KUALA LUMPUR: The cash grant of RM10 million for the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana) under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) last year, has been approved to assist people in the creative industry.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the grant was part of the RM225 million allocated via MyCreative Ventures Group to boost the resilience of the creative economy.

"To date, we have distributed RM5.54 million in funds to 554 creative industry workers.

"A sum of RM8 million was further allocated to Cendana under the Rakyat Protection and Economic Recovery Package (PEMULIH) with 82 per cent of it having been approved," he said when officiating at the 'Pemulihan: Pembaharuan Exhibition, Fergana Art' at Publika Shopping Gallery, here, today.

He said to revive the creative industry's activities, agencies such as the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas), Cendana and MyCreative Ventures would intensify various initiatives.

Among others, under Budget 2022, he said RM188 million was provided to continue initiatives such as the Digital Content Fund, Digital Multimedia Content project, Film Incentive and the Perkasa Modal Insan Programme.

On the exhibition, Tengku Zafrul said it was a rare event, a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in drafting and writing history, as it happened.

"This edition is a more nuanced approach by engaging 89 creative professionals from visual artists, writers, poets, social scientists, musicians, scientists, technologists, architects, photojournalists to editors.

"In a nutshell, it is what this project is all about, beyond commercial interests and economic policies," he said.

Meanwhile, UEM Sunrise Bhd chief executive officer, Suffian Abdullah said apart from helping to provide rental rebates for local artists in the art space during the MCO, it now continued to support them to re-engage with audience through live shows and performances broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

The COVID-19 themed art exhibition which is on until this Dec 5, showcases the extent of the impact of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and COVID-19 to human lives, their livelihoods and communities over the past 20 months in Malaysia.

The art exhibition is co-sponsored by UEM Sunrise and supported by Yayasan Hasanah and Balai Seni Negara (National Art Gallery)..