Anwar hopes conglomerates will support development of the arts

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim officiates the ‘Orientalism Paintings: Mirror or Mirage?’ exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur. He appeals to conglomerates to support the development of the country’s arts scene. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, June 2, 2023.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today appealed to conglomerates to support the development of the country’s arts scene, among others.  

Speaking at the launch of the “Orientalist Paintings: Mirror or Mirage?” exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia today, he said the development of theatres and museums in Western countries was not through government efforts but from commitments given by conglomerates.

“You have seen the theaters, museums in the West, not only from governmental efforts but the commitment, passion and some of the big conglomerates feel that some of the profits should be utilised to support the arts. 

“If there are 30 conglomerates, and let’s just say they lend their support in various fields, this will enrich the arts, literature, culture, education, and society,” he said. 

Also present were Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil and Albukhary Foundation chairman Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.

Anwar said the Madani concept in Malaysia also required cultural empowerment including development of literature and the arts. 

“It would be unfortunate for a country like Malaysia with strong Islamic roots and the diverse cultures of Indians, Chinese, and indigenous tribes not to excel in art, culture and performing arts because we are either too preoccupied with economic issues or too obsessed with changes from the West,” he added. 

The prime minister described the museum exhibition – running from today until October 15 – as among the most prominent in the world.  

As such, he called on researchers, parents, and students to take advantage of the ongoing school holidays to attend it.  

“Perhaps not many are aware of this exhibition. It is quite unique as it is not made available in any other country except at the Museum of London, that too on a small scale.  

“Use this opportunity as normally people pay hundreds or thousands of ringgit to enjoy great works that are not available on the street; this (exhibition) is made available from the auction house at a huge price,” he said.  

Making history in Asia, the exhibition presents a definitive collection of art from the golden age of Orientalism, displaying paintings from the 19th and early 20th centuries that have never been shown outside Europe or America. – Bernama, June 2, 2023.

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