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Yayasan Hasanah, Centexs Inks MoU To Strengthen Malaysia’s Textile Preservation

KUALA LUMPUR: Yayasan Hasanah, Malaysia’s leading impact-based foundation, and Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (Centexs), recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), solidifying their commitment to advancing the preservation and conservation of the country’s rich textile heritage.

A historic MoU for Yayasan Hasanah and CENTEXS; bridging the skills gap in preserving Malaysia’s textile heritage. From Left: YBhg. Dato’ Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Trustee and Managing Director of Yayasan Hasanah, YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Mohamad Morshidi bin Abdul Ghani, Chairman of CENTEXS, The Right Honourable Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Premier of Sarawak and YBhg. Dato Haji Syeed Mohd Hussien Bin Wan Abdul Rahman, CEO of CENTEXS

The MoU outlines a strategic partnership focused on capacity development, cross-fertilisation of skills, and the promotion of excellence in heritage textile preservation.

The MoU exchange was organised in conjunction with Centexs’ recent convocation ceremony graced by Sarawak premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang  Openg. Yayasan Hasanah trustee and managing director Datuk Shahira Ahmed Bazari said sustainable preservation requires more than conveying historical value, it demands an ability to resonate with the hearts and minds of contemporary consumers, staying relevant in the ever-evolving market.

“Thus, over the next two years under its heritage textile preservation efforts, Yayasan Hasanah is focusing on amplifying research and development (R&D) and the commercialisation of artisanal products.

“In doing so, we recognise that this translates to a crucial need for a skills upgrade among our exceptionally talented traditional practitioners.

“In this spirit, we are excited to collaborate with Centexs in curating impactful skill-training programmes, to preserve excellence in these art forms, while strengthening heritage textiles as a thriving economic space for our local artisans in Malaysia,” he said in a recent statement.

The collaboration includes targeted initiatives such as skill development workshops, training programs, and master classes aimed at enhancing the proficiency of traditional textile artisans.

The partnership also seeks to facilitate collaborations between traditional artisans and contemporary designers, fostering the creation of modern interpretations of traditional textiles through innovation and product development.

Furthermore, key aspects of the collaboration also include fostering sustainable practices in capacity-building, product design, development, and entrepreneurship. The historic MoU builds upon Yayasan Hasanah’s tireless efforts in Malaysia’s heritage textile preservation in collaboration with various expert partners.

Initiatives include preserving original Malaysian legacy motifs through digital documentation and intellectual property (IP) protection, the development of an experiential centre for heritage textiles, masterclasses for royal textile art forms like Telepuk with  Adigurus (master artisans), as well as training for youths in heritage textile arts like Kelingkan, Keringkam, Songket, and Telepuk – such as the ASPIRE Programme that trains the young trainees of Puncak Borneo complex in the art of Keringkam embroidery.

Centexs chief executive officer Datuk  Syeed Mohd Hussien Wan Abdul Rahman said the centre’s mission is to be the best technology training institute in the region by 2030.

“As we strive towards this goal, our responsibility is to equip the state’s workforce for various economic sectors, and this includes the lifestyle and heritage scene.

“This partnership with Yayasan Hasanah adds immense value in co-designing an impactful training programme for our traditional artisans, to ensure they are not left behind in technological advances and innovations relevant to their craft, thus nurturing a strong workforce in this sector,” he said.

The MoU is in line with Yayasan Hasanah’s aim to become a leading foundation that promotes Malaysia’s global sustainability through solutions encouraging human capital development, empowering communities, promoting social inclusivity, and improving the local environment.

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