Welcoming the month of August is a tad more special for Malaysians, as we eagerly await our National Day, or Hari Kebangsaan, on every 31st of August. It is a month of reflection and appreciation, and often the month where we reconnect more to our roots and heritage. The Jalur Gemilang will be seen everywhere, and various celebrations will take place throughout the Merdeka month.

Unfortunately, as we are facing the Covid-19 crisis, I have been contemplating on an alternative that will allow us to celebrate safely, and came up with this idea: by supporting our local products! Through our multicultural society, Malaysia has been producing one of the most beautiful handicrafts. There is never a better time to liven our surroundings with our local crafts!

Batik cushion cover by Anna Patchwork, photo courtesy of MODA by Malaysian Craft Facebook page.

Thankfully, you can purchase them from the comfort of your home! How is this possible, you ask? Through Kraftangan Malaysia, our Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has come up with an initiative to provide a virtual platform for our handicraft entrepreneurs to continue selling their products. Through the E-Kraf Bazar Facebook page, you can find our local handicrafts that suit your liking. From batik, jewellery, woven carpets and baskets, wooden carvings, to flower arrangements made from soap!

Sumandak sling bag, photo courtesy of Kelarai Kraftangan Batu Lunguyan Facebook page.
Colourful vases, photo courtesy of Karyaneka KompleksKraf KualaLumpur Facebook page.

Currently, E-Kraf Bazar is joined by more than 12,000 members. They are eagerly waiting for their 15,000th member to gift them with a mystery prize! What’s more, E-Kraf Bazar also picks a winner monthly through its Lucky Draw Bonanza, to enjoy RM100.00 worth of voucher. You only need to spend a minimum of RM10.00 before submitting your entry to E-Kraf Bazar’s administrator. Don’t lose hope if you’re not chosen for the month as your entry will be brought forward to the following months. You have until December 2020 to try your luck!

Hold your shopaholic boots for this other initiative taken by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, alongside nine other ministries. A special campaign supporting Malaysian products, called Kempen Beli Barangan Malaysia 2020 (KBBM) was just launched last 18th of July. The local products that are highlighted for the campaign range from fashion apparel, beauty cosmetics, electrical appliances, furniture, automotive, as well as food and beverages.

The tagline “Berbelanjalah untuk Malaysia”, or “Spend for Malaysia” by our Prime Minister during the launch summarised the aim of the campaign: to boost our economy and retain its competitiveness through our support of purchasing local brands. Similarly, the campaign revolves around the digital platform, to provide ease to the shoppers where everything is just one click away. KBBM will be with us until December 2020 for us to show our continuous support!

I’m not going to take your time any longer as we have some shopping to do! Just a friendly reminder, make sure your products are certified with our Jalur-Gemilang-coloured Made in Malaysia logo!

Photo courtesy of kpdnhep.gov.my