PETALING JAYA: The RM160 million allocation for the creative industry under Budget 2024 is a boon that will help spur the sector to greater heights, said Universiti Malaysia Kelantan Faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage head of performing arts elective Shaipuddin Muhammad.
“The allocation will revitalise the creative industry, which has been struggling and almost dying after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The industry, which includes advertising, architecture, film, music, publishing, gaming, performing arts, graphics and fashion, has provided benefits and returns to the national economy.”
Shaipuddin said the Statistics Department reported that the creative industry had contributed RM29.4 billion (1.9%) to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.
He also said the allocation is crucial to boost the industry, which has been proven to be profitable, adding that the funding is “commendable and well-timed” and would effectively drive economic development and boost Visit Malaysia Year 2026.
Shaipuddin said there are numerous opportunities available, and individuals are not restricted to one field of work.
“They can create various content and leverage the convenience of today’s globalised world. Many in the field have already generated income through social media. I believe the budget allocation will positively impact their social and economic standing.”
He said the creative industry is becoming increasingly competitive worldwide, and local talent has to also compete now on the global platform.
He added that it is therefore important for them to be creative and innovative, adept at using technology and possess IT skills.
Animation Malaysia Educators Society president Assoc Prof Ahamad Tarmizi Azizan lauded the government’s commitment to the growth and development of the animation industry.
“Whether the allocation is sufficient depends on specific initiatives and scope. It is essential for the government and industry stakeholders to ensure effective and efficient budget utilisation to maximise impact.”
Ahamad Tarmizi said the animation industry in Malaysia is smaller compared with some international powerhouses in Europe and North America.
“Historically, our animation industry has generated revenue from domestic and international markets, contributing some 2% to the GDP in 2022.
“The industry has not only provided job opportunities but also showcased Malaysia’s culture on a global scale.”
Ahamad Tarmizi emphasised that investing in talent development and education, funding for high quality animation production as well as marketing and distribution globally would boost the industry and economy.
He called for investments in technology and infrastructure as well as collaboration between local and international animation companies.
Ahamad Tarmizi said the industry must also explore public-private partnerships, foreign investment and co-production opportunities as well as grants and funding from international organisations and foundations that support the creative industry.
“Generating revenue through licensing and merchandise related to animated content can also boost the animation industry’s profitability.”
He said these strategies, combined with the allocated budget, would go a long way towards developing the animation industry and maximising its economic contribution and cultural identity.
“By nurturing local talent, using access to technology, producing compelling content and expanding global reach, the creative industry has the potential to position Malaysia as an animation hub in Southeast Asia.”