JERTEH: The use of local wood carving decorations and architectural designs should be promoted at government premises and offices, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister (KPPK) Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (pix).

She said the move was important in efforts to revive the nation’s wood carving industry which is losing its lustre and slowly being left behind due to modernisation.

“We will discuss ways how we can promote the craft through government offices such as using wood carving for name plaques, office doors and so forth. If bulk orders are placed, they (craftsmen) will be able to produce and supply.

“In fact there are (offices) that use wood carving but this depends on the ministries or individual’s preference, there has been no special policy or directive (on the use of local craft). So maybe as the KPPK minister, I will be able to get them to consider integrating wood carving products.”

She said this to reporters after a ceremony to handover machines to boat builder entrepreneurs and launch of the National Carving Industry Development Strategic Plan (2021-2030) at Desa Ukiran Kayu, here today.

Zuraida said the move would also help increase the income of 850 wood carvers nationwide, including 300 in Terengganu.

Meanwhile she said the National Carving Industry Development Strategic Plan was launched today to elevate the local wood carving industry and this was made possible with the cooperation of various parties including government agencies, timber industry entrepreneurs and Persatuan Penggiat Seni Ukir Kayu Malaysia (Pengukir).

At the event Zuraida also announced that a RM1.5 million allocation has been approved for the purchase of machines and equipment for boat and furniture making as required by craftsmen in Besut which has become Terengganu’s cultural and craft hub.

“Currently most of the carving process are done manually which is rather slow. Wood carving machines are able to take over some of the tasks and in this way too, productivity and quality can be improved,” she said. — Bernama