Malaysia’s creative sector suffered greatly under the first MCO. Many entertainers, such as painters, filmmakers, and performers, struggled to make a living when live events were canceled and venues were closed. In March, the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) declared that its closure would cost more than RM500,000. But, of course, not just local performers are affected. Artists and performers worldwide have been struggling since the pandemic began – even the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil had to declare bankruptcy in June 2020.
Besides the ongoing pandemic, there is an argument to be made that the government is not helping our artists monetarily. Ch’ng Huck Theng has much to say about this. According to Penang Art Society president Ch’ng Huck Theng, the art business was among those severely hit by the 18-month Covid-19 outbreak and required immediate assistance for survival.
Competition with International Artist
While the Malay entertainment industry is growing, Darren notices a void in local English music. He frequently finds it lost among the international music that Malaysians enjoy. “English language artists compete with international performances rather than local bands. As a result, local performers are overshadowed by international artists. They are left out, even when the production and music are of the finest quality and equal with any global performer.”
What can we do about this? MyPentas is the solution to this problem. MyPentas comprises a team of passionate individuals on a mission to support and spread awareness of local artists. They aim to help local artists earn from their creative expression and preserve our dying Malaysian Arts. Mypentas is created to provide a spotlight and opportunity for local artists to shine and cultivate. They have responded to the cries of the Malaysian arts. They are now progressing to becoming Asean’s First Entertainment Digital Platform showcasing all four genres: Music, Comedy, Dance and Theatre.