The Public Service Department (PSD) circular to civil servants to wear batik on Thursdays is good news for Kelantan’s batik makers after the industry went through a gloomy phase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Batik maker, Azlinda Nordin, 40, said the directive is expected to increase demand for batik attire.

"Demand for batik certainly declined the past few years, with some businesses forced to close shop.

“The government’s encouragement is a relief to all batik industry players to return and start up their production again,” she said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Azlinda, who inherited Nordin Batik, established in 1972 in Kampung Pintu Geng, from her late father Nordin Mahmood, said her business also felt the drastic drop in demand but managed to pull through with online and social media sales.

She said that the batik industry is affected by ebbs and flows, which made many entrepreneurs switch to other businesses.

"We hope this government policy can help sustain the batik industry as well as maintain one of the symbols of our national image,” she said.

The owner of Ayu Fashion in Kampung Talak, Tumpat, Aziah Ibrahim, 40, said she focused more on caftans, fabrics and shirts after the decrease in demand.

“Prior to that, we received a lot of orders from schools and government departments but demand has been low the past few years, making us switch to producing more caftans.

“With this recent directive, we expect a boost in demand, allowing batik makers to increase their production,” said Aziah, who is continuing the legacy started 40 years ago by her father Ibrahim Deraman, 67.

The Public Service Department issued a Service Circular on the Wearing of Malaysian Batik Attire During Working Hours for Federal Public Service Officers, dated Aug 21, 2023, stating that all federal civil servants are required to be attired in Malaysian batik on Thursdays, while encouraging the wearing of batik on other working days as well.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency