhile, Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) described Budget 2021 as a reflection of the government’s committed efforts in addressing the people’s anxiety in facing the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Its chairman, Zakaria Abdul Hamid said Finas appreciated the government’s concern for players in the creative content industry, made through the Digital Content Fund (DKD), with the details on the initiatives under the fund to be announced from time to time.

“We also hope that activists in the creative content industry work together and uphold the spirit of togetherness in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and current economic challenges,” he said in a statement.