Batik factory — one giant step forward

KUCHING: The setting up of a batik printing factory in Kuching will be a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors.

Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said this when met by reporters after receiving a courtesy call from about 40 overseas VIP delegates to the World Craft Cities Network Forum (WCCNF) at his office yesterday.

The delegates comprised of 15 mayors, two governors, a deputy governor and members from different countries such as India, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Iran.

“We have recently spoken to the Princess of Jakarta HRH Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Bendoro on the possibility of setting up a batik factory in the city with their assistance.

“It will be one step forward for us to improve our crafts industry in the future,” he said.

Wee receives a memento from Khon Kaen governor, Dr Somsak Changtrakul. Photo: Nadim Bokhari

Wee noted that in the 1970s, there were two batik printing factories in Kuching but due to the situation of the market at that time, the factories were closed down.

“Since our Sarawak batik has made it to international levels, therefore it is time we invest in the state’s arts and crafts to enhance the richness in our culture,” he said.

When asked when the factory will be set up, he answered that they will liaise with Jakarta and see how fast they can get it up and running.

“We will not start out big first. Instead, we would like to have their technology placed here and see how fast we can make it (batik).

“We may need support from the state government and it should be driven by the private sector as well.”

Wee receives a ‘selendang’ as memento from one of the delegation members during the ‘World Craft Cities Network Forum’ at MBKS. Photo: Nadim Bokhari

Delegates to the World Craft Cities Network Forum meet with Mayor Wee at his office. Photo: Nadim Bokhari