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Monday, April 23, 2007

Reviving Penang’s batik industry

A TRADITIONAL kampung house in Sungai Burung will serve as a batik centre to revive the fading batik making industry in Penang.

Koperasi Pelancongan Pulau Pinang Bhd (Kopel) is setting up the centre to promote Penang batik for the tourism market.

Kopel executive advisor Muham-mad Farid Saad said the centre would also function as the Balik Pulau Tou-rism Information Centre to promote tourism attractions in the district.

“We will set up a batik gallery and sales booths,” he said, adding that Ko-pel would also provide trishaws and bicycles for rent.

“Penang batik differs from Kelan-tan, Terengganu and Java batik as the designs are more abstract,” he said.

Although batik is a saleable product in the tourist market, the state has only a few batik makers left.

“Kopel will play an active role to coordinate marketing and sales to promote Penang batik. We will set up an office at the Balai Beca (trishaw centre) in Kampung Kolam, George Town,” he said after presenting tokens and certificates to 105 UPSR high achievers from Balik Pulau on behalf of Balik Pu-lau MP Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

Muhammad Farid said the batik making industry took its root in the state in the 1980s.

“Penang created a niche in abstract designs.

“The industry, however, did not go far because of poor marketing strategies. That is why we are stepping in.”

On the event, he said it was the third year prizes were given to top UPSR scorers.

“This is to encourage the students to study hard. We want them to realise that education will help them secure a better future,” he said.

SOURCE: The Star (North)

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