Batik is a textile made using wax to selectively apply dyes to a cloth, creating vibrant and intricate designs that can be created by hand or by mechanical printing. The technique, which originated from Indonesia, is also commonly practiced in Malaysia.
Malaysian Parliament Unanimously Agrees to Wear Batik in Parliament
When responding to lawmaker Nurul Izzah Anwar’s question on efforts to increase the use of batik in Malaysia, Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik responded, saying the ministry had not received any response yet from the Parliament, however, the lawmakers could wear batik neckties even though they were not wearing batik shirts.
“The ministry welcomes the use of Malaysian batik among Malaysians especially in Parliament including the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.
“The ministry hopes that the wearing of batik in Parliament will become a reality in the near future,” he said.
The proposal was also supported by other MPs such as Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (BN-Rembau), Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid (BN-Kuala Kangsar) and Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian).
Work in Progress: MyIPO and Government Working on Patenting Batik
Replying to a supplementary question from Mastura, Muhammad Bakhtiar said Kraftangan Malaysia was working with several agencies for batik patent protection.
“They are also working with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) and the ISO to patent the batik produced,” he said.
This is also in line with the calls for better IP protection by Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia (Penyayang) CEO Datuk Leela Mohd Ali, who believes that IP rights will help to protect the works of batik creators.
“In such a case, between the artist and the block maker, who is entitled to the IP rights? These days, even computers are being used to create patterns and improve existing batik designs,” she pointed out.
Hoping that the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation (Kraftangan Malaysia) would look into the IP issue, Leela said for each and every batik craft produced, details pertaining to the design, as well as the owner’s name and date of production should be recorded to preserve the identity of the craft and creator.
“This is the way to uphold the heritage value of our Malaysian batik,” she added.
Batik produced in Malaysia is at risk of losing its identity if local designers fail to register their designs with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).
Only by registering their works with MyIPO can the sale of imitation batik products, which is becoming more rampant now, be curbed. It will also enable the patent owners to take legal action against those who sell, produce or lease their designs without permission.