Sustaining and preserving Malaysia’s local handicraft industry
Albert WY Leow
Local artisans and entrepreneurs, together with the Malaysian Government have a profound influence in the development of Malaysian handicrafts. The definition of handicraft is any hand-made products (Fabeil et al., 2014) which have both artistic and cultural elements (Development Cooperation Act 1979, 2006) encompassing the raw- materials (which are used in its production), design, and workmanship. Handicrafts which are made by Aboriginals can enhance tourism development, based on their culture and heritage. Daily village income can be generated through handicraft sales when local and foreign visitors are invited to visit their villages. This article is secondary research, which has exposed the challenges faced by Malaysia’s local handcrafters and entrepreneurs dealing in handicraft trades. It has also uncovered what are the sustainable measures which could be adopted by the local government in sustaining the handicraft industry for generations to come. The multiple ideas and approaches in preserving Malaysia’s handicrafts by adopting new business models and modern technology are also discussed in this research. By strengthening the role of handicraft entrepreneurs, the value of traditional crafts can be maintained and preserved.