The National Department for Culture and Arts (JKKN) remains committed to promoting the art, culture and identity of each state as the main attraction for the Visit Malaysia Year 2026 (VMY2026).

Its director-general, Mohd Amran Mohd Haris, said that for this purpose, JKKN is actively carrying out various activities and promotions and preparing engaging content to attract domestic and foreign tourists from next year until 2026.

“Every art department throughout the country plays an essential role in preparing exciting programmes, including through cooperation with state governments. Each state has its own identity, for example, in Negeri Sembilan, there is Olek Godang (a traditional style feast ala Minang), which serves as a pillar for implementing arts programmes.

“In Perlis, we have the Pesta Angin Timur, which uses padi fields as a permanent location. Many community programmes or activities are held after the harvest season, including folk games and traditional art performances.”

He said this to reporters after attending the Olek Godang Cultural Art Festival, which was officiated by state Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Nicole Tan Lee Koon here today.

The three-day Olek Godang Festival which started yesterday is organised by JKKN in collaboration with the Negeri Sembilan government. It aims to preserve the art, culture and heritage together with the local community.

Mohd Amran said organising such a programme is an initiative to preserve and elevate the country’s cultural arts, especially for the young generation.

The festival features a range of activities, including traditional sports such as archery, a cooking competition between six districts in Negeri Sembilan, an exhibition on the identity of Negeri Sembilan, a Caklempong competition and a Cross-Cultural Zapin@Nogoghi competition.

In a separate development, Mohd Amran said the Cultural Sector Support Grant (GSSK 2023) has been continued to ensure the arts and culture ecosystem in the country remains competitive and empowered this year.

He said as of Sept 15, a total of 400 applications had been approved involving grants totalling RM25 million.

In the meantime, Tan said the Olek Godang festival has already received a great response from the public, with about 10,000 visitors so far, and hoped that it would become an annual event in the state.

“This programme is very good as it highlights the uniqueness of Negeri Sembilan as the only state that practices Adat Perpatih. It is important to continue (this programme) to expose the young generation to their own unique cultural heritage,” she said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency