The date was chosen as a tribute to Endon Mahmood for her efforts to introduce batik to the world but it’s on the same day as World Disability Day.
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On 1 December, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced 3 December as the annual Malaysia Batik Day.
The special day hopes to encourage the multiracial rakyat to unite and wear the Malaysian batik with pride, in line with the Keluarga Malaysia theme.
The move hopes to strengthen the country’s local batik craft industry and the batik production chain in the country too.
The date was also chosen as a tribute to Endon Mahmood, the late wife of fifth prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had promoted Malaysia’s batik industry to the world.
On 3 December 2003, Endon showcased local batik designs in Europe and succeeded in bringing batik to the world stage.
Not everyone is happy about it
While it all sounds good at first, not everyone is pleased with the announcement because 3 December is also the International Day of Disabled Persons 2021 or also known as the World Disability Day.
A Twitter user Nara Al-Shabab said celebrating Malaysia Batik Day on the same day marginalises the local disabled community even more.
She added that she understands that batik is part of the Malaysian culture but questioned why they couldn’t choose another date.
Excuse me? Overlapping with Hari OKU? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? As if we aren’t marginalised enough? https://t.co/jgrYg6iTZH— Nara Al-Shahab ♿️🇲🇾 #justiceforbella (@nara_shahab) December 1, 2021
AMANAH party member Anfaal Saari also supports the notion to choose another date for Batik Day, with respect for the disabled community.
3 Disember ialah Hari OKU Sedunia. Mohon @IsmailSabri60 lebih peka sebelum umum.— Anfaal Saari 🏴 🇲🇾 (@anfaalsaari) December 1, 2021
Kewujudan Hari OKU Sedunia ini untuk memberi kesedaran tentang kebajikan OKU. Penting. Seluruh jentera kerajaan perlu fokus.
Pilih tarikh lain untuk Hari Batik Malaysia. https://t.co/2GwaLOwg75
Another netizen pointed out that there are so many other dates to choose from for Malaysia Batik Day.
Punyalah bersepah tarikh kosong. 3dec gak dia ambik utk hari batik. Kesian dkt warga oku 😑— MrAidilz . C.A (@MaidilShz) December 2, 2021
That said, there have also been debates about the origins of batik.
While batik originated in Indonesia, batik variations can also be found in other parts of Southeast Asia including Malaysia.