Recently at the London Craft Week 2023 following Malaysia’s participation under the patronage of Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, Sarawak once again reinforced its commitment to spur economic growth for Sarawakian entrepreneurs, artisans and craftsmen through digital economy.
The Sarawak delegation was led by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abg Johari Tun Openg, whose presence strengthened Sarawak’s commitment to promoting Sarawak’s cultural heritage and reputation as a leading craft destination. The event also saw Her Majesty and the Premier introducing the SARAtage website, developed and designed by the Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS) Commercial to ensure borderless access to Sarawak heritage and craft.
The Premier said, “We are honoured to represent and showcase Sarawak traditional crafts to an international audience at the London Craft Week. This event, fully supported by the Sarawak Government is an initiative that aligns with Sarawak’s efforts to promote the region’s visibility as a ‘World Craft City’ and tell the stories of Malaysians through the language of craft. The patronage of Her Majesty SPB Raja Permaisuri Agong has given our talented artisans the chance to demonstrate their skills and raise awareness of Sarawak’s distinctive identity.”
“Through our talented artisans, Sarawak’s exceptional crafts and rich cultural heritage takes centre stage with a live demonstration of Pua Kumbu, Keringkam, weaving, and beadwork. We aim to showcase Sarawak’s rich cultural heritage to the world. I believe such event will be an excellent platform for our artisans to share their stories and showcase their craftsmanship to the world and at the same can help create a sustainable income that not only benefits the artisans but also the local economy.”
In introducing the SARAtage online platform, the Premier emphasised its importance, “The locally developed Saratage website by CENTEXS Commercial is our commitment to bringing the world to Sarawak via digital platforms and will open new markets for our local craftsmen, entrepreneurs as well as inmates of the Puncak Borneo Prison under the MyPride programme.”
The online platform will allow users to discover, learn about and buy traditional Sarawakian crafts on the online marketplace. It is part of the Sarawak Government’s initiative to promote entrepreneurship amongst Sarawak craftsmen and entrepreneurs who would be able to potentially generate an income of RM2,000 to RM3,000 monthly.
According to CENTEXS Commercial General Manager, Shahren Yusri, “CENTEXS Commercial is committed to providing the best services through the SARAtage e-commerce platform. Through it, the public is offered a diverse range of the craft industry chain, from the products itself to designs and after-sale services and information on the entrepreneurs themselves. This initiative not only saves time, but ensures a more systematic product marketing.”
There will be five categories of product available through SARAtage including songket, keringkam, textiles like clothing and batik as well as accessories made using materials of the highest quality. Among the heritage products on display during the launch was the MyPride songket weavings, bemban weavings, beaded embroidery, Pua Kumbu and other craft products. By making purchases from SARAtage, customers from all over the world can purchase from local vendors and contribute to the ongoing effort to preserve Sarawak’s unique cultural identity. A SARAtage app will also be available before the end of the year.
Also attending the launch were the wife of Sarawak State GovernorTuan Yang Terutama (TYT), Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, wife of Sarawak Premier, Datuk Amar Hajjah Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Haji Bujang, Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak (MTCP), Dato Sri Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and wife, Datin Sri Hajah Zuraini Abd Jabbar, Chairwoman of the Sarawak Public Service Commission, Datu Dr Sabariah Putit, MTCP Permanent Secretary, Datu Sherina Hussaini, Ketua, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, Managing Trustee of the Tun Jugah Foundation, Melia Linggi, Deputy Director of CENTEXS Academy (Industry), Dr Nadianatra Musa, Deputy Director of CENTEXS Academu (Digital), Dr Dayang Hanani Abang Ibrahim, Tun Jugah Foundation’s Museum Curator, Janet Rata Noel and other delegates from Sarawak.
Entrepreneurs and craftsmen can register for free now at www.saratage.com.