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An opposition MP recently highlighted the plight of the local music industry at the Dewan Rakyat and surprised everyone with his singing.
During the morning session of the parliamentary sitting yesterday (8 March), Sungai Siput MP S Kesavan started singing a song before asking whether the government has plans to grow the local music industry.
The song he sang was a Tamil song entitled Naan Aanaiyittal by MGR, and it was said to be Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s favourite song.
Music is one of the economic branches that can help build social development. The song means, if I am destined to lead the country, I will ensure the poverty-stricken rakyat won’t suffer anymore. So my additional question here is to ask whether the Ministry (of Human Resources) will help the youth in the music industry. Will they be given training to grow the (local music) industry?Sungai Siput MP S Kesavan
In response, Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan acknowledged that it was a popular song but said growing the music industry was not the ministry’s current focus.
However, the Human Resource Ministry would conduct a study about the matter and might introduce a programme to help the artists in the industry in the future.
Is there help for local artists?
The discussion and debate to help grow the local music scene have been a long one. That said, there has been some financial help given to our local artists such as the Cendana fund.
Based on the list of beneficiaries on Cendana’s website, 48 independent music artists and groups such as Alena Murang and Foo Bihzhu have benefited from the arts fund in 2021.
Aside from Cendana, there are a few funds and grants set up to help local music artists to grow their art such as:
- Yayasan Sime Darby
- Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara
- Yayasan Hasanah
- Five Arts Centre
- Think City
- And more
Despite the current financial aids available, the funds and grants are still only accessible to a small fraction of current and budding music artists.
Not all arts funds and grants are given consistently or on a regular basis too. The availability depends on the funding made available to these organisations too.
What the industry needs is a long-term and sustainable plan to grow the local arts and music industry more robustly for years to come.
What you can do to help
Instead of waiting around, you can support our local artists now by attending local performances or tuning into online shows such as Nada Music MY. Spreading the word about local art and music events help our local artists too.
Also, indie singer Brendan de Cruz is holding his first solo concert LOVELIFEMUSIC at PJPAC 1 Utama this Saturday, 12 March. Find out how to get tickets in the article below.